The Leicester head coach, Richard Cockerill, heaped praise on Billy Twelvetrees after the stand-in fly-half scored all his team's points in a 29-11 win over Wasps at Welford Road. Twelvetrees scored two tries, which he converted, and five penalties as Tigers overcame a slow start to overwhelm a doughty Wasps side.
"Billy has improved this year out of sight," Cockerill said. "His ball-carrying has been really good for us and, as you saw, his goal-kicking was very, very good."
Twelvetrees was playing inside Anthony Allen, who has only just returned from a long-term injury, and the combination took some time to bed in, with Wasps taking an early advantage.
"Billy was a bit rusty at 10 because he's not played there for a little while, and Anthony Allen at 12 hadn't played for three months, so that combination was a little bit rusty," Cockerill said. "It was a little bit laboured but you have to give credit to Wasps."
Twelvetrees insisted that, despite his 29-point haul, he was not at his best. "My overall game at 10 was a little bit rusty, and we weren't very fluent in the first half, but in the second half we brought a different intensity," he said. "The forwards started to dominate and that makes it easier."
But he played down talk of an England call-up: "For me it's just about helping Leicester out and playing well in the Leicester shirt."
The Wasps director of rugby, Dai Young, was pleased with his side's defensive effort but admitted they had come against a team with more firepower.
"Some of our defence was heroic," Young said. "But you can't spend the amount of time defending that we did against a side like that. Unfortunately, when we did get in the right areas a line-out went astray or we gave a couple of penalties away."
Leicester: Tries Twelvetrees 2; Conversions Twelvetrees 2; Penalties Twelvetrees 5. Wasps: Try Berry; Penalties Daly, Davis.
Leicester G Murphy (capt); H Agulla (S Hamilton, 64), M Smith, A Allen (J Staunton, 75), A Tuilagi; B Twelvetrees, B Youngs (S Harrison, 72); B Stankovich (L Mulipola, 72), G Chuter (R Hawkins, 15), D Cole (J White, 75), S Mafi, G Parling, T Croft, J Salvi (B Woods, 75), T Waldrom (E Slater, 70).
Wasps H Southwell; T Varndell (G Wallace, 62), E Daly, R Flutey, R Haughton (C Mayor, 49); R Davis, N Berry (J Simpson, 51); T Payne, R Webber (T Lindsay, 72), B Broster (J Castex, 72), R Birkett, M Wentzel (capt), T Du Plessis (B Baker, 68), J Poff, S Jones.
Referee T Wrigglesworth (RFU).
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