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Report | Tigers come up short against 'Quins

Figure image

An exciting matchup, with plenty of tries and slick attacking play from both sides.

Leicester Tigers were two points away from a monumental first-ever win in Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby but Harlequins Women pulled away in the dying minutes.

The hosts come away with a try bonus point and their pride but that first win remains elusive for now.

On a chilly night in Leicester, under a deep dark sky, the visitors kick us off.

Turning over the ball quickly, Quins have the initial advantage and kick to the Tigers 22 but a knock-on hands the home side the scrum. From there, Meg Jones carries in and sets a platform for Sarah Nicholas to clear the ball long.

Tigers are up quick in defence, with USA compatriots hitting a huge double tackle, driving back prop Turani. This tough defence forces a knock-on just moments later and the Tigers earn the scrum near halfway.

From the scrum, Lucy Nye pulls a clever dink over the top, allowing the home team to put the pressure on.

Possession changes hands a few times here but a couple of minutes later it’s the Tigers who make the game’s first break, a slick move allowing Jones to fling the ball wide to Francesca McGhie who speeds down the left. Her grubber through is collected well, however, Quins running it back.

Here the visitors get the game’s opening score. Hooker Connie Powell makes a break in midfield and she’s got two runners on her shoulders. A succession of pops later, scrum-half Flo Robinson dives over for Harlequins’ first try.

Tigers don’t lie down though and come flying back into it with loads of energy.

There are strong carries from Brody, Keia Mae and Eva Donaldson, lots of pop passes and slick hands allowing for continuous gain line progression.

Quins fire back themselves with a succession of driving mauls from lineouts, Tigers on the wrong end of a couple of penalties. They make it to the line, and shift the play from the left to right touchline, but the Tigers defend doggedly, finally holding the ball upright as they make it over the line.

However, right after a clearing kick, Quins come right back, a handful of phases and a penalty later and lock Kaitlan Leaney scores in the corner.

Tigers don’t let their heads drop again and win an astute turnover soon after, allowing a kick to touch. The crowd roar in response as the set piece is won well and a slick move sees Tigers fly through, a move reminiscent of the early try against Saracens, only a knock on halting momentum.

Moments later, slick offloading sees McGhie fly clear again, making it from inside her own half to just outside the 22, covered well by Ellie Kildunne.

Possession is traded back and forth but the Tigers shift it to the right side and win a penalty, duly kicked to touch. From there, a line out is executed to perfection. When the ball is played out to a wide-set back line, Meg Jones instead steps inward, poking through a grubber that she collects herself and then dots down to get Tigers' first points of the day.

McGhie has been electric thus far in the match, Tartan Teflon as the Scot flies through another set of tackles to break in midfield, looking for a last score before half time.

She offloads to fellow Scot Elis Martin but a wayward ball is intercepted by Quins who break themselves and, after a few passes, Red Rose flyer Ellie Kildunne touches down to end the half on a sour note for the hosts.

Half-time: Leicester Tigers 7 – 19 Harlequins Women

Tigers start the half strongly and get a try after just five minutes.

Amy Relf and Charlotte Fray have made an instant impact off the bench, the former dictating play from the base and the latter flying into contact and bludgeoning lines to knock back the opposition. The home side has all the momentum and a penalty won is kicked to touch for a rolling maul that rumbles right over for a try to put the home side back in the contest.

However, the visitors have other ideas, halting momentum by scoring almost immediately, claiming the ball back and allowing prop Bryony Cleall to drive over following a succession of incremental gain line metres.

But moments later Tigers fire right back themselves.

This move starts and ends with Brody who has been immense, an initial superb carry from deep from the No. 8 making twenty metres as she drives through contact. Tigers win a penalty moments later and from the line out, she breaks off early and dives over to touch down.

It’s all Tigers from there as the home side fights back into the match and grabs another score just a couple of minutes later.

A line out on halfway allows clean ball to the backs and a beautiful floated kick from Meg Jones is collected at full tilt by McGhie who puts on the afterburners and dives over to a cheering crowd. Jones follows this up with a dynamite kick from the left-hand side, the ball sailing through to take us to a two-point game and securing a try bonus point.

It’s all to play for now and momentum duly swinging to and fro over the next ten minutes as both sides flight with blood and thunder for the victory.

Quins have a line out on the five metre but it’s defended superbly by Tigers, first halting the rumbling pack and then flying up to drive back the opposition to the 22, turning the ball over in the process.

Tigers clear their lines successively but then the visitors reply, breaking well and then winning a penalty on halfway, kicking to the five-metre line.

From there, the game comes to a close as we enter the final couple of minutes; the line out is halted well but then Quins send body after body at tired shoulders, several phases of tight carries finally paying dividends as the visitors scored the game’s final try.

Quins take the victory after a fiercely contested matchup from both sides.

Full-time: Leicester Tigers 24  – 33 Harlequins Women

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 7-19 HAR

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 24-33 HAR

Attendance

22,119

Referee

Not available

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
24

Full Time

Harlequins Women
Harlequins Women
33
Leicester Tigers
T
C
T
T
T
C
KOHTFT
Harlequins Women
C
T
T
T
C
T
T
C

Commentary

FULL TIME AT MATTIOLI WOODS WELFORD ROAD

Quins take the victory after a fiercely contested matchup from both sides.

Tigers come away with a try bonus point and their pride but that first win remains elusive.

Full time score: Leicester Tigers 24 - 33 Harlequins

CONVERSION | HARLEQUINS

The losing bonus point is lost as Quins add the extras.

TRY | HARLEQUINS

The visitors get the crucial final blow, driving over from short range to put an end to the contest.

CONVERSION | MEG JONES

Jones hits a massive conversion to add the extras

TRY | FRANCESCA MCGHIE

What a score!

From the line out, Meg Jones takes the ball and hangs a beautiful crossfield kick out wide to the wing. McGhie colects the ball at full tilt and puts on the afterburners to steam over and put Tigers within a score of the lead.

TRY | TAHLIA BRODY

Tigers fire right back, the No. 8 scoring off the back of a rolling maul.

TRY | HARLEQUINS

The visitors fire right back

Prop Bryony Cleall gets the try with a strong low carry after a succession of phases got Quins just metres out.

TRY | LEICESTER TIGERS

Tigers have been putting relentles pressure on in the second half and a kick to touch sees the rolling maul rumble over for the score.

In the inevitable melee of a maul there's confusion as to who's scored but it's a try for the home side!

SECOND HALF BEGINS

We're underway for the second 40 minutes!

HALF TIME HERE AT MATTIOLI WOODS WELFORD ROAD

A tough end to an exciting first half, both teams have had flashes of magic thus far.

Half time score: Leicester Tigers 7 - 19 Harlequins

CONVERSION | LAGI TUIMA

 Lagi Tuima adds the extras and the first half comes to a close.

TRY | HARLEQUINS

A last minute try to close out the half, Ellie Kildunne touches down for the visitors after possession was ceded in midfield and Quins broke quickly.

CONVERSION | MEG JONES

The Red Rose converts her own try with aplomb.

TRY | MEG JONES

Big try for Tigers.

A driving maul got the team to within ten metres and when the ball is sent out to the backs, Meg Jones stabs through a grubber, collects the bouncing ball and touches down beneath the posts.

26

CONVERSION MISSED | HARLEQUINS

A tough kick goes wide from the far touchline.

TRY | HARLEQUINS

Lock Kaitlan Leaney gets the score following a quick tap penalty on the Tigers line which is recycled quickly and swung wide.

CONVERSION | HARLEQUINS

Lagi Tuima adds the extras to extend Quins' lead

TRY | HARLEQUINS

Flo Robinson gets the game's opening score, following a break in midfield from Connie Powell and a pop pass.

KICK OFF

Tigers get us underway with a lofted kick off to the visitors

-5

FIVE MINUTES TILL KICK OFF

The teams are in the changing room and the crowd are ready; it's almost time for action at Mattioli Woods Welford Road!

-30

30 MINUTES TO GO

Just half an hour till Leicester Tigers kick start their 2024, returning to Mattioli Woods Welford Road to take on Harlequins.

If you've already been down to the men's fixture v Saracens you can stay free of charge, with seating in the TradeView market stand and if you can't make it, stick with us here on Matchday Live for all the live updates.


Preview | Tigers welcome Quins in Leicester v London

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Leicester Tigers will engage in their second Premiership Double Header this Saturday, January 6.

It's a clash of Leicester v London as the men's team will tackle Saracens while the women's take on Harlequins. Tigers supporters with tickets to the men's game or a Season Ticket can all stay for the women's match free of charge, so please stay and lend your voice to roar on the team.

A first-ever meeting between the two sides, 'Quins have serious pedigree at the elite level of women's rugby, finishing every season bar one in the play off places and in that season they finished fifth. Entrenched in the top flight since it's inception, the Londoners reached the apex of the division in 2020/21 when they were crowned Champions.

Supporters can look forward to an thrilling game of rugby, packed with quick hands and offloading; Harlequins, befitting of their range of colour, are exciting, a team that were the to make over 20 offloads in a single PWR match this season, while four of their players occupy the top 10 in offloads completed; meanwhile, Tigers star Meg Jones is second in the league in offloads completed (9), with four in the last match against Saracens alone.

Tigers will be keen to ensure their defence is full firing, with the standard thus far set by Becky Noon, overall league leader in tackles completed (84).

There are a couple of key match ups across the field to look forward to, including the aforementioned Jones coming up against fellow Red Rose Ellie Kildunne.

Kildunne is an attacking force, the fullback dominating the league in both metres carried (668) and defenders beaten (37) across her five fixtures, with Jones in 3rd for defenders beaten (26).

There's also a clash of Scottish locks, with Eva Donaldson, who leads Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby in lineout steals thus far (5), set to face 'Quins and Scotland second row Sarah Bonar this weekend. The two are very familiar with one another, especially following Scotland's WXV triumph last Summer and the meeting between the two will be fascinating.

Preview | Tigers to take on Saracens

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It’s Round 11 of the Gallagher Premiership and Leicester Tigers welcome the defending Champions, Saracens to Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

A crucial clash in Tigers season awaits on Saturday afternoon, with a packed house looking to make the difference in what promises to be a hard-fought encounter.

TEAM NEWS

Saracens are without Mako Vunipola and Jamie George but still bring a stacked side to Leicester, led by talisman Owen Farrell. 

Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar has named an unchanged side for the first time this season, with Ben Youngs coming onto the bench.

Julián Montoya will captain the team as he brings up 50 caps in Tigers colours.

THROUGH THE WEEK

Tigers returned to training after their New Year's Eve win against Bath at a sold out Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

We looked back on Tess Feury, Kyle Hatherell, Matt Rogerson and Keia Mae Sagapolu Sanele trip to the 2023 Finance Magnates London Summit by club partner Tradeview Markets. 
 

The club bid farewell to Joe Powell and Joe Browning and confirmed the re-signing of Mike Brown

STATS AND FACTS

  • Tom Whiteley was the only player in Round 10 to assist two tries. He has assisted an average of one try every 74 minutes this season.
  • Jasper Wiese has beaten more defenders than any other forward this season (31), the third-most in the
  • league overall.
  • The Tigers have the best goalkicking success rate in the league (80%). Of the top five point-scorers in the
  • Premiership, Handre Pollard has the best goalkicking success rate (83.3%).
  • Leicester Tigers’ only defeat in their last seven first team matches was 10-29 when they visited Exeter on 23 December.
  • The Tigers have won their last four home games in all tournaments since their 25-29 reversal to Harlequins in Round 5 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby.
  • The last six fixtures between the two clubs in Premiership Rugby have resulted in three wins each. Whilst overall in the competition things could not be more even, with 26 wins apiece plus four draws.
  • Saracens have lost on their last two visits to Mattioli Woods Welford Road and have not lost three in succession at the famous old venue since 2009.
  • Overall, the two teams have met on 98 occasions with Leicester winning 60 to 32 by Saracens and six games drawn. Forty-six of those encounters have been at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, where the Tigers record is won 36, drawn 2, lost 8.

DETAILS

Leicester Tigers vs Saracens

Gallagher Premiership, Round 11

3pm kick off. Mattioli Woods Welford Road, live on TNT Sports. 

Match Officials: Luke Pearce (Referee), Harry Walbaum and Jonathan Healy (Assistant-Referee), Dean Richards (TMO)

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
5
Harlequins Women
Harlequins WomenHAR11317261305-4440475322
8
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI11209197397-2003164418
Form Guide
Form
LWLWL
Last Match
Lost to Ealing Trailfinders Women 14-29
Past Meeting
Lost 24-33
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LLWLD
Last Match
Draw with Exeter Chiefs Women 19-19
Past Meeting
Won 33-24

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers24
Leicester Tigers
Harlequins Women33
Harlequins Women
Full Time