Premiership: Joe Ford gets all Leicester's points as Tigers earn 19-14 win over Wasps

Joe Ford's early second-half try for Leicester came when Wasps were down to 14 men
Joe Ford's early second-half try for Leicester came when Wasps were down to 14 men
English Premiership
Leicester (9) 19
Try: Ford Con: Ford Pens: Ford 4
Wasps (14) 14
Tries: Watson 2 Cons: Miller 2

Leicester stand-off Joe Ford scored all the Tigers' 19 points as the hosts hung on to edge a narrow derby win over Coventry neighbours Wasps.

Ford kicked four penalties, as well as improving his own Tigers try.

All Wasps' points came in the first half from two Marcus Watson touchdowns, both converted by Rob Miller.

But, after trailing 14-9 at half-time, Ford's converted try and fourth penalty earned a first Premiership win for Geordan Murphy's men since 5 January.

Wasps thought they might snatch it at the end, only for referee JP Doyle to rule out Biyi Alo's score.

Defeat also came at further cost as Wasps lost newly-capped Wales flanker Thomas Young, who came off just three minutes into the match.

But the early diagnosis, ahead of next Saturday's date with Scotland at Murrayfield for Warren Gatland's Six Nations table toppers, was that it was just a bang on the hip for Wasps coach Dai Young's son.

After Watson's early try in the right corner was converted by Miller, Ford pegged the visitors back with the first of his two penalties.

Miller also converted Watson's second try from the right touchline, but Ford's third penalty pegged Wasps back to only a five-point lead at half-time.

The visitors were then rocked by their own indiscipline when Wasps' England hooker Tommy Taylor was sin-binned for ripping the ball on the floor.

Within five minutes, Ford went in to level the score, before putting Tigers ahead for the first time with his own conversion.

Wasps thought they had scored a third try when prop Will Stuart went close, only for the TMO decision to be adjudged a knock-on.

Instead, it was Tigers who got the final score in front of their biggest Premiership attendance of the season, a near capacity crowd of 25,258, when Ford kicked his fourth penalty.

There was another huge scare when Wasps' replacement prop Alo looked to have levelled the scores on his debut, but the refereeing decision again went with the hosts.

Wasps' Marcus Watson matched his ninth-minute opener with a second try on 29 minutes at Leicester
Marcus Watson matched his ninth-minute opener with a second try on 29 minutes at Welford Road

Leicester head coach Geordan Murphy told BBC Radio Leicester:

"We had a lot of reasons where we could've made excuses today had we not won. It's very rare that both of your scrum-halves go off before half-time and you have to put a flanker on the wing.

"But we spoke about it at half-time how we wanted to play and we made the adjustments.

"Joe Ford was brilliant, he stepped up and did pretty much everything. The guys did so many amazing things individually and collectively to keep Wasps out.

"We literally put our bodies on the line and that's the most pleasing aspect. That was a performance all about character."

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

"First and foremost, you've got to congratulate Leicester. With a lot of injuries and playing players out of position, they did pretty well to stay in the game.

"But having said that, I can't help but feel robbed to be honest. We had three disallowed tries and a massive penalty count against us.

"Some were genuine penalties, but there were some real big moments in the game that swung against us.

"We're really disappointed, I'm really proud of the boys. There's lots of things that weren't perfect and that we can do better, but that's a game we should have won."

Leicester Tigers: Worth; Holmes, Owen, Eastmond, Aspland-Robinson; Ford, White; Gigena, T Youngs (capt), Cole, Spencer, Kitchener, Williams, Thompson, Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Sarto for Owen (19), Harrison for White (22), Evans for Harrison (40), Ma'afu for Gigena (49), Kerr for Youngs (62), Fitzgerald for Williams (63), Heyes for Cole (74), Wells for Kitchener (75),

Wasps: Le Roux; Watson, de Jongh, Lovobalavu, Bassett; Miller, Simpson; Harris, Taylor, Stuart, Rowlands, Gaskell, Johnson, Young, Carr.

Replacements: Willis for Young (3), West for Harris (67), Cruse for Taylor (67), Matthews for Rowlands (69), Alo for Stuart (71),

Not Used: Hampson, Umaga, Neal.

Sin Bin: Taylor (42).

Attendance: 25,258

Referee: JP Doyle (England).

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