Planet Rugby

Leicester put Exeter to the sword

23rd March 2014 15:45

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Manu Tuilagi Leicester v Exeter Aviva Premiership 2014

Manu Tuilagi: Scored the Tigers' first try

Leicester consolidated their spot amongst the play-off contenders after claiming a 45-15 victory over Exeter at Welford Road on Sunday.

The Tigers fell behind early on through a Henry Slade penalty, but a rampant first-half display from Niki Goneva and co proved to be enough for the hosts, who scored tries through Manu Tuilagi, Logovi'i Mulipola and Goneva, with Owen Williams adding a couple of penalties, and Jack Yeandle posting the Chiefs' solitary try.

The second half failed to live up to the standards set in the first half as Adam Thompstone and David Mele scored tries for the hosts to secure a bonus point before the visitors scored a consolation try through Ian Whitten, only to concede a sixth try in the last minute through Mele.

The Tigers had the most of the possession in the opening stages but conceded a penalty at the breakdown which Slade successfully kicked to goal. The hosts, undeterred by the early setback, made good use of the ball inside Exeter's 22 as Goneva found Tuilagi who went over out wide.

Leicester doubled their tally five minutes later after another break from Goneva, this time finding Mulipola who forced his way over the line, with Williams improving to add the extras.

Just minutes after hitting the post from the boot, Williams extended their lead to 12 points after being awarded a penalty for offside. The Chiefs stopped the rot to post their first try of the game after 26 minutes as Yeandle found a gap in the Tigers defence, with Slade adding the extras from out wide.

Leicester hit back immediately though, this time Goneva scoring a well-deserved try of his own after some excellent footwork to evade the Chiefs defence before Williams converted.

Goneva looked to have scored his second try five minutes later, but play was brought back following a forward pass, and the home side had to settle for a penalty, Williams again successful to give the Tigers a 25-10 lead at the break.

Leicester quickly extended their lead in the second half from Williams' boot after being awarded a penalty from the scrum to put them 28-10 up.

The Tigers secured the bonus point with 30 minutes to spare as Thompstone touched down out wide.

The Chiefs worked their way into the game in the next 20 minutes but were unable to put their extended period of possession to any use and it was the Tigers who scored the next try of the game, ending any hopes of a losing bonus point as Mele went over following a scrum on Exeter's five-metre line, with Flood converting.

The visitors did manage to score a consolation try through Whitten in the corner, but conceded a sixth try through Mele after Thomas Waldrom was stopped short of the line.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Tuilagi, Mulipola, Goneva, Thompstone, Mele 2
Cons: Williams 2, Flood
Pen: Williams 3

For Exeter:
Tries: Yeandle, Whitten
Cons: Slade
Pen: Slade
Yellow card: Mumm (32nd minute, high tackle)

Leicester (revised): 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Ed Slater (c), 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 David Mele, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Matt Smith.

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Ben White, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (c), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Don Armand, 20 Tom Johnson, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Matt Jess

Referee: Dean Richards

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