Wasps ruined England’s World Cup-winning captain’s big day in front of a crowd of 66,000 at Twickenhamsecuring his last venture in a Tigers jersey before his retirement – and his remarkable 500th career start – ended in an emphatic 39-14 defeat.
Leicester never recovered from a scintillating Wasps opener that saw them score 13 unanswered runs in eight minutes, with former England stars Joe Worsley, Josh Lewsey and Simon Shaw producing towering displays.
Wasps skipper Lawrence Dallaglio was also not far behind in the work-rate stakes as his side highlighted their mastery of English rugby’s play-off system to clinch another Championship crown after finishing again second in the league’s 22-game regular campaign.
Johnson, arguably England’s greatest rugby player of all time, was reduced to a mere mortal one afternoon when the Tigers finished a distant second best.
Neil Back, Johnson’s former colleague for club and country, also got off to a miserable start, as did Leicester manager John Wells.
But Wasps supremo Warren Gatland bid farewell in style before returning home to New Zealand and taking up a coaching job with the Waikato Chiefs.
After such a blistering start, Wasps never looked back, securing the title with 26 points from fullback Mark van Gisbergen, including a try, touchdowns from Tom Voyce and Rob Hoadley, as well as a drop- goal from Alex King.
Leicester could only manage a consolation try from Scott Bemand and three penalties from Andy Goode in response, leaving Johnson and company, 35, without silverware.
On this day in 2005: Martin Johnson stung by wasps during Leicester farewell
Source link On this day in 2005: Martin Johnson stung by wasps during Leicester farewell