Wasps stun Leicester Tigers
PREMIERSHIP SUNDAY WRAP: Wasps ended Leicester’s perfect start to the season with a 16-13 victory in the English Premiership on Sunday as Bath won for the first time this campaign by defeating 14-man Worcester.
Leicester had won 15 consecutive matches but the Tigers paid for their ill-discipline against a Wasps side who had only won one of their last eight matches.
Ellis Genge was yellow-carded for pushing Francois Hougaard in the face and Tommy Reffell was also sin-binned.
Jimmy Gopperth punished Leicester with three second-half penalties in a match where they were awarded a penalty try.
Leicester scored a try through Julian Montoya, with England’s George Ford adding two penalties and a conversion.
Leicester coach Steve Borthwick had no complaints, with the former England captain saying: “We were outplayed in the third quarter when we gave away too many penalties and made too many errors.
“If you’re off your game in the Premiership, any team can beat any other in the competition and that’s what happened today.”
Wasps were without 17 players due to illness and injury.
“We won’t get carried away with the result but it’s a really special win as we became more confident as the game went on and it was as good as I’ve seen us emotionally,” said coach Lee Blackett.
Bath, who along with Leicester were a major force in the English club game in the crossover from amateur to professional Rugby Union, had not won any of their 12 games in all competitions prior to Sunday’s match.
But with Worcester a man down as early as the second minute when Scotland prop Rory Sutherland was sent off for a head-on-head challenge on Bath front row Will Stuart, the southwest side won 22-19.
Flyhalf Orlando Bailey’s penalty 10 minutes from time proved decisive while he also added two conversions in a match where Bath’s Semesa Rokoduguni, Max Ojomoh and Tom de Glanville all scored tries.
Although there is no relegation from the Premiership this season, Bath boss Stuart Hooper said: “The result is everything. You have to understand where we have been from a results point of view, and also availability, and getting the win today was massive for us and our supporters.”
But Worcester coach Jonathan Thomas was unhappy with the red card shown to Sutherland, who could now miss Scotland’s Six Nations opener against England at Murrayfield on February 5 as a result.
“By the letter of the law it’s a red card and you can’t argue with it, but I think there is an issue with the law,” said Thomas.
“I retired from rugby because of head knocks, so I am all about ensuring player safety,” the former Wales international added.
“But it is an accidental head-on-head collision, and the footwork used by Stuart has to be a mitigating factor.
“Something is wrong with the game if we are going to have a sending-off for that.”
The scores and scorers
Wasps 16-13 Leicester Tigers
Try: Penalty Try
Pens: Gopperth 3
Pens: Ford 2
Yellow cards: Tommy Reffell (Leicester, 3); Ellis Genge (Leicester, 40)
Bath 22-19 Worcester Warriors
Tries: Rokoduguni, Ojomoh, De Glanville
Cons: Bailey 2
Tries: Shillcock, Batley, Simpson
Cons: Smith 2
Red card: Rory Sutherland (Worcester, 6)
Yellow card: Josh Bayliss (Bath, 44)
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) January 9, 2022