Leicester 29 London Wasps 11: Twelvetrees stakes England claim by scoring all of Tigers points
Billy Twelvetrees pressed a late claim to be included in England's Six Nations squad by scoring all 29 of Leicester's points as they brushed aside struggling London Wasps.
Usually an inside centre, 23-year-old Twelvetrees started at fly-half in the absence of the injured Toby Flood and he reveled in the role, scoring two tries and kicking 19 points.
The home side overcame a sluggish start to run out comfortable winners in cold, blustery conditions.
Leicester, without Flood and fellow injured England players Manu Tuilagi and Louis Deacon, were never at their most fluent, particularly behind the scrum, but they were still too much for Wasps.
King Billy: Twelvetrees dives over for his second try
Second-bottom Wasps had made a solid
start, belying their lowly league standing, and the home side took the
best part of half an hour to find their feet.
Elliot Daly and Twelvetrees exchanged early penalties, before Wasps
scored the opening try after 14 minutes as winger Tom Varndell rescued a
move which looked to have broken down.
He made good ground down the left before Berry was able to charge over untouched to put his side 8-3 up.
After pulling a penalty back, Twelvetrees provided the spark his side and the match needed.
His well-timed pass put Geordan Murphy into a gap and opened up the
Wasps defence. The Irishman's inside pass to Thomas Waldrom went to
ground off Varndell making the covering tackle, and Twelvetrees was
quickest to react, picking up the ball to dive over and put his side
Thomas the tank: England No 8 Waldrom takes on Wasps' defence
He converted his own try, then exchanged penalties with Wasps fly-half Ryan Davis as Tigers went to the break 16-11 up.
The second half again saw Wasps start well, applying pressure on the
Leicester line, but as with the first half they lacked the ability to
really punish their hosts.
And it was not long before Tigers asserted real dominance, controlling
the tempo and possession to eventually close out the game in a
relatively comfortable fashion.
Twelvetrees kicked another two penalties as Tigers edged out to a 22-11
lead, the second resulting in Wasps prop Tim Payne being sent to the
sin-bin with 20 minutes remaining.
Leicester looked to make the most of their numerical superiority, launching a series of raids on the Wasps line.
Youngs one: England scrum-half Ben Youngs was on form for Leicester
Anthony Allen and Geordan Murphy both went close, and Wasps resisted until the 72nd minute.
Inevitably it was Twelvetrees who provided the coup de grace, but he had plenty of help from his inside-half partner.
He bagged his second try of the night following yet another series of
determined attacks on the Wasps line, collecting a smart pass from
England scrum-half Ben Youngs to score right under the posts, and
converted his own try to put the seal on a convincing victory.
Leicester's win moves them level on points with third-placed
Northampton, while Wasps remain second from bottom but still 10 points
clear of bottom placed Newcastle Falcons, who lost at home to Exeter.