Tigers too fierce for Wasps
Ferocious Tigers batter Wasps into sumbmission
By Simon Dilger. Last Updated: 19/02/11 7:44pm
Premiership leaders Leicester battered Wasps into a 21-12 defeat in a brutal encounter at Welford Road on Saturday.
The Tigers dominated possession and territory for long periods, spending much of the clash camped in the visitors half and forcing the Londoners into some ferocious defending.
Wasps made 121 tackles to Leicester's 73 during the match as they valiantly tried to hold the Tigers out.
And the scoreline might have been greater had it not been for a stubborn and resolute Wasps' defence.
But in the end the task proved too tough as first half scores from Jeremy Staunton and Steve Mafi proved the difference between the sides.
Staunton booted Leicester into the lead with an early penalty in the second minute, but Walder struck back with penalties on eight and 10 minutes to nudge Wasps into the lead.
The two fly halves were involved in the first try, although Walder will be happy to forget his role after Staunton intercepted his pass and ran in under the posts unopposed.
The fly half converted his own try to make it 10-3, and three minutes later he added three more with another penalty.
Walder pulled three back with a 28 metre effort on 18 minutes after the hosts were penalised for not rolling away.
Leicester's second try came on the 27-minute mark as they spread the ball quickly across the pitch to Mafi from the breakdown close to the right touchline.
The big lock made a complete fool of Wasps' defence, as he first sent Walder the wrong way before easily sidestepping winger Richard Houghton's poor tackle attempt and thundering his way to the line.
Staunton missed the conversion and Walder could not find the target either with a penalty at the opposite end on the stroke of half time to leave the hosts leading 18-9 at the break.
Staunton extended the lead to 21-9 three minutes after the restart, with a superb 42 metre penalty from wide on the left after Wasps centre Ricky Flutey was caught offside.
But Walder cancelled out the points three minutes later, striking his fourth from five kicks to make it 21-12.
Leicester piled on the pressure and Wasps found themselves increasingly forced into some brutal tackling as they defended for sustained periods deep inside their own territory.
Staunton missed his second kick of the match on 58 minutes, sending a 37 metre penalty attempt wide of the posts.
Wasps looked as if they might begin to make some inroads during the last 10 minutes, despite having been on the receiving end of a severe pummelling during the second half.
But they were unable to capitalise on their rare excursions into Tigers territory and the game ended with a nine point victory for the hosts.