Aviva Premiership: Tom Varndell scores the only try as London Wasps beat Leicester
Tom Varndell scored the only try against his former club as London Wasps secured a tense 14-12 victory over Leicester.
Last Updated: 25/11/12 5:28pm
Varndell, the Aviva Premiership's leading tryscorer, struck with his eighth touchdown of the season after only three minutes as Wasps maintained their unbeaten record in all competitions at Adams Park this season.
Nick Robinson also landed a first half penalty and Lee Thomas came off the bench at half-time to kick two penalties for the hosts, while fly-half George Ford replied with four penalties for the Tigers.
The result sees Wasps climb to eighth in the table, while the Tigers stay fifth after going into the match needing an 11-point win to go top and depose leaders Harlequins.
Wasps were rewarded for their bold attacking approach, with Varndell finishing a slick threequarter passing move by taking a pass from centre Elliot Daly and bursting through Mathew Tait's tackle to dive over in the left-hand corner.
Only a last-ditch tackle by winger Niall Morris denied Wasps' other winger Christian Wade - second in the Premiership try-scoring list - his sixth league try of the season. The 21-year-old hot prospect showed tremendous footwork, racing past six players on a brilliant run from the halfway line before being hauled down a metre from the line.
The early pressure continued to pay off with Leicester conceding a penalty, kicked by Robinson who had failed to convert Varndell's try from the touchline.
But it was cancelled out by Ford, who opened Leicester's account with a 40-metre penalty five minutes later. He then cut the deficit to two points in the 34th minute when he landed his second penalty after Wasps were penalised for not rolling away from the tackle.
Three minutes later Ford missed the chance to kick Leicester ahead when his third penalty attempt drifted wide. But he made amends, kicking the visitors into the lead three minutes into the second half following a Wasps scrum infringement.
Varndell crossed again in the 48th minute but was denied a second try when the final pass from full-back Hugo Southwell was ruled forward by the TMO following an excellent build-up by Robinson and Daly.
Thomas, a half-time replacement for Chris Bell in the centre, took over the kicking duties to land the 52nd minute penalty which put Wasps back in front and seven minutes later increased the lead with his second penalty from 40 metres.
It was cancelled out within two minutes by Ford's fourth penalty, which reduced the gap to two points but the Tigers could not add to their score as Wasps held on to secure victory.