Estelles excels as Wanderers win against Leicester
Juan Pablo Estelles scored twice as the Wanderers won their derby battle with Leicester Tigers 20-11 at Franklin's Gardens on Monday night.
The Argentina back grabbed an eye-catching second try, having already latched onto a lovely chip from Sam Olver for his first.
Estelles was eventually replaced after 58 minutes, with his arm having been strapped up, and he received a warm round of applause from the home fans.
The summer recruit will now hope to make his way into the first-team picture in the coming weeks, having only played once for Jim Mallinder’s men, as a replacement in an Anglo-Welsh Cup win at Newcastle Falcons.
Olver also played in that game, and he added five points with the boot as the Wanderers, skippered by Ben Nutley, who had played the second half of Saints’ defeat to Leinster on Saturday, scrapped to victory against the Leicester second string.
Replacement Sion Bennett rounded things off with a try as the Wanderers moved above Leicester in the Aviva A League Northern Conference.
Leicester’s start had been as bright as their fluorescent kit, and they went ahead with a penalty from Tom Hardwick.
But the Wanderers responded well and after the forwards put the pressure on from a lineout drive, fly-half Olver saw space in behind and set up Estelles with a deft chip.
Olver added the conversion and Estelles soon had his second score of the night, turning on the turbos and sidestepping his way through the Leicester defence.
Olver narrowly missed the chance to add the extras and Hardwick soon cut the gap to six points with another penalty.
But the Wanderers were making all the running, with Estelles looking sharp as he continually tried to offload to centre partner Nafi Tuitavake.
Leicester kept putting in the hits though, and they were to score next as their forwards put the pressure on and scrum-half Ben White picked up the pieces to dive over in the corner.
The conversion was missed, leaving the Wanderers a point up at the break.
Olver extended the advantage early in the second half with a routine penalty, but it was largely uneventful until Leicester’s Ryan Olowofela was sin-binned.
The Wanderers made the most of their man advantage as back row forward Bennett popped up out wide to score, stretching the lead to nine points.
There was still time for prop Matt Beesley to be sin-binned as Leicester cranked up the heat in the closing stages.
But the Wanderers defended superbly and won a scrum against the head, frustrating their opponents in the pursuit of a losing bonus point.
Wanderers: Furbank; Packman, Tuitavake (Strachan 53), Estelles (Grayson 58), Emery (Green 66); Olver, Mitchell; Beesley, Fish, Ilnicki (Painter 65); Moon, J Onojaife; Nutley (c) (Bennett 51), Ludlam, D Onojaife (Peters 71).
Leicester: Simmons; R Olowolofela, C Thacker, Bryant, Yawayawa; Hardwick, White (J Olowofela 73); Brugnara, H Thacker (c) (Mahoney 40), Betts; Grahamslaw, Lewis; Owen, Evans (Reffell 51), Tuilagi (Fenner 62).
Referee: Dean Richards