Perfect day by part-time Walder leaves Leicester licking wounds

Wasps 37 Leicester 30

Dave Walder has spread his wings by becoming a backs coach to Rosslyn Park in National League One, but the Wasps fly-half is not stinting in his day job of supplying the wings at Adams Park, as this knockabout match proved. Leicester, the reigning champions, had four tries and a 12-point lead at the end of the first half and appeared to be home and hosed until Walder called the fire brigade, kicking the corners and all his goals to lead a remarkable turnaround.

"Coaching at Rosslyn Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays has helped me with understanding the game," said Walder, easily the top No 10 at Wasps now Danny Cipriani has gone and Riki Flutey has expressed his preference to play at inside-centre. "It's good to have Riki alongside me as a playmaker.

"There was desperation at half-time but with control. We analysed where Leicester's first-half tries had come from: one was first phase, one was turnover, one was a quick tap. So the problem was, we weren't making them go through phases. And we knew when Jez [the Leicester fly-half Jeremy Staunton] went off they didn't have a goal-kicker so it was important to make them play from deep."

It certainly hampered Leicester when Billy Twelvetrees moved from centre to cover for Staunton, who went off with a sore achilles tendon. The teenaged George Ford is the other cover for the crocked Toby Flood and for a club accustomed to packing its bench with internationals, the Tigers are unusually short due to injuries.

Wasps, for their part, have Seb Jewell, with 13 Premiership appearances for Harlequins behind him, as their fly-half alternative.

Wasps also saw Tom Varndell limp off after the super-quick wing had sprinted in for two tries against his old club. But they took maximum advantage of Leicester's obvious discomfort with the refereeing directives which favour the attacking side after the tackle. It has been a sine qua non in the Tigers' years of success that they rip ball from opponents at will. They need to put it right again.

After Mark van Gisbergen missed a medium-range conversion of Varndell's opening try, Walder kicked a penalty from further out and racked up 22 points including four second-half penalties which reined in Leicester's 30-18 interval lead. The Tigers had made the home defence look shoddy as Twelvetrees, Matt Smith and Tom Croft scored tries, and then there was Ben Youngs. The incumbent England scrum-half tapped a penalty to himself after a scrum offence and ran a smidgen over 60 metres without a finger laid on him.

Leicester have not conceded as many points against English opposition since losing 43-25 at Bath in 2006. They might have done better if Twelvetrees had landed a penalty for a potential 33-24 lead on 66 minutes or, with four minutes left, Geordan Murphy had dealt with a chip by Walder, which bounced towards the left corner with a scintilla of sidespin. It was hard to judge what was in Murphy's mind – he may not have been sure himself, having just got up after a bang on the head – but he let in Richard Haughton, the wing signed from Saracens, to hack on and score the clinching try. Walder's sumptuous conversion made it eight from eight for him.

The game at large is patting itself on the back for the return of tries, despite concerns that scoring might be getting too easy. Well, these teams met here in the second half of the 2008-9 season which was generally considered to have been ruined by the experimental law variations. Wasps won 36-29 and Cipriani at fly-half landed eight kicks for 21 points. Plus ça change...

Wasps: Tries Varndell 2, Haughton; Conversions Walder 2; Penalties Walder 6. Leicester: Tries Smith, Youngs, Twelvetrees, Croft; Conversions Staunton 2; Penalties Staunton 2.

Wasps: M van Gisbergen; T Varndell (R Haughton, 45), D Waldouck, R Flutey, D Lemi; D Walder, N Berry; T Payne, R Webber (J Ward, 54), B Broster, S Shaw, J Cannon (R Birkett, 44), J Worsley (D Ward-Smith, 13-20), T Rees (capt), A Powell (Ward-Smith, 60).

Leicester G Murphy (capt; H Agulla, 77); S Hamilton, M Smith, B Twelvetrees, A Tuilagi; J Staunton (M Tuilagi, h-t), B Youngs; M Ayerza, G Chuter, M Castrogiovanni (D Cole, 50), E Slater, G Skivington, T Croft, B Woods, T Waldrom.

Referee: W Barnes (London).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible