Tigers get the better of Irish

Date published: October 18 2015

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Leicester Tigers got their Premiership campaign off to a good start when they beat London Irish 28-16 at the  Madejski Stadium on Sunday. 

Indiscipline from the hosts and a composed kicking display from Tommy Bell handed the Tigers the win.  

Bell gave the visitors an early lead with a penalty goal on three minutes, before Chris Noakes spurned an opportunity to level the scores after the Exiles had been awarded a penalty at the scrum. 

The Tigers took full advantage and stretched their lead out to ten points with the game's first try, which came after Phil Betham showed great timing to intercept a London Irish pass. 

Bell added the conversion to make it 0-10 after as many minutes, but Noakes found a quick response when he elected to take the three points after strong defensive work from the hosts earned a penalty. 

Bell restored the ten-point cushion with another penalty goal for Leicester, but a huge effort in the maul created a first try of the game for the Exiles, scored by Jebb Sinclair and green-lit by the TMO. 

Noakes converted to make it 10-13, but Bell was on target once more with the boot to stretch the deficit to six points. 

The hosts then had a further try scrubbed off by the TMO, but it resulted in a penalty, which Noakes converted to narrow the gap back to three, before Bell stepped up once more, just shy of half-time, to make it 13-19. 

The ill-disciplined nature of the game endured into the opening exchanges of the second half, allowing Noakes to put the hosts back to within three, but Bell once again responded in kind. 

Just after the hour, Opeti Fonua saw a try ruled out by the TMO, and it remained at 16-22 until the closing stages, when Bell added his sixth and seventh penalties of the afternoon to seal the win.

The scorers:

For London Irish:
Try: Sinclair
Con: Noakes
Pens: Noakes 3

For Leicester Tigers:
Try: Betham
Con: Bell
Pens: Bell 7

Irish: 15 Andrew Fenby, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Tom Fowlie, 12 Eoin Griffin, 11 Topsy Ojo, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 Luke Narraway, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Matt Symons, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Halani Aulika, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Court
Replacements: 16 Gerard Ellis, 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 David Sisi, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Fergus Mulchrone

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait (c), 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 George Catchpole, 10 Tommy Bell, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Laurence Pearce, 7 Lachlan McCaffrey, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 4 Mike Williams, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Greg Bateman, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola 
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Riccardo Brugnara, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Opeti Fonua, 21 Ben White, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Paolo Odogwu

Referee: Matthew Carley

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