Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Tigers secure opening win on the road

Figure image
Anthony Allen and Ben Youngs scored their first tries of the season as Leicester Tigers began their Aviva Premiership away campaign with a 24-20 victory at Exeter Chiefs on Saturday afternoon.

Tigers made the most of penalty advantages on both occasions, Allen finishing off a neat kick through by Freddie Burns in the first-half and Ben Youngs being driven over from close-range by Leonardo Ghiraldini on the hour.
 
Burns kicked three penalties and a conversion and there was a penalty for replacement fly-half Owen Williams late in the game to secure the win at Sandy Park.
 
Tigers had trailed to Dave Ewers converted try after 12 minutes and were 14-7 down when Haydn Thomas added a second later in the first half before their fightback sealed a first win on the road of the new campaign.
 
Tigers made three changes to the side that began the season with a bonus-point win against Newcastle with England internationals Allen, Geoff Parling and Mathew Tait coming into the side.
 
Thomas Waldrom made his first start against Tigers after his summer move to Sandy Park.
 
Waldrom was involved in the early action, his charge from the back of a lineout on halfway left Burns in need of treatment.
 
But Burns dusted himself down and was at the heart of some early Tigers possession, with Allen and Tuilagi running neat lines off his passes to threaten the hosts’ defence.
 
However, Tigers went down to 14 men with five minutes on the clock when Vereniki Goneva was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on scrum-half Thomas.
 
Exeter kicked to the corner and were then awarded a penalty 8m from the Tigers line as Leicester defenders failed to roll. The hosts again went for the corner and Ryan Caldwell’s leap set up the drive. Caldwell himself then looked to finish it off but knocked on under pressure from Ben Youngs.
 
Exeter continued to press through Gareth Steenson, who was tackled just short of the line. However, Dave Ewers followed up and stretched through the ruck to score. Steenson added the conversion to give Exeter a 7-0 lead after 13 minutes.
 
Goneva returned to the action with no further addition to the scoreline.
 
Ben Youngs’s chip almost put Allen through on the Exeter back three but the ball took an awkward bounce and evaded his grasp.
 
Tigers had Exeter under pressure at a lineout on their 5m line but Thomas somehow cleaned up untidy ball and evaded Jamie Gibson’s tackle to find touch. Logovi’I Mulipola was invited to test the Chiefs defence off the back of the set-piece before a forward pass brought the attack to an end.
 
Tigers were on top at this stage with some neat backs play giving Manu Tuilagi the chance to open his legs. However, he was held in the tackle and Burns kicked to the corner with the penalty.
 
And it paid dividend with their first try.
 
Salvi set up the drive at the back of the lineout, which was dragged down just short. Tigers had the advantage of a penalty and Burns slid a deft kick behind the Chiefs defence and Allen won the race to touch down in goal. Burns’s conversion levelled the scores after 29 minutes.
 
Sam Hill broke Tuilagi’s tackle on halfway to take Exeter into the Tigers half. And when he evaded Fraser Balmain’s tackle there was the hint of an overlap for Matt Jess but he knocked on and the chance went away.
 
Exeter went for the corner with a penalty of their own, and this time they made it count. Hill looked set to score with a break off the back of the lineout but he was driven back on the line by Salvi. However, Thomas followed up and spun out of the ruck to dot down for the hosts. Steenson’s conversion restored a seven-point lead for Exeter six minutes before the break.
 
Tigers and Exeter then exchanged penalties in the moments before the break. First a solid scrum earned Tigers a penalty on the Chiefs 10m line and Burns cut the deficit with an excellent kick. Salvi was pinged moments later for not releasing in the tackle and Steenson’s penalty from a central position. However, offside against the Exeter defence gave Burns a simple penalty to send Tigers in at the break 17-13 behind.
 
There were no changes at the break and Tigers were given an penalty chance early in the second-half as Exeter infringed under pressure at a ruck. Burns landed the kick from an angle on the right to leave Tigers a point behind.
 
There then came a frenetic three-minute period with a Tigers attack followed by an Exeter counterattack. Ben Youngs’s clever chip was collected by Goneva on halfway but when the scrum-half tried to repeat the trick a couple of phases later Chrysander Botha cleared deep. Matt Jess then returned Burns’s kick before Henry Slade knocked on just outside the Leicester 22.
 
Burns helped ease the pressure on the Tigers defence with a couple of excellent long-range kicks into the corners. Kitchener stole possession at the second lineout, to give Tigers a fantastic platform deep in Exeter territory. Tuilagi, Ben Youngs and Crane all stretched the Exeter defence before Gibson was halted just short. Exeter infringed, giving Tigers free ball, and Ben Youngs took full advantage, picking up at the ruck and being driven over by replacement hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini.
 
The try, which went unconverted, gave Tigers the lead for the first time in the game, 21-17 midway through the second half.
 
Exeter came close a quick reply when Ian Whitten won the ball above Morris. There was a hint of a knock-on but he was allowed to continue. Tait and Morris stopped him deep in the Tigers 22 before Hill knocked-on with the line beckoning.
 
Tigers came under increased pressure as the clock ticked into the last 15 minutes and it needed good work from replacement No8 Jordan Crane to clean up at the back of a messy scrum.
 
The Exeter pressure eventually drew a penalty in a central position for offside, and Steenson landed the kick to leave Tigers 21-20 ahead with nine minutes remaining.
 
Gibson’s work on the floor drew the sting from the Exeter attack, winning a penalty on halfway and Burns pumped his kick up to the Chiefs 5m line. Ewers was yellow carded for going offside as Tigers set up the drive from the resulting lineout.
 
Owen Williams, on for Burns, landed the kick to move Tigers 24-20 ahead with three minutes left.
 
There was still one last chane for Tigers to add to their score when Goneva was presented with a knock-on in injury time. But the Fiji international was unable to gather, knocking on himself to bring the game to an end.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

EXE 17-13 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

EXE 20-24 LEI

Attendance

9,721

Referee

JP Doyle

Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs
20

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
24

Match Stats

Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
Possession
49%
51%
Territory
51%
49%
Penalties Conceded
9
9
Yellow Cards
1
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
78/89 88%
82/107 77%
Scrums Won
6/6 100%
8/10 80%
Lineouts Won
18/18 0%
10/10 0%

Player Stats

Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Mathew Tait
14Niall Morris
13Manu Tuilagi
12Anthony Allen1T
11Vereniki Goneva
101C3P
9Ben Youngs1T
1Logovi'i Mulipola
2Tom Youngs
3Fraser Balmain
4Graham Kitchener
5Geoff Parling
6Jamie Gibson
7Julian Salvi
8Robert Barbieri
16Leonardo Ghiraldini
17Riccardo Brugnara
18Tiziano Pasquali
19
20
21David Mele
22Owen Williams1P
23Matt Smith

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Niall Morris
14
Niall Morris
Anthony Allen
12
Anthony Allen
Vereniki Goneva
11
Vereniki Goneva
10
Fraser Balmain
3
Fraser Balmain
Geoff Parling
5
Geoff Parling
Jamie Gibson
6
Jamie Gibson
Julian Salvi
7
Julian Salvi
Robert Barbieri
8
Robert Barbieri

Subs

Leonardo Ghiraldini
16
Leonardo Ghiraldini
Riccardo Brugnara
17
Riccardo Brugnara
Tiziano Pasquali
18
Tiziano Pasquali
19
20
David Mele
21
David Mele
Owen Williams
22
Owen Williams

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Chrysander Botha
14
Ian Whitten
13
Henry Slade
12
Sam Hill
11
Matt Jess
10
9
Haydn Thomas
1
Carl Rimmer
2
Jack Yeandle
3
Tomas Francis
4
Mitch Lees
5
Ryan Caldwell
6
Dave Ewers
7
Ben White
8
Thomas Waldrom

Subs

16
Elvis Taione
17
Ben Moon
18
Moray Low
19
Damian Welch
20
Kai Horstmann
21
Will Chudley
22
Ceri Sweeney
23
Jack Arnott
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2215164534213237394268
5
Exeter Chiefs
Exeter ChiefsEXE22140866343722670465768
Form Guide
Form
WWWWL
Last Match
Lost to Harlequins 38-40
Past Meeting
Won 47-31
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Lost 31-47

Matchday Live

Exeter Chiefs20
Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers24
Leicester Tigers
Full Time