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Wasps v Leicester Tigers - 5 Classic Encounters

This weekend sees a Aviva Premiership fixture that has thrown up some classic encounters over the years. We've picked out five corking games between Wasps v Leicester Tigers, let us remind you... 

2011 – Wasps 35-29 Leicester

 

With both sides depleted due to World Cup withdrawals, fans were treated to a tantalising peek at the future as George Ford, Christian Wade and Billy Twelvetrees lit up this thrilling encounter. Whilst Twelvetrees rather remarkably racked up every single one of the Tigers’ tally it was 20-year-old Wade who proved the match winner with an electric hat-trick, the second of which was a jinking treat from deep. Check it out:

 

 

This turned out to be as good as it got for Wasps who endured a rotten old season, finishing one point off relegation. On the final day Falcons, the team directly beneath them, could only beat them by 4, rather than the 24 points required, to reverse the places. Inglorious stuff.
 

2007 – Leicester 9-25 Wasps

 

Context is everything with this famous game as Wasps sprung a huge shock to sink the treble chasing Tigers in the biggest game of them all. Informing their status as heavy favourites was the fact that Leicester had eviscerated the Londoners just weeks earlier 40-26, a score line that was only made barely respectable in the last five minutes with two consolation tries.

At Twickenham, not one but two crafty lineouts rope-a-doped Wasps into a sizeable lead early on. Alex King then built on this from the tee in the second half for a memorable win.


 

2005 – Wasps 29-29 Leicester

 

A pulsating contest that, thanks to the weather, proved to be your archetypal game of two halves. The previous year’s top two set off in sunny climes with the first half conjuring some flowing rugby and four cracking tries.

 

Points were much harder to come by in the second half as the heavens ruptured, however, and even the most basic handling became a matter of potluck. Both sides traded kicks from the tee before botching vital moments – Martin Corry was held up on the line having eschewed a shot at goal for a scrum, whilst Andy Goode agonisingly slipped over with the line begging. The portly No.10’s misery was complete when squirting a drop kick inches past the post at the very last.

 

2004 – Wasps 31-37 Leicester
 

Reigning champs Wasps were drawn in the same group as Leicester before two pulsating defeats to the Midlanders saw their title defence fall at the very first hurdle.

 

The first of the two group ties was worthy of being a final as the game see-sawed back of forth viciously. Leicester erupted out of the blocks, leading 6-22 within 18 minutes, before an hour of Wasps pressure, largely from Mark van Gisbergen’s cultured clog, saw the game enter the 75th minute square 31-31.

 

Hair-icon Andy Goode stepped up at the death to nail the win with a penalty and drop goal apiece, before one final-play onslaught from the men in black saw them come up agonisingly short.

 

 

2000 – Wasps 22-24 Leicester

 

And finally, we have another roller coaster of a ride from the turn of the Millennium as the Tigers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Rugby on the internet wasn't seemingly a thing in 2000 so you’ll have to take my word for it – it was a proper nail biter.



Tigers heroes Johnson and Rowntree plot another lineout.
 

Having let a 37th minute lead of 3-14 slip over the course of the game, the Tigers chalked up a famous win at the very death. Kenny Logan slotted penalty kicks in the 79th and 80th minutes to give the Londoners a late lead before being denied in remarkable fashion.

Professional mouth Austin Healey burst over the whitewash with the last play of the game to tie the scores before Tim Stimpson had the nerve to land the conversion and snag a thrilling victory.


There’s no video footage of this doing the rounds so enjoy this alternative clip of Healey instead.
 


 

Disagree with our picks? Bang your suggestions in the comments below!

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