Six-try Tigers keep Euro hopes alive

Date published: January 16 2015

Leicester outscored the Scarlets six tries to three on Friday to win 40-23 at Welford Road and keep their hopes of making the Champions Cup quarter-finals alive.

Both teams headed in to the game on eight points, five adrift of leaders Toulon, and requiring victory to stay in touch.

Scarlets hit the front on six minutes when Rhys Priestland booted over the penalty after Leicester had been pulled for offside.

But the hosts found a quick response and hit the front when Miles Benjamin was the beneficiary following quick work from the line-out to score out wide.

Freddie Burns added the conversion and he was on target again just five minutes later when Jordan Crane was on the end of a determined drive to score the Tigers’ second try.

Priestland booted over a second penalty to put the visitors back to within eight points and they narrowed the gap even further six minutes from half-time when Rob Evans was at the back of a maul to register Scarlets’ first try. But Priestland was wide with the extras, and that’s as good as it got for the away side.

Three tries in eleven second-half minutes put the game beyond the Welsh side. A right to left move put Adam Thompstone over and the bonus point was secured when Tom Youngs charged over.

Youngs then completed a quickfire brace when he combined with namesake Ben, with Burns converting the latter two tries to make it 33-11 with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Scarlets found a response when Evans fed Harry Robinson out on the wing, but the conversion was missed, and Leicester quickly reaffirmed their authority through when Robert Barbieri put Sam Harrison over and, though Robinson added a consolation for Scarlets minutes after, it couldn’t take the gloss off an important win for Leicester.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Benjamin, Crane, Thompstone, T Youngs 2
Cons: Burns 4
Yellow card: Kitchener

For Scarlets:
Tries: Evans, Robinson, S. Shingler
Con: S. Shingler
Pen: Priestland 2
Yellow card: A. Shingler

Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs (c), 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Matt Smith.

Scarlets: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Regan King, 12 Scott Williams (c), 11 Hadleigh Parkes, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 John Barclay, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 George Earle, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Darran Harris, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Peter Edwards, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 James Davies, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Rory Pitman.

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Salem Attalah (France); Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)