Tigers climb to fifth with victory

Date published: November 23 2014

Leicester Tigers jumped up to fifth in the Aviva Premiership standings after defeating London Welsh 26-5 at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday.

Leicester Tigers jumped up to fifth in the Aviva Premiership standings after battling past London Welsh 26-5 at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford on Sunday.

Nick Scott’s try gave London Welsh a surprise early lead but two Harry Thacker scores meant that Leicester went into the interval 12-5 in front.

Despite not finding their fluency, the Tigers dominated the second-half and further touchdowns from Graham Kitchener and Robert Barbieri secured the five points and condemned the hosts to an eighth consecutive league defeat.

Justin Burnell’s men sunk to their lowest ebb last week when they shipped over 70 points in a 71-7 drubbing to Wasps at Adams Park. It was a result which demonstrated a lack of quality and belief, so it was therefore a surprise to see them compete with the multiple winners of the Premiership in the opening half.

Although Leicester controlled possession and territory in the first 20 minutes, the Exiles defended resiliently and forced the visitors into mistakes, and they were rewarded for their fortitude when Seb Jewell’s clever cross-field kick allowed Scott to touch down.

Seemingly riled from going behind, the Tigers finally upped their game with the maul proving a useful weapon and, following a powerful drive, Thacker crossed the whitewash to level matters.

Just 10 minutes later the same combination brought about the away team’s second try as the hooker went over from close range to take Richard Cockerill’s side 12-5 ahead at the break.

Leicester kept it tighter in the early stages of the second period and their extra quality started to show when Anthony Allen’s searing break set-up the position for Kitchener to touch down.

London Welsh’s lack of time spent in the opposition 22 was now beginning to take its toll and the bonus-point try came as Barbieri powered across the line.

To their credit, the Exiles continued to battle for the rest of the match and, although they couldn’t add to their score, they at least prevented the Tigers from accruing more points.

The scorers:

For London Welsh:
Try: Scott

For Leicester:
Tries: Thacker 2, Kitchener, Barbieri
Con: Bell 3

London Welsh: 15 Seb Jewell, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 Nic Reynolds, 12 Tom May (c), 11 Nick Scott, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Rob Lewis, 8 Opeti Fonua, 7 Lachlan McCaffrey, 6 Peter Browne, 5 James Down, 4 Matt Corker, 3 Taione Vea, 2 Nathan Vella, 1 Ricky Reeves.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Nathan Tevett, 18 Ben Cooper, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Ben Pienaar, 21 Paul Rowley, 22 Will Robinson, 23 Elliot Kear.

Leicester: 15 Tommy Bell, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 David Mele, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Brad Thorn (c), 3 Dan Cole, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Jake Farnworth, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Robert Barbieri, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Mathew Tait.

Referee: Dean Richards
Assistant referees: Gordon Goodliffe, Simon Mcconnell
Television match official: David Grashoff
Timekeeper: Roy Marfleet
Assessor: Gary Welsh