The Wanderers produced a supreme all-round performance to come from behind and take maximum Aviva ‘A’ League points in the first senior East Midlands derby of 2015/16.
While Leicester led at the break thanks to Ollie Bryant’s charge down, a huge half of defensive defiance kept the Wandies within a score and despite conceding immediately after the break, the first of two tries for Luke Eves lit the blue touch paper.
The bonus point was secured before the hour, Tom Collins and Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi adding to a penalty try - each in the same corner - before Eves slid in to complete the rout eight minutes from time at Leicester Grammar School.
It was a typically hard hitting, abrasive start from both sides, but an engaging game wouldn’t see its first points until the 34th minute when Sam Olver knocked over a simple penalty. In between the kick off and that score, however, there had been a handful of chances for both sides.
A pair of five metre line outs for the hosts were well defended by the Wanderers and Sion Bennett also stole a crucial turnover with Tigers sniffing for the line. At the other end, skipper Reece Marshall was held up well, albeit in a spell that ultimately led to Olver’s three pointer.
Ironically, despite applying plenty of pressure with ball in hand, it was from a charge down that Leicester would score the game’s first try, Ricardo Brugnara getting a hand on James Wilson’s kick, charging for the line and offloading smartly from the deck to Bryant.
The fly half also added a penalty before the interval to give Tigers a deserved lead and when Christian Loamanu extend the advantage in a quick fire start to the second half, things were looking bleak for the Wanderers.
One thing they did have in their favour though was the elements and using the wind to their advantage, the backs kicked the territory for the forwards to take control. The set piece was on point all night long and from the back of a particularly solid scrum, Harry Mallinder’s surge and delicate offload sent Eves crashing in.
Within minutes they were in front, the impressive Tom Kessell measuring his kick through superbly for Collins, who blitzed the cover to go in the corner.
Time and again the Wanderers pegged Tigers back and after a bruising set of phases drew a penalty, Leicester tacklers then impeded Kessell on his way to the line, a penalty try the result for the scrum-half’s sharpness.
His half back partner was also catching the eye, Olver nailing a perfect half dozen kicks on the evening and also setting in motion the move for the bonus point score. Scooping up a Leicester spill from his toes, the fly half breached the home 22 and another kick in behind from Mallinder was niftily finished off by Hobbs-Awoyemi on the slide.
At 13-31, Tigers thought they had found a way back into the game when Paolo Odogwu scored on the left, but with play coming way back upfield for an earlier offside, the visitors fittingly had the final say.
Again Olver was to the fore with a pair of kicks - the first to peg Tigers onto their own five-metre line, the second in behind the sticks when the hosts overthrew their lineout - and Eves won the race to finish the try and Tigers off.
34mins WAND Pen Olver 0-3
37mins TIGS Try Bryant 5-3
39mins TIGS Pen Bryant 8-3
HALF-TIME TIGERS 8 WAND 3
42mins TIGERS Try Loamanu 13-3
46mins WAND Try Eves Con Olver 13-10
49mins WAND Try Collins Con Olver 13-17
56mins WAND Try Penalty Con Olver 13-24
60mins WAND Try Hobbs-Awoyemi Con Olver 13-31
73mins WAND Try Eves Con Olver 13-38
FULL-TIME TIGERS 13 WAND 38
TIGERS Worth; Loamanu, Roberts, Thacker, Camacho; Bryant, Harrison (capt); Brugnara, Vanvuuren, Pasquali, Maksymiw, Wells, Beckett, Owen, Crane
Farnsworth, Sio, Hogan, F Tuilagi, Novas, White, Umaga
WANDERERS Wilson; Collins, Hutchinson, Mallinder, Furbank; Olver, Kessell; Hobbs-Awoyemi, Williams, Denman, Craig, Woodford, Marshall (capt), Ludlum, Bennett