Planet Rugby

No tries again for winning Tigers

19th September 2009 19:33

Share:

Johne Murphy finds space against Newcastle

Clear path: Johne Murphy

An injury-hit Leicester continued their climb up the Guinness Premiership table with an error-strewn 15-6 win against Newcastle on Saturday.

But the Tigers set an unwanted record on their laboured way to an unconvincing success in front of Welford Road's biggest-ever crowd.

The defending champions' barren spell without a try extended to four hours and nineteen minutes after they failed to cross their opponents' line for the third successive game in a stuttering start to their title defence.

The try-less period, stretching back to last term's Guinness Premiership final at Twickenham, is now 42 minutes longer than Leicester's previous worst spell 10 years ago.

It was poor entertainment for a 24,000 crowd, 10,000 of whom were seated in the impressive new 14 million Caterpillar Stand, and Leicester again had to rely on the boot of former Ireland fly-half Jeremy Staunton, who kicked five penalties, for all their points.

The new stand was opened with a Tigers Walk of Legends, Leicester's all-time great XV voted for by the readers of a local newspaper. But former England number eight Dean Richards turned down his invitation to join the parade following his involvement in the Harlequins 'Bloodgate' scandal.

Richards, Quins' director of rugby in their ill-fated Heineken Cup quarter-final last season, said he wanted to "let the dust settle before being part of something like this" but he made a wise choice in opting not to attend this error-riddled and low-quality contest.

Staunton had contributed all of Leicester's 27 points in their first two games and he continued to monopolise the scoring for a side lacking cohesion and direction.

He found the target with his first penalty after just three minutes when Newcastle drifted offside in defence, though the score was cancelled out within two minutes when Rob Miller, promoted from the bench after Jimmy Gopperth failed a morning fitness test on a foot injury, equalised for Newcastle.

Staunton added two more penalties in a three-minute period midway through the first half and another from long range with the last kick of the half but missed a golden opportunity to extend Leicester's lead six minutes into the second half.

Newcastle dropped a scrum and were then marched back a further 10 metres by referee Andrew Small for dissent but Staunton pushed his kick left of the target.

Miller punished the lapse when he slotted a 53rd-minute penalty after Leicester went offside in front of their own posts but Hall Charlton fumbled the restart kick which gave the Tigers a promising attacking position.

Anthony Allen and Staunton both went close and England flanker Tom Croft thought he had broken the stalemate when he ploughed over only for the try to be disallowed because the ball deflected off the referee.

Staunton also got over the line only for the try to be disallowed by the television match official for a knock-on which allowed Newcastle to clear their lines.

Leicester made a raft of second-half substitutions but it was left to Staunton to restore their nine-point cushion with his fifth penalty when James Hudson was penalised for a high tackle on Allen.

Clumsy handling prevented Leicester from creating further scoring opportunities and they were relieved to take four points from their first home game of the campaign.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Pen: Staunton 5

For Newcastle:
Pen: Miller 2

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (capt), 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Scott Hamilton, 10 Jeremy Staunton, 9 Harry Ellis, 8 Brett Deacon, 7 Craig Newby, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Ben Kay, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Mefin Davies, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Joe Duffey, 17 Julian White, 18 Robbie Harris, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Ben Pienaar, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Aaron Mauger, 23 Lucas Amorosino.

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Gcobani Bobo, 13 Rob Vickerman, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Hall Charlton, 8 Filipo Levi, 7 Ed Williamson, 6 Brent Wilson, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 James Hudson, 3 Carl Hayman (capt), 2 Rob Vickers, 1 Jon Golding.
Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Laurence Ovens, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Adam Balding, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Charlie Amesbury.

Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Roy Maybank, Peter Huckle
Assessor: Brian Leigh
Television match official: Brian Abrahams, Graham Hughes

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Pumas vs Western Province19:00
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39