Planet Rugby

Crane lifts Tigers to summit

02nd January 2011 18:08

Share:

Jordan Crane Leicester tackled by three Exeter players

Brace: Jordan Crane

Two tries from number eight Jordan Crane moved Leicester Tigers top of the Aviva Premiership table as they beat Exeter 22-15 at Sandy Park.

A record attendance for Sandy Park - 10,495 - watched the game on a cold, clear Devon evening after the capacity of 10,700 had been reduced owing to the presence of the TV cameras.

Leicester had a dream start after less than three minutes after an error from wing Mark Foster as centre Manu Tuilagi collected the ball to set up a break before offloading to his brother Alesana to score.

Fly-half Jeremy Staunton was off target with his conversion attempt from out on the left but Exeter were quickly on the scoreboard with fly-half Ryan Davis landed a penalty to take him past 100 points for the season.

Staunton took Tigers further ahead with a 15-metre penalty from in front of the posts but then the Chiefs hit back as Davis split the posts again.

Midway through the half Exeter were given a penalty after wasting a good chance close to the Leicester line, but Davis was unable to land it.

With 10 minutes of the half remaining, Leicester demonstrated their experience, turning down a shot at goal and running, with Crane nipping in to score under the posts, with Staunton converting.

Exeter hit back before the break, though, with Davis kicking a 15-metre penalty.

Leicester started the second half strongly forcing Exeter to put in some big tackles to defend their line and, after applying the pressure for over five minutes, the Tigers resorted to a 40-metre drop goal attempt from skipper Geordan Murphy which was short and wide.

Exeter came back into the game and forced Leicester to concede another penalty and Davis drilled the ball between the upright from out on the left to reduce the arrears to three points.

As the game went in to the final quarter, England fly-half Toby Flood, who started the game on the bench after overcoming an adductor injury, missed a long-range penalty attempt minutes after coming on.

Exeter sensed a chance and full-back Luke Arcsott hacked in to the Leicester 22 where Flood failed to collect cleanly. Leicester were penalised in the subsequent play but Davis was unable to kick the three points.

Leicester then exploited a pick and drive to test the Exeter defence and Crane again found a gap for the Tigers third try with Flood adding the extras give the visitors a 10-point advantage.

With seven minutes remaining, Exeter sub Gareth Steenson kicked a penalty but then failed with another as Leicester clung on.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Pen: Davis 4, Steenson

For Leicester:
Tries: Tuilagi, Crane 2
Con: Staunton, Flood
Pen: Staunton

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Nic Sestaret, 13 Jason Shoemark, 12 Sireli Naqelevuki, 11 Mark Foster, 10 Ryan Davis, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (capt), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Simon Alcott, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 Chad Slade, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Junior Poluleuligaga, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Phil Dollman.

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (capt), 14 Matt Smith, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Jeremy Staunton, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Craig Newby, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Ed Slater, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Martin Castrogiovanni, 18 Julian White, 19 Calum Green, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 James Grindal, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Horacio Agulla.

Referee: JP Doyle

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs Australia08:35
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs Castres20:45
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour vs Southland19:35
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs Canterbury18:05
Hawkes Bay vs Taranaki20:05
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs 33 - 32 CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00