Wasps boss hails ‘special win’ over leaders Leicester

·3-min read

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett was hugely emotional after his side overcame the odds to end Leicester Tigers’ incredible start to the season.

Leicester were chasing 16 consecutive victories, which would have been a club record, but the hosts showed incredible resilience to claim a 16-13 triumph.

The Coventry-based outfit have struggled in 2021/22 with injuries ravaging their squad, but this could ignite their season.

Veteran playmaker Jimmy Gopperth was Wasps’ hero by kicking three second-half penalties.

Wasps were also awarded a penalty try, while Tigers responded with a try from Julian Montoya, with George Ford adding two penalties and a conversion.

Couldn’t speak afterwards

Blackett said: “In the dressing room afterwards I couldn’t speak as there was huge emotion as our whole performance was based on loads of energy and emotion.

“It wasn’t pretty but it was gritty and we scrapped throughout.

“Our young half-backs, (Charlie Atkinson and Sam Wolstenholme) managed the game really well and that’s what you have to do against Leicester.

“At half-time, we emphasised that we had to stay in the kicking game, be patient, and take the opportunities that came our way.

“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.”

Wasps were without 17 players through illness and injury, with prop Tom West and lock Vaea Fifita both withdrawing from the starting line-up.

Blackett said: “You have to be adaptable but we lost Tom (West) through illness then Robin Hislop struggled from an early stage with an injury so we were always under pressure in the scrums but we managed to win a crucial penalty five minutes from the end when we were right up against it.”

Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick was philosophical about his side’s defeat and the loss of the opportunity to break a number of records.

He said: “Honestly, I’m not concerned about records, I take each game as it comes and today we had plenty of opportunities in the first half but didn’t take them.

“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.

“The players still worked exceptionally hard but we were on the wrong end of the scoreboard and will learn from it.”

Dan Biggar praised after Northampton’s dominant win

Northampton Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd was full of admiration for Wales star Dan Biggar after they produced a dominant Premiership victory over Newcastle Falcons on Saturday.

The Midlanders were at their fluent best as they recorded a 44-8 triumph at Kingston Park to very much keep themselves in play-off contention.

“You can look across the team and you see the quality that we have in positions; Dan (Biggar) has kicked extremely well today and that kind of gives you the platform to play your own game. Tom (Collins) had another strong game for us as well,” Boyd said.

“I am extremely pleased to have come here and taken five points; you’d like to take five points from every game, but you know that it isn’t always possible so to do that today is fantastic. We haven’t done that very often recently and even less so when we have come up here.”

The article Wasps boss hails ‘special win’ over leaders Leicester appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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