Sensational Stepper Nehe Milner-Skudder

The Wraparound from Rugby HQ - Week 27

James Schrader's sensational try saver

Inside the Pride, in Africa, Part 3

Some of the greatest amateur rugby hits

Sky Sport NZ's Super Rugby Player Awards

Tuilagi brothers cause chaos vs USA

Hawk-Eye to make World Cup debut at RWC

Springboks bounce back to beat Argentina

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wasps snatch win from Leicester with classic comeback

Wasps snatch win from Leicester with classic comeback

Some superb tries were scored as Dave Walder and Wasps staged a second half fight back against Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership on the weekend, coming back from 30-18 down to win 37-30.

Wasps started well with a well taken try by speedster Tom Varndell, but Leicester came back with a try of their own through Matt Smith following a sprint and dummy down the left wing from Alesana Tuilagi.

Ben Youngs added to that with a sniping break from a quick tap to score a quality individual try. Varndell then scored again, this time from a lovely inside ball from Walder and then a classy step on hapless Tigers fullback, Geordan Murphy.

Billy Twelvetrees scored a soft try straight after that as he burst through fullback Matt Van Gisbergen, then Tom Croft worked his way over the line as Leicester shout out to a commanding 12 point lead at the interval.

"We were poor in the first half but at the break we resolved to build a score while locking our back door properly," said Wasps flyhalf Walder, who then proceeded to kick four penalties, tying things up.

With five minutes left in the game Walder took command again, this time putting a neat kick ahead through for the chasing Richard Haughton, who gathered the loose ball for the winning try after Murphy looked dazed and confused, misjudging the bounce horribly.

Nineteen unanswered points meant that Wasps could hang on to the lead, despite the Tigers trying in vain with time up. Walder claimed 22 of the total with six penalties and two conversions, as well as two timely assists.

"That's the way it goes with sport," Walder said afterwards. "I was pleased with my game today and hopefully that will kick-start our season after the Newcastle match."

The defence was shakey at times but some of the tries were superbly taken and the game was played at a great tempo and had high drama. Unfortunately only 8000 fans were on hand to witness it though, two thousand short of capacity.

Time: 06:31

Posted by Rugbydump at 10:43 pm | View Comments (29)

Viewing 29 comments

Andy September 21, 2010 8:49 pm

I think Andy Powell's celebration following the last try shows exactly how much the comeback meant to the team. Hat has to come off for the Wasps performance though, su-bloody-perb.

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bd September 21, 2010 8:55 pm

a la poitrenaud and rob howley

murphy and haughton ..

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Chris Boy September 21, 2010 9:17 pm

in all fairness to geordan murphy, that was a horrible bounce

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Oli September 21, 2010 9:44 pm

horrible bounce or not we gotta be thankful to william webb ellis for inventing rugby. never in any other sport would we see such suspense and excitement.
once again, rugby is the winner of such fantastic games.
thanks RD!

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Anonymous September 21, 2010 10:05 pm

He's got options buit he doenst need to take them because his name is Tom Varndell!

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John F September 21, 2010 10:17 pm

Time for consistency now eh Wasps?

Not a match we should have won but thanks to Tigers anyway for letting us back in. Wasps struggling to sell tickets will only get worse due to increased coverage on ESPN, more fans will watch at home and less season tickets will be sold in the future.

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mise September 21, 2010 11:07 pm

@john F:
Is that the reason why the attendance was so low? I was wondering about that, as they are 2 big guns with big names on both sides.

Usually, it is thought that average/semi boring anyway matches suffer, while big cup tie style matches gain with increased TV coverage.

And yet, this particular match, featuring 2 of the big boys, was poorly attended.

So its an anomaly, unless anyone can add to.

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Tui September 22, 2010 3:00 am

Will Tom Varndell be selected back into England's squad for when the AB's tour?

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Anonymous September 22, 2010 3:41 am

Good game. I'm concerned that a couple of the players are fatties though to put it bluntly. Not really a great advert and we're in a professional era ffs. Great game though :)

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thirteentrees September 22, 2010 4:55 am

"Wasps struggling to sell tickets will only get worse due to increased coverage on ESPN"

Well, why the hell won't they broadcast it over here in the US, then? As far as I know, they only sometimes show Top 14 games.

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Anonymous September 22, 2010 5:48 am

Tui said...
Will Tom Varndell be selected back into England's squad for when the AB's tour?

i hope not last time he played for england he had a shocker lote tiquri made him look like a child

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vinniechan September 22, 2010 6:24 am

I am a Leicester fan and only managed to watch the replay of the second half, knowing the results and wondered how the hell did we not scored.
The last try was sheer misfortune, but we got killed by 6 kickable penalties.
When we scored 4 tries in the first half and still not win, we only have ourselves to blame.

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enough September 22, 2010 8:22 am

Tom Varndell, what a player! :)

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Anonymous September 22, 2010 9:19 am

Poor defence from both teams.

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rodofle September 22, 2010 9:40 am

Geordan Murphy is really the worst defender i've ever seen... In every match i see with him playing, he misses tackles, or when he tries to tackle he litteraly bounces on the opponent, stuff like that. How old is he? He looks pretty old.

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Anonymous September 22, 2010 11:29 am

Andy Powell is a legend.

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NiWiTa September 22, 2010 11:41 am

@Tui - Tom Varndell is a bit of an enigma...He can carve open a defence with bags of pace but his defensive game is not too good...hence the non-selection..

Great game for me to watch as neutral.

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NiWiTa September 22, 2010 11:42 am

Hi RD - I think there was a big hit on Andy Powell in this match. Any chance of us seeing it? Many thanks N

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RD September 22, 2010 11:55 am

NiWiTa - I must have missed it. Any idea when it happened in the game?

Also, please post requests like that in the forum in future, as it's easier to discuss/track, etc. Cheers

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Anonymous September 22, 2010 1:57 pm

Varndell is good going forward and seems to have gained a yard of extra pace this season. However, he needs to work on his defence has improved, but the twelvetrees try shows that it's still not up to scratch

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NiWiTa September 22, 2010 3:53 pm

Now you're asking RD..good point as grey matter now letting me down... Will get thinking cap on and have a look at the old Sky+ highlights!

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Anonymous September 22, 2010 4:42 pm

Can you hear the Tigers sing?!
Noo! Noo!
Can you hear the Tigers sing?!
Noo! Noo!
Can you hear the Tigers sing?!
I can't hear them sing a thing!
Woah oah oh!


allez allez allez!...

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John F September 22, 2010 9:50 pm


Increasing ticket prices for almost a decade play an inevitable part as have two less inspiring seasons after 6 years of trophies.

As for the general comments on Varndell and the specific comment about the Australia tour. That was then, the past can't tell you how much a player has improved. His defence has improved, in fact I think he even put a big hit in in this match, can't remember when it as though. He's getting better and working on his all-round skills. The old tag of quick winger but can't defend is a bit of a misnomer.

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Juggernauter September 23, 2010 1:00 am

The old Adams Park looks like Thomond Park cut in half haha no wonder why Hayes (the Wasps owner) wants to build a bigger stadium.

Great rugby though. Is it me or Andy Powell looks very natural and comfortable in the Wasps shirt? He sure is one hell of a player.

And Ben Youngs keep impressing. The kid's holding tight to the England no. 9.

Austin Healey was full of praise for Tom Varndell, and I back him. I think this might be his year. He, Ashton and Foden would make a SH-style back three for England.


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granite September 23, 2010 4:49 am

Is Ben Youngs the guy that toured Australia earlier this year as the England 9? If so, looks like his form wasn't a fluke. Looks like a very competent and talented player.

also, I think the highlights were very well compiled. It was good to see all the penalties so condensed. 4 penalties in 16 seconds! It keeps the viewer in the thread of the game, without spending ages watching someone going through the motions of a kick

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John F September 23, 2010 7:59 am


Wasps have been nomadic since they turned professional. The Sudbury Hill ground was nice and in a traditional catchment area but had no potential for increased capacity, however that was a nice ground. Loftus Road was a real dump but had capacity. Now we're onto this our second football ground. The main stand gives a good view but only shows the other three which are small and ultimately it is a football ground. There is talk of ground sharing between Wasps and Wycombe Wanderers at a new ground to be built in the future, just proposals atm. Oh and yes, that back three could be great. Foden and Ashton are on their way to making themselves undroppable as it is. I don't really like Cueto and Delon Armitage should be made to wait his turn now, I hope MJ makes the right decisions.


Yep it's the same guy that toured Australia.

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NiWiTa September 23, 2010 11:54 am

@John F - deffo agree on ashton, foden in the backs. You are right in that Varndell did get a big hit in earlier.......I think the defensive problem for him is not the actual tackle as he has made big steps to improve his physicality. It's perhaps more of a positional issue for him

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Greiffel September 23, 2010 2:10 pm

@ Granite, good stuff, glad you appreciated that bit. Penalties are yawn worthy, but in this case needed to be included as it was part of the comeback.

That Vardnell try was awesome though imo. The inside ball then the step and gas. Good game all round

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Juggernauter September 23, 2010 8:15 pm

I'd try Armitage at 13. He's a good player but doesn't have the flair needed in the Test stage counter-attacking system, but as a centre he could well create good opportunities for others.

I think Tindall, Tait, Hipkiss, all had their chance, so I'll go for try with Armitage!

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