Ford boots Tigers to victory over Wasps
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: George Ford kicked three second-half penalties to edge Leicester Tigers to a 16-15 victory over Wasps at Welford Road.
Sione Kalamafoni had scored a third-minute try but two Elliot Daly tries, and a Danny Cipriani penalty, had Wasps ahead 15-7 at the break.
But Wasps were unable to add to their tally in the second half with three penalties from England international Ford enough to get Tigers over the line.
Tigers enjoyed a fine start as Kalamafoni scored his first try away from Kingsholm at the back of a driving maul after Graham Kitchener had claimed the line-out.
The conversion was good from Ford but he would miss a penalty on nine minutes with Dan Robson then preventing a second try with a fine covering tackle on Sam Harrison.
With Manu Tuilagi and Jonny May heading off with injuries, Wasps got themselves back into the match with Christian Wade making a fine break before Matt Toomua held up Thomas Young.
But from the resulting scrum, Wasps drove towards the line with Robson feeding a wide-open Daly on the blind side for an easy score in the corner.
Replacement Nick Malouf was then shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Wade and Daly had his second try after a Juan De Jongh break with Robson again spotting the space on the short side.
Desperate cover tackling from Leicester denied Willie Le Roux before Matt Tait crunched into Robson to deny a further score and Wasps led 15-7 at the break.
Tigers were able to reduce the deficit at the start of the second half through a Ford penalty but saw Telusa Veainu sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock on.
Flyhalf Ford slotting a third kick to make it 15-13 having thrown two intercept passes as the Tigers piled on the pressure in the second-half.
And on 75 minutes, after Wasps were penalised at a line-out, Ford stepped up to put Tigers ahead and move them within three points of the top four.
Pens: Ford 3
Tries: Daly 2
Yellow Cards: Nick Malouf (Leicester Tigers, 20); Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers, 51)
Leicester Tigers: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Luke Hamilton, 6 Valentino Mapapalangi, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Greg Bateman.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Logovi’i Mulipola, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Will Evans, 21 Harry Simmons, 22 Mathew Tait, 23 Nick Malouf
Wasps: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Guy Thompson, 7 Thomas Young, 6 James Haskell, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury (captain), 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Simon McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 TJ Harris, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Kearnan Myall, 21 Jack Willis, 22 Joe Simpson, 23 Josh Bassett.
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys, Jack Makepeace
TMO: David Grashoff