Aviva Premiership semi-final: Wasps 21-20 Leicester - There's a sting in the tail for Tigers

Aviva Premiership semi-final: Wasps 21-20 Leicester – There’s a sting in the tail for Tigers

  • Josh Bassett’s late try saw Wasps come from behind to book their place at Twickenham
  • Kurtley Beale’s try along with Jimmy Gopperth’s boot give Wasps a 16-13 lead at the break
  • Telusa Veainu’s second-half try gave Tigers the lead before Bassett dotted down late on
Josh Bassett’s late try helped Wasps come from behind to beat Leicester Tigers 21-20 in Saturday’s second Aviva Premiership semi-final at the Ricoh Arena.

Jimmy Gopperth, who won a trio of honours at the Premiership awards evening (see full winners) evening, got the hosts off to a flier with a penalty within 120 seconds of the kickoff.

Soon after Kurtley Beale was slipped in by Danny Cipriani to finish off a stunning team try on what will be his last appearance at the Ricoh before he returns to Australia.

Goalkicker Gopperth added the conversion to give the home side a healthy 10-0 lead with just eight minutes gone.

Departing Freddie Burns, who joins Bath this summer, struck Tigers onto the scoreboard with two penalties before Gopperth added a second three-pointer to reestablish Wasps seven-point lead.

A Peter Betham try in the corner, converted superbly from the touchline by Burns, levelled the scores but Gopperth edged Wasps back in front with his third penalty seconds before halftime, 16-13.

Nevertheless, Tigers made a great start to the second half and took the lead for the first time when fullback Telusa Veainu got free out wide and dived over unchallenged.

Burns then added the conversion to put Tiger four points in front, 16-20.

Thomas Young spurned a chance as Wasps pressed but Bassett scored in the corner to win the game in dramatic fashion.


Wasps will now face Exeter Chiefs in the calendar showpiece, who earlier in the day saw off European and reigning Premiership champions Saracens 18-16 at Sandy Park.

Three-time league winners Saracens beat Clermont Auvergne to retain their European Champions Cup title last weekend, and appeared to have booked a place in the Twickenham final when Mike Ellery scored a 75th-minute try at Sandy Park.

However, Matt Simmonds settled the match at the death following a superb passage of play to set up a final date with Wasps.

It will be the Chiefs second successive final while they were also able to enjoy getting revenge for last year’s 28-20 final defeat to the Londoners.

Wasps: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Guy Thompson, 6 Thomas Young, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Marty Moore, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Matt Mullan (c)
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 James Gaskell, 20 James Haskell, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Rob Miller
Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Burns, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Jack Roberts, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Brendon O’Connor, 7 Will Evans, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Greg Bateman, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Worth, 23 Matt Smith
Date: Sunday, January 8
Venue: Ricoh Arena
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan, Jack Makepeace
TMO: Stuart Terheege