Planet Rugby

Gibson snatches late draw for Tigers

05th January 2014 15:54

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miles benjamin leicester bath

First over: Miles Benjamin

Jamie Gibson's try at the death meant that Leicester and Bath shared the spoils with a 27-27 draw at Welford Road on Sunday.

In an exciting first half, the West Country outfit took a 20-14 lead into the interval though Anthony Watson and Francois Louw tries and the accurate boot of George Ford.

Miles Benjamin's touchdown and nine points from Owen Williams was Leicester's response before the interval and Williams added a fourth three-pointer in the second period.

Jonathan Joseph's score appeared to have secured a victory for the visitors, but Thomas Waldrom and Gibson went over to level matters.

Despite enduring an indifferent campaign so far this season, it was the Tigers that opened the scoring with a fine move. Richard Cockerill's men were patient with ball in hand before an overlap was created out wide and Benjamin scampered over.

Although Williams was wide with a difficult conversion, the fly-half, who impressed last week against Sale Sharks, kicked a penalty to extend their lead to 8-0.

Bath hit back almost immediately when Nick Abendanon broke through and fed Watson who finished superbly.

Louw then touched down following excellent work from Kyle Eastmond and Ford as the visitors completed their revival after a slow start.

Both teams continued to have opportunities, but it was the respective boots of Williams and Ford which dominated the rest of the half as the stand-offs traded a pair of penalties.

Leicester's pivot reduced the arrears with another three-pointer five minutes into the second period, but Mike Ford's side continued to look dangerous and Joseph crossed the whitewash from close range to take them 10 points ahead.

The Tigers pressed trying to eat into Bath's advantage and hopes were raised when Stuart Hooper was sin-binned. Waldrom then went over to move them to within five before Gibson's score levelled the match right at the end.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Benjamin, Waldrom, Gibson
Pens: Williams 4

For Bath:
Tries: Watson, Louw, Joseph
Cons: Ford 3
Pens: Ford 2
Yellow Card: Hooper

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Toby Flood (c), 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Ed Slater, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 David Mélé, 22 Scott Hamilton, 23 Matt Smith.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Eusebio Guinazu, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Leroy Houston, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Horacio Agulla.

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Ashley Rowden, Gareth Copsey.
Television match official: Geoff Warren

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