Planet Rugby

Flood fells ailing Warriors

27th March 2010 17:20

Share:

Toby Flood held against Worcester

Top form: Toby Flood

Leicester made sure they would be top of Guinness Premiership table going into April as they claimed a 39-18 win at Worcester on Saturday.

Toby Flood, preferred to Jonny Wilkinson in Paris last Saturday, booted 24 points, including conversions of Leicester tries by full-back Jeremy Staunton, scrum-half Ben Youngs and substitute James Grindal.

Flood's opposite number Willie Walker kicked six penalties, yet Worcester remain bottom of the table, two points behind Leeds Carnegie and Sale Sharks with just five games left.

Worcester trailed 13-12 at half-time, but that was as close as they got before an organised Leicester outfit pulled clear to edge closer towards the title play-offs.

The reigning league champions are also firmly on course for a home semi-final in mid-May, suggesting another title triumph is well within reach after cruising to biggest league away win of the league season.

Worcester though, must now regroup for a huge Good Friday encounter away to fellow strugglers Sale, knowing their Premiership status is under huge threat.

Promoted as unbeaten National League One winners in 2004, they have retained top-flight status ever since despite finishing no higher than 10th during the past three seasons.

But Warriors boss Mike Ruddock faces an uphill struggle following another indisciplined display that enabled Flood to cash in with six penalties.

Worcester were without their powerful New Zealand centre Sam Tuitupou due to a back injury, so Scotland international Alex Grove partnered Dale Rasmussen in midfield, while former All Blacks wing Rico Gear was a late replacement for Chris Pennell.

Leicester, meanwhile, saw their title bid reinforced by four players returning from Six Nations duty, although injury absentees included Geordan Murphy, Dan Hipkiss, Aaron Mauger and Ben Woods.

Lewis Moody, England captain against France last weekend, led the Tigers in Murphy's absence, but Leicester fell behind after seven minutes when Walker landed an angled penalty.

The Premiership's top points-scorer this season did not require a second invitation after Leicester messed up a lineout, but Tigers eased ahead just six minutes later.

Flood botched a straightforward penalty chance that would have opened Leicester's account, yet Worcester proved powerless to defend a slick move as centre Ben Smith delivered Staunton a scoring pass.

Flood converted and then added a penalty following a long-range Walker strike, but Worcester had no intention of playing second fiddle.

Scrum-half Jonny Arr inspired a threatening attacking display by the Warriors, and had they shown a bit more composure with the final pass then Worcester would have carved out a healthy interval advantage.

Two further Walker penalties inched them 12-10 in front, only for Flood to have the final say of a lively half when he slotted his second penalty after Tigers centre Anthony Allen was high-tackled.

Flood increased Leicester's advantage just two minutes into the second period, and with a strengthening breeze behind them, Tigers sought territorial dominance.

Although another Walker strike - his fifth - gave Worcester hope, Leicester responded by collecting their second try of the game when Youngs made a darting 30-metre run.

The Worcester back-row went absent without leave, allowing Youngs to scorch through a huge gap and take Tigers clear, with Flood adding the conversion.

Flood and Walker exchanged further penalties early in the final quarter, and although Worcester kept plugging away, there was no way back.

Two further Flood penalties underlined Leicester's degree of control, and they finished the game chasing a third try when their New Zealand wing Scott Hamilton almost powered over.

Worcester escaped on that occasion, but Leicester struck with the game's final move when Grindal - on for Youngs - scampered through weak tackling for a score that left the Warriors a demoralised, distant second-best.

The scorers:

For Worcester:
Pen: Walker 6

For Leicester:
Tries: Staunton, Youngs, Grindal
Con: Flood 3
Pen: Flood 6

Worcester: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Chris Pennell, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Willie Walker, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Pat Sanderson (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Adam Black.
Replacements: 16 Callum Black, 17 Jordan Page, 18 Olivier Sourgens, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Chris Cracknell, 21 Louis Silver, 22 Matthew Jones, 23 Rico Gear.

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Ben Kay, 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Mefin Davies, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Dan Cole, 18 Boris Stankovich, 19 Brett Deacon, 20 Craig Newby, 21 James Grindal, 22 Johne Murphy, 23 Billy Twelvetrees.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs WaspsLeicester Tigers vs Wasps Preview
Exeter vs SaracensExeter vs Saracens Preview
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs GloucesterLondon Irish vs Gloucester Preview
London Welsh vs NorthamptonLondon Welsh vs Northampton Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Leinster vs OspreysLeinster vs Ospreys Preview
Connacht vs ScarletsConnacht vs Scarlets Preview
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs DragonsGlasgow Warriors vs Dragons Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont AuvergneToulon vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
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
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821