Rugby Union: Logan exploits weakened Tigers

Wasps 45 Leicester 17
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The Independent Online
THE SCOTLAND wing Kenny Logan helped sweep Wasps up to fifth in the table after a serious mauling of the Premiership leaders, Leicester Tigers, at Loftus Road yesterday.

However, the match was devalued because of the decision - courtesy of the Mayfair Agreement last spring - to stage club games contemporaneously with internationals in order to avoid, among other things, fixture congestion at the end of the season. It is probably now just a matter of time before the whingeing starts.

The Leicester absentees were legion. Eight were on England duty against the Netherlands on Saturday, including the entire front row, the lock Martin Johnson, the flanker Neil Back and the No 8 Martin Corry. It was little wonder that the Wasps pack ruled the roost and called the shots almost from the outset. Injuries to a further seven quality players further restricted the Tigers selection, while Wasps were minus just three internationals.

Afterwards Dean Richards, Leicester's director of rugby, while declaring he had no intention of moaning, did have a dart at the fixture arrangements when he said: "I find it ludicrous that we should have to play a game such as this on an international weekend. We just have to get on with it, but it makes this league something of a lottery.

"The possibility of winning away from home is all important, and that opportunity was taken away as soon as the game was assigned to this particular day. It doesn't seem to me that a great deal of thought was put into the idea. I feel sorry for the players who have put in all that effort to put us at the top of the premiership."

The Tigers tried. Their youngsters were spirited and full of fight, but Logan's 20 points, Trevor Leota's and Paul Volley's brace of tries apiece, and the home side's overall superiority in the forwards took its toll.

Despite a well taken try by the talented full-back Geordan Murphy and another from the valiant Paul Gustard, Leicester lacked power and weight up front to build the necessary platform. But, even after one of their heaviest league defeats (the biggest was a 47-9 trouncing at Bath two seasons ago), Leicester remain at the top of the table. And the title race remains wide open.

Wasps: Tries Roiser, Leota 2, Volley 2, Logan; Conversions Logan 3; Penalties Logan 3. Leicester: Tries Murphy, Gustard ; Conversions Stransky 2; Penalty Stransky.

Wasps: J Ufton; S Roiser, N Greenstock, L Scrase, K Logan; A King, A Gomarsall; D Molloy (A Black, 70), T Leota, D Macer, 75), I Dunston, M Weedon (capt), S Shaw (A Reed, 74), E Rollitt, J Worsley, P Volley.

Leicester: G Murphy; L Loyd, J Overend, J Stuart, M Horak; J Stransky (capt), J Hamilton; D Jelley, D West, H Toews (P Freshwater, 74), N Fletcher, D Addison (B Smith, 75), O Wingham, P Gustard, L Moody.

Referee: B Campsall (Halifax).