Tigers cling on to beat Quins

Date published: October 25 2015

Leicester Tigers made it two wins out of two in the Premiership as they came from behind to edge Harlequins 22-19 at Welford Road on Sunday.

The Tigers were the better team in the opening half-hour and deservedly went into a 12-6 lead via four Tommy Bell penalties.

Nick Evans responded with a pair of three-pointers before Jack Clifford powered over to give the London-based outfit a 13-12 advantage at the interval.

Evans added two more from the tee to Bell's one as Quins took a 19-15 buffer into the final 10 minutes, but Pearce's try proved to be the winning score.

Both teams enjoyed successful opening rounds in the Premiership with the Tigers defeating London Irish and Conor O'Shea's men overcoming Wasps.

But it was the hosts who started this match on the front foot and went 3-0 ahead through Bell's penalty following an infringement at the scrum.

The respective fly-halves then traded three-pointers before a long-range howitzer by the Leicester stand-off moved the Midlands' side 9-3 clear.

Evans reduced the deficit from the tee, but the home team were generally in control and Bell rewarded their endeavour via another penalty.

However, Quins managed to ascertain some control on proceedings and Dave Ward's excellent run allowed the visitors to pressurise the opposition defence.

After several minutes camped on the Tigers' line, Clifford received the ball and powered across the whitewash for a 13-12 lead at the break.

Like much of the first half, the early stages of the second period was dominated by the boots of the two pivots as Evans and Bell kicked a penalty apiece.

Harlequins were now in the ascendency and the accuracy of their stand-off paid dividends once more as they went 19-15 in front.

But they failed to make that dominance truly count and, with arguably their first significant attack of the half, Leicester replacement Pearce touched down after a driving maul.

Quins pressed late on as Sam Harrison was yellow carded for Richard Cockerill's team, but the hosts remained resilient in the final moments of the contest.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Try: Pearce
Con: Williams
Pen: Bell 5
Yellow Card: Harrison

For Harlequins:
Try: Clifford
Con: Evans
Pen: Evans 4

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait(c), 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Tommy Bell, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Tom Croft, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Riccardo Brugnara, 18mDan Cole, 19 Laurence Pearce, 20 Joe Maksymiw, 21 Ben White, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Matt Smith.

Harlequins: Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 George Lowe, 12 Harry Sloan, 11 Charlie Walker, 10 Nick Evans (C), 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Jack Clifford (c), 5 Sam Twomey, 4 James Horwill, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Nick Easter, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague.

Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick, Paul Dix
TMO: Rowan Kitt