Goode stars for Tigers
An Andy Goode-inspired Leicester have reached the final of the EDF Energy Cup after scoring a 34-24 victory against Wasps in Cardiff.
Last Updated: 22/03/08 5:06pm
Leicester have reached the final of the EDF Energy Anglo-Welsh Cup after scoring a 34-24 victory against Wasps at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
The Guinness Premiership heavyweights served up an Easter Saturday treat for both sets of supporters and the neutral alike, with both sides scoring four tries.
Against the run of play - Leicester in control early on but failing to execute - man-of-the-moment Danny Cipriani touched down a virtuoso opening try for the London side and later sprinted down the pitch for a consolation effort.
But Cipriani was outshone by opposite number Andy Goode, whose influntial display brought a try of his own, a man-of-the-match award and, crucially for the Tigers, a strong display with the boot.
Leicester dominated early possession and could have gone ahead in the eighth minute when Harry Ellis played a cheeky kick through to the right-hand corner - the bounce denying Tom Varndell.
The Tigers showed real quality coming forward in the opening quarter-hour but Shaun Edwards' drilling of Wasps defence was also apparent as they in turn protected their line resolutely.
Goode then put the first points on the board with a relatively simple penalty conceded by Phil Vickery, the Leicester fly-half missing a more difficult drop goal chance after 18 minutes.
Wasps soaked up the pressure and finally put some phases of their own together midway through the opening period.
Then came Cipriani's moment of brilliance, the young number 10 showing speed to break through Leicester's line and then strength to hold off the last-gasp challenge of Dan Hipkiss.
He then kicked the extras to place Wasps 7-3 ahead, with a penalty for the Tigers - Fraser Waters being adjudged offside - bringing the deficit back to one point on 27 minutes.
The half-hour saw Wasps' second score and it was entirely the work of Eoin Reddan and Paul Sackey, the number nine breaking from behind a scrum on his own 22 before passing to the winger, who fended off one tackle before touching down.
Cipriani missed the extras, with Leicester one point in front moments later when opposite number Goode picked up full-back Johne Murphy's offload and darted through before also converting.
The Tigers extended their lead three minutes into the second half and this time made their possession count with an incisive break started by Goode and continued by Hipkiss and Varndell before the latter passed inside for Seru Rabeni to touch down.
Goode converted with Cipriani then missing the chance to bring Wasps' deficit back to five points after he carved a penalty wide after 53 minutes.
The former then showed Cipriani he can do flair as well with a delightful chip and run, the bounce falling for Goode before he handed the ball to Hipkiss, the centre then sprinting through the middle to score.
Goode converted with Wasps reining in the deficit just past the hour when Sackey scored his second, James Haskell feeding Cipriani along the line - the latter flicking the ball into the winger's path with his back turned.
But Dave Walder missed the conversion, leaving Wasps' deficit at 10 points.
However, when another break through the centre from Leicester ended with prop Martin Castrogiovanni touching down in tremor-inducing fashion - Goode converting - the Tigers were past 30 points and cruising.
Wasps scored a fourth when Sackey broke forward to feed Cipriani for his second, but by this time the clock was against them.