Rob Verbakel on the charge at Welford Road © Peter Short
Match Report Tigers 15 Wanderers 23: Defence wins derby day
Prop Ethan Waller praised the forward effort as the Wanderers scored an impressive away win at Leicester to start their Aviva 'A' League campaign in style.
Prolonged periods of defence kept the home side at arm's length and when the Wanderers went tight, the pack did the rest.
"It's a good way to start the season," he told SaintsTV. "The lads really stuck at it and played sensible, away game rugby.
"It was a real battle of attrition. We didn't have a lot of ball but when we did have it we used it well. I think we had a really good game through the forwards and when it came to the key moments in the line outs and the scrums, we managed to push them over."
In far from ideal, greasy conditions, both sides struggled to create clear cut chances, the Wanderers bagging their two tries through the scrum and Leicester capitalising on their own driving game, as well as a kind bounce of the ball.
Not before Sam Olver opened the Wanderers' account from close in having narrowly missed with a 55-metre sighter, but from the resulting restart Henry Purdy latched onto a loose ball to give Tigers immediate repost.
Sam Harrison also converted but when the hosts failed to recover from making a mess of the Wanderers' restart, Nutley was the beneficiary of a five metre scrum that went against the head and Olver again found the mark to make his skipper's score a seven-pointer and recapture a lead they would never cease.
Impressive in the scrum, the Wanderers were also defending superbly as the Tigers launched wave after wave of attack. Harrison badly shanked a penalty effort and after a driving maul was held up, Olver rewarded a fierce Wanderers siege on the breakdown with three more points.
Another pair of chances were sliced wide by Harrison before the break as he continued to have one of those nights and it wouldn't improve in the second half. Another Tigers maul this time took Michael Noone over but with Harrison hacking the conversion left, the Wanderers still led and Olver put his side four clear with another penalty.
Again they were forced to defend and again they came up with the answers, GJ van Velze typifying the rearguard effort with a crunching hit in midfield and Vasily Artemyev putting his body on the line as Tigers struggled to find spaces despite prolonged periods on the ball.
The Wanderers on the other hand made perfect use of their time in possession, Glenn Dickson sending a huge touch finding penalty upfield and the forwards proceeding to win a penalty try after a couple of line out drives and scrums.
It was hard earned reward after the time spent guarding their line and Tigers had no answer as the clock wound down with the visitors well inside enemy territory.
2mins WAND Miss pen Olver
10mins WAND Pen Olver 0-3
12mins TIGS Try Purdy Con Harrison 7-3
14mins WAND Try Nutley Con Olver 7-10
24mins TIGS Miss pen Harrison
32mins WAND Pen Olver 7-13
34mins TIGS Miss pen Harrison
HALF-TIME TIGS 7 WAND 13
47mins TIGS Try Noone 12-13
49mins WAND Pen Olver 12-16
65mins TIGS Pen Osbourne 15-16
74mins WAND Try Penalty Con Dickson 15-23
FULL-TIME TIGS 15 WAND 23
TIGERS - Humphreys; Catchpole, Hepetema, Dunn, Purdy; Harrison, Tresidder; Bristow, Chuter (capt), Schuster, Price, de Chaves, Wells, Gibson, Noone
Reps - Farnworth, Brugnara, Pasquali, Cain, Guillaume, Prince, Osbourne, Williams
WANDERERS - Artemyev; Collins, Diggin, Stephenson, Packman; Olver, Glynn; E Waller, McMillan, Ma'afu, Craig, Verbakel, Harry, Nutley (capt), van Velze
Reps - Marshall, Warren, Parkins, Woolford, Betts, A Day, G Dickson, Skelcey
Referee - Martin Fox