Planet Rugby

Tigers win ugly in the west

17th February 2007 16:47

Share:

shane drahm

Shane Drahm makes a break

Leicester Tigers maintained their Guinness Premiership title challenge with a pugnacious 6-13 win in Worcester on Saturday.

Leicester rested three of their forwards on Six Nations duty for England against Ireland next Saturday - hooker George Chuter, lock Louis Deacon and number eight Martin Corry - but Worcester could not take advantage.

Without a home league success since April 29, they again lacked the necessary cutting edge to slice open a defence as well-organised and physical as Leicester's, and a losing bonus point provided scant consolation.

Worcester's consistent failure to score tries has undermined their domestic campaign, and it will take a Herculean effort to avoid relegation now, especially with away games against title play-off contenders Gloucester, Sale Sharks and Bristol remaining on the fixture list.

Leicester, though, opened up a five-point gap at the Premiership summit over Bristol, who host struggling Newcastle on Sunday, despite never threatening to hit top gear.

Corry and his England colleagues wisely stayed at home, missing an error-strewn encounter which only occasionally flickered into life.

Leicester wing Seru Rabeni scored the solitary try, while fly-half Ian Humphreys slotted a conversion and two penalties to take Tigers past the half-century Premiership points mark.

They closed the game out despite late Worcester pressure, expertly guided home by England scrum-half Harry Ellis, who appeared as a 71st-minute substitute.

Both Ellis and England replacement prop Julian White, a starter in Leicester's front row, emerged unscathed from a typically attritional Premiership contest, which will be music to the ears of England head coach Brian Ashton.

Worcester lock Craig Gillies made his 100th Premiership appearance and Ryan Powell replaced suspended scrum-half Matt Powell, but both sides struggled for continuity after a three-week break from Premiership action, and Leicester relied on a route-one approach to blow open Worcester's defence.

Wing Alesana Tuilagi, whose power terrorised Worcester when he received the ball in space, smashed his way past Warriors hooker Chris Fortey and quickly-recycled possession saw Rabeni cross unopposed.

Humphreys added the conversion and kicked a penalty during first-half injury-time, but the interim period saw Worcester shade the territorial battle.

Rival scrum-halves Powell and Frank Murphy were sin-binned by referee David Rose following an off-the-ball skirmish, and Leicester soon found themselves reduced to 13 men after Drahm's opening penalty strike.

Tigers number eight Brett Deacon received a yellow card for an offence at a ruck, yet Worcester could only manage another Drahm penalty as they failed to breach Leicester's defence.

Humphreys' angled three-pointer gave Leicester a 10-6 interval advantage, and Worcester boss John Brain made a substitution within two minutes of the restart, sending on Wales prop Chris Horsman for Tevita Taumoepeau.

Horsman, though, immediately conceded a penalty, and Humphreys gratefully accepted the chance, leaving Worcester a converted try adrift for most of the second period.

Humphreys missed two kicks at goal before Ellis arrived to orchestrate a solid Leicester finale when the Tigers forwards camped deep inside Worcester's 22.

Warriors skipper Pat Sanderson, a tireless presence throughout, tried to rally his team for one last stamina-sapping effort, but Leicester had enough know how and composure to keep Worcester where they had been for most of the match - away from Tigers' line.

The scorers:

For Worcester:

Pens: Drahm 2

For Leicester:

Try: Rabeni:

Con: Humphreys

Pens: Humphreys 2

Yellow cards: Powell (23, Worcester), Murphy, Jennings (both 23, both Leicester)

Worcester Warriors:15 Shane Drahm, 14 Aisea Havili, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 12 Gary Trueman, 11 Marcel Garvey, 10 James Brown, 9 Ryan Powell, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Pat Sanderson (c), 6 Drew Hickey, 5 Tim Collier, 4 Craig Gillies, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Chris Fortey, 1 Darren Morris.

Replacements: 16 Chris Horsman, 17 Aleki Lutui, 18 Richard Blaze, 19 Tom Harding, 20 Nick Runciman, 21 Dominic Feaunati, 22 Thinus Delport

Leicester Tigers:15 Sam Vesty, 14 Alesana Tuilagi, 13 Ollie Smith, 12 Dan Hipkiss, 11 Seru Rabeni, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 Brett Deacon, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Ben Kay, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Julian White, 2 James Buckland, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Replacements: 16 Gavin Hickie, 17 Martin Castrogiovanni, 18 James Hamilton, 19 Jordan Crane, 20 Harry Ellis, 21 Daryl Gibson, 22 Geordan Murphy.

Referee: David Rose

Touch judges: Stuart Terheege, Ashley Reay

Television match official: Matt Peters, Graham Hughes

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411