Community Article: What must Leicester do to beat Wasps?

Tom Youngs

First off, I say how unbelievable it is that Leicester have reached their record-breaking 13th consecutive playoff in the same season where 3 coaches have been dismissed and a thrashing out of Europe at the group stage. Instead of breaking apart, the Tigers player have bonded closer together and praise must go to Tigers captain Tom Youngs who despite everything being thrown at him has pulled his group together. Also my sincere condolences to the Youngs family following their tragic news.

At the moment, the scrum under new scrum coach and old player Boris Stankovich has been so close to perfect. Since around March, Tigers have dominated their own scrum and often forced the opposition to turn over or concede a penalty. To defeat Wasps they need to force Wasps to concede at the scrum to get points on the board and gain an early foothold.

Also the defence went from at the beginning of season being very mediocre at best to, in my opinion, the second-best defence now in Premiership behind Saracens. Defence Coach Brett Deacon will be knocking on the door for international honours as a coach and will certainly be giving Paul Gustard a run for his money. To defeat Wasps they need to shut down Danny Cipriani but also have to shut down the second receiver as well to prevent Wasps’ backline from getting good ball to attack with.

I feel that Tigers’ attacking flair is beginning to mould under O’Connor’s style. Telusa Veainu’s try against Newcastle was a very nice move to prevent the drifting of defence and reality could have worked against any team. Some more quick ball and switch plays could see some good tries against a Wasps team with a mediocre defence. Also keep the ball for continuous phases and put Wasps under sustained pressure.

The lineout has been an issue in recent weeks. It was a crisis against Sale, but it improved against Worcester, and it needs to be close to 100% against Wasps to gain foothold and advantage in a game. If the scrum will be getting penalties from the opposition, that will be a good opportunity to kick to the corner and get some tries if the lineout is functioning.

Also the territory kicking needs to be almost excellent to win the game, Leicester can’t afford to kick long and give that threatening back 3 some space to attack, the kicks needs to be high and short so that runners can compete and make the likes of Beale, Wade and Le Roux stay put. Plus, Leicester needs to kick into space and out into Wasps’ 22 and put pressure on the exit. Do this and again Wasps don’t have a platform to attack from and score tries.

On that front as well, Tigers need to be mauling well. I’d say Wasps would have a slightly better pack on paper but we certainly have a better front row (I don’t know why Eddie Jones ever bothered with Tommy Taylor when Tom Youngs is a far better hooker). If we maul really well it will put Wasps under a lot of pressure and encourage the defence to get tighter or join the maul and that creates space out wide for our own backs to exploit if we don’t score from the maul.

So that is what I think Tigers should do to beat Wasps on Saturday and I hope they do and I for one will be at the Ricoh cheering them on!

By Jacob Bassford

Thanks to Jacob for this. You can submit your own community articles here if you’d like to start a discussion.

16 thoughts on “Community Article: What must Leicester do to beat Wasps?

  1. I love the way that in one sentence you state that the Leicester line out is a major weakness and then later claim that Youngs is a much better hooker than Taylor.

    Tom Youngs is a good club player. Taylor has the potential to be a very good international

    1. Agree about Taylor Pablito but not about Youngs. Showed he was a true international on the last Lions tour and was very unfairly slated by the press for his throwing which probably cost his England place. I would have him instead of Hartley any day.

      1. Gosh, I wouldn’t.

        England’s scrum was always weaker with Youngs in it. He couldn’t hook and his line out throwing was decidely suspect. 3 things that form the core of a hooker’s work.

        Think what you like about Hartley, but his set-piece work is undeniably good.

        1. I’m not doubting Hartley is a good hooker but ur saying Youngs can’t hook and Leicester have been rarely turned over cus Youngs has failed to hook so your nitpicking

          1. Leicester rarely get turned over for failing to hook but step it up to international level where the scrums are more evenly balanced and that failure to hook is laid bare

            1. If I remember rightly didn’t Jones say when he took over, that he wouldn’t pick hookers for England that couldn’t hook. And promptly dropped Youngs

              1. He was forced to drop Youngs to bring Hartley back in then he got injured so he couldn’t go to Australia and he just fell out of the pecking order and now he wouldn’t have gone to Argentina anyway cus his wife is very ill

                1. Nobody ‘forced’ EJ to drop Youngs for Hartley. EJ didn’t even include him in the Elite Player Squad for his first 6 Nations.

                  Consequntly, Youngs fell below Hartley, George, Cowan-Dickie and Taylor in the England pecking order.

                  His wife’s illness is terrible but I don’t think it likely that he would have been touring Argentina anyway, even if Hartley had been selected for the Lions.

  2. You mention ensuring the tigers line out is flawless but an important aspect is trying to disrupt the Wasps line out. They make an impressive number of breaks and score a lot of tries from first phase ball off the back of a quick line out from half way. You need to put a jumper up and try to make a mess of things so Robson/Simpson can’t get the ball away so quickly.

  3. Regarding your claim that leicester’s defence is the second best in the premiership. I will admit they are very strong defensively and their performance against wasps really showed that they can hold their ground. However I think that it isn’t quite up there with some of the other club’s

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