Despite a dominant first half performance, including a try for Howard Packman, the opening 40 ended level at 5-5 and while Cam Dolan would add a second shortly after the hour, Tigers’ driving lineout proved a fatal weapon and chief provider of Harry Thacker’s match-winning hat-trick.
While the visitors were able to get the squeeze on through the maul, it was the Wanderers scrum that had all the pressure on early doors. Yet despite a raft of penalties and a yellow card for loose head Tom Bristow, Tigers clung on.
The first score instead came in open play, Will Hooley exploiting space in behind expertly with the boot and Packman getting the ball down with a well-controlled finish just two minutes before the break.
It was short-lived joy, however, Ethan Waller seeing yellow as the visitors’ maul came into play and Thacker riding the next drive over to level things up with the half’s final play.
When the teams re-emerged, Leicester continued to frustrate their hosts in the loose and when one pass failed to go to hand, a series of hacks up field gained vital territory.
The very next attack saw Rhys Williams sent into the left corner to capture the lead, but this time it was the Wanderers who found a good response.
With pressure on at a five-metre scrum, Dolan made the most of a penalty advantage to muscle his way over and when Will Hooley converted things were again back as they had started.
Another yellow card for the home side was to take its toll though and with Tom Mercey missing, Tigers again went to the corners.
There was still just a score in it when Thacker went over for a second on 72, but in added time the hooker-cum-back row’s treble ensured there was to be no comeback at the death.
36mins TIGERS Yellow Bristow
38mins WAND Try Packman 5-0
39mins WAND Yellow Waller
40mins TIGERS Try Thacker 5-5
HALF-TIME WAND 5 TIGERS 5
62mins WAND Try Dolan Con Hooley 12-12
70mins WAND Yellow Mercey
72mins TIGERS Try Thacker Con Mele 12-19
82mins TIGERS Try Thacker 12-24
FULL-TIME WAND 12 TIGERS 24
WANDERERS Hooley; Packman, Waldouck, Mallinder, Elliott; Olver, Hogson; E Waller, Williams, Denman, Onojaife, Parkins, Nutley (capt), Harrison, Dolan
Reps: Marshall, Stout, Mercey, Ludlam, Taylor-Dawes, A Day, Skelcey, Segun
TIGERS Worth; Thompstone, Catchpole, Roberts, Loamanu; Bryant, Mele; Bristow, Briggs, Pasquali, Whetton, Price, Beckett, Thacker, Pearce
Reps: Farnworth, Brugnara, Sands, Peterson, Milne,Prince, Pohe, Williams