Wasps 11 Leicester 21
If you cannot beat them - and Wasps certainly did not manage that - then join them. Leicester's Tigers arrived at Sudbury armed with their new contracts worth pounds 1,000 per month, and afterwards Wasps' new captain, Lawrence Dallaglio, announced that his club is putting together a deal that will help safeguard their players from the predations of the likes of Newcastle.
Four have gone north and Wasps want to stem the trickle before it becomes a flood. Dallaglio, in positive mood after the defeat by the champions, said: "I think when First Division clubs such as Bath and Leicester get some money together then we will have some problems. There will be a lot of player movement."
To this end Dallaglio announced: "We are in the process of setting something up ourselves, as we and every other club has to. We are working hard to keep hold of our players. We have enough young talent to make sure we stay at the top."
Wasps' president, Bill Treadwell, confirmed this, adding: "Contracts are being produced, when we actually implement them is another matter, but it is interesting to see how Leicester got around the moratorium by saying theirs are for promotional work. We've been working on ours for some time. It's all in hand."
The new responsibilities did not affect Dallaglio, who had a storming game in his favoured position of No 8. He was watched by the England manager Jack Rowell from the stand and more discreetly by Rob Andrew and his former captain Dean Ryan from a sponsor's balcony.
All three cannot fail to have been impressed by the 23-year-old Dallaglio's devastating tackles, pounding runs, superlative ball-handling skills, as well as his obvious leadership qualities.
Sadly, apart from some fine work at the line-outs by Matt Greenwood, there was little else on offer from Wasps. Chris Braithwaite filled in adequately at stand-off for Andrew and put in some stunning touch kicks, but his thunder was stolen by Leicester's John Liley, who was forced to take over at outside-half when Jez Harris suffered a shoulder injury.
The full-back put in some telling breaks and kicks but more importantly got his line going on numerous occasions. He matched what Andrew achieved against South Africa in 1994 with a full-house of scores. It is doubtful whether Rowell pencilled Liley's name alongside those of Mike Catt and David Pears, but Dallaglio's name may well have been added to an already impressive list of back-row contenders for the match against South Africa.
Wasps: Try Ufton; Penalties Ufton 2. Leicester: Tries Liley, Tarbuck; Conversion Liley; Penalties Liley 2; Drop goal Liley.
Wasps: J Ufton; P Hopley, D Hopley, A James, S Roiser; C Braithwaite, A Gomarsall; N Popplewell, K Dunn, I Dunston, M Greenwood, R Kinsey, M White, L Dallaglio (capt), R Pool-Jones.
Leicester: J Liley; S Hackney, S Potter, R Robinson, R Underwood (capt); J Harris (J Hamilton, 25), A Kardooni; G Rowntree, R Cockerill, D Garforth, M Johnson, M Poole, O Wingham, C Tarbuck, N Back.
Referee: A Spreadbury (Bristol).Reuse content