A League Match Report: Wasps lose tough encounter against Leicester Tigers A

Wasps A fought bravely, but lost to a strong Leicester Tigers A team 33-20 in the opening Aviva A League fixture this season. 

Leicester got off to the best possible start thanks to new signing Tom Brady, when the winger intercepted 30 metres out from the line and sprinted over between the posts. Fly half Oli Bryant added the extras to make the score 0-7 to the visitors after just 4 minutes. 

Wasps managed to get a foothold in the game a few plays later and earned a penalty opportunity for Connor Eastgate. The newly promoted Wasps Senior Academy fly half made no mistake and reduced Leicester's lead to 3-7. 

The Tigers weren't making it easy for Wasps and pinned the hosts back in their 22 for the next few minutes. Eventually the pressure told and on 13 minutes Bryant took the lead back out to seven. 

That seemed to spark Wasps into action and just three minutes later Wasps were level. Eastgate dummied his way through the middle of the Leicester defence and found flanker Jack Willis in support.

That laid the platform for scrum half Will Porter, who sniped at the side of a ruck and found himself clean through. Brendan Macken ran a great support line on his outside shoulder and the Irish centre sprinted over to make it 10-apiece. 

The stalemate was broken on 22 minutes thanks to a Bryant penalty. The visitor's fly half added one more penalty soon after, before he unfortunately had to be substituted. However his replacement Tom Hardwick soon added a another three points himself, to leave the scores at 10-19 with five minutes to go till half time. 

Then on the stroke of halftime, Wasps' Alex Rieder put in another one of his many bulldozing runs to give Wasps good field position and Leicester gave away a penalty. Eastgate smashed the kick over to reduce the arrears to 13-19 at the break. 

The bumper crowd at Broadstreet RFC were treated to a great start to the second stanza by Wasps.

A penalty allowed the home team to kick deep into Leicester territory, before some glorious hands from the back-line allowed winger Tom Howe to dive over in the corner. Eastgate landed a sumptuous conversion from right on the touchline and Wasps had the lead for the first time in the game 20-19. 

That lead lasted for over 20 minutes, but was eventually wiped out by the impressive Jack Roberts. The Welsh centre was quickest to a loose ball on the floor and raced clear to dot down for Leicester. Hardwick added the conversion to make it 20-26. 

Leicester dominated the final quarter of an hour and the introduction of regular first team prop Logovi'i Mulipola saw the away side consistently win penalties at the scrum. The giant Samoan international eventually helped the Tigers win a penalty try on the full time whistle to deny Wasps a losing bonus point. Hardwick converted from right in front to make the final score 20-33. 

After the game Assistant Forwards Coach Andy Titterrell said: "We didn't come through with any injuries, which was good. The guys that needed a bit of game time, managed to get that this evening. People like Kearnan Myall coming back from a long-term injury, got some minutes under their belt and we're pleased that they came through it unscathed. 

"Credit to Leicester, they had some real firepower on their bench, which they brought on to great effect in the second half. Our boys stuck at it really well for the first 60 minutes or so. But we struggled to maintain possession and our discipline let us down, gifting Leicester field position.

"Once we took some of our senior players off and brought some of the younger players on, I think their experience started to tell. It's a steep learning curve and those guys that played tonight know what they have to do to be able to compete at this level."

Wasps A next take on Sale Jets in their second Aviva A League game on Monday 19 September at Broadstreet RFC 19:30 KO. With the first team welcoming Bristol Rugby to the Ricoh Arena for the first time on Sunday. Get your tickets here.

Tries: Brendan Macken, Tom Howe.
Conversions: Connor Eastgate x2
Penalties: Connor Eastgate x2

Tries: Tom Brady, Jack Roberts, Penalty.  
Conversions: Oli Bryant, Tom Hardwick x2
Penalties: Oli Bryant x3, Tom Hardwick. 

Wasps A
15. Owain James
14. Tom Howe
13. Nick De Luca 
12. Brendan Macken 
11. Conor Dolan 
10. Connor Eastgate 
9. Will Porter 
1. Tom Bristow
2. Tom Cruse
3. Will Stuart
4. James Cannon
5. Kearnan Myall
6. Jack Willis
7. Alex Rieder
8. Marcus Garratt 

16. George Edgson 
17. Alex Lundberg 
18. Phil Swainston 
19. Ehize Ehizode
20. Tom Willis 
21. Alex Smit 
22. Jacob Umaga 
23. Sam Harry 

Leicester Tigers Development XV
15 George Worth
14 Tom Brady
13 Charlie Thacker
12 Jack Roberts
11 Mick McGrath
10 Oli Bryant
9 Jono Kitto
1 Michele Rizzo
2 Harry Thacker (c)
3 Fraser Balmain
4 Harry Wells
5 Joe Maksymiw
6 Will Owen
7 Will Evans
8 Fred Tuilagi

16 Harry Mahoney
17 Logovi'i Mulipola
18 Ben Betts 
19 Sam Lewis
20 Sam Grahamslaw
21 Ben White
22 Tom Hardwick
23 Harry Simmons