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 , November 21
Harlequins vs Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Preview
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons vs MunsterDragons vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Preview
Connacht vs ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester
Leicester 29 - 13 Sale SharksLeicester vs Sale Sharks Report
More LV= Cup results
International Match
Saturday , November 8
Italy 24 - 13 SamoaItaly vs Samoa Report
Wales 28 - 33 AustraliaWales vs Australia Report
England 21 - 24 New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand Report
Georgia 9 - 23 TongaGeorgia vs Tonga Report
Ireland 29 - 15 South AfricaIreland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720