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Report | Fightback falls short at Sandy Park

Figure image

Leicester Tigers suffered a 29-10 defeat to Exeter Chiefs away from home in Round 9 of the 23/24 Gallagher Premiership, despite a late comeback from Dan McKellar's side at Sandy Park.

It was dominant first 40 minutes from the home side, including a fast start in front of a sell out crowd at Sandy Park, which saw them cross for two tries in the opening ten minutes.

The first took just six minutes when Jacques Vermeulen crashed over from close range on the back of a territorial advantage helped by repeated infringements from Tigers.

Henry Slade's first contribution to the scoreboard of the afternoon made it 7-0 before the lead extended to 14-0 when George Martin was ruled to have tackled a man without the ball during a Chiefs attack that threatened the Leicester defensive line and the TMO deemed it enough to award a Penalty Try.

Martin was shown a yellow card following the decision, taking Tigers down a man for the next ten minutes.

Leicester managed to hold on during the sin bin period despite the relentless attack of the home side which continued to test the visitors resolve.

However, the defensive efforts came at a cost for Dan McKellar's side with two forced changes for the Head Coach - through injury - in Ben Youngs and Josh Bassett during the first half.

Dominating possession, with more than 60% of the ball for almost 40 minutes, Exeter got their third against the run of play in the final minutes of the half when Slade swooped on a loose pass from Handré Pollard and ran it in under the posts before converting his try to make it 21-0 at the break.

Slade added a penalty goal just shy of ten minutes after half time to make it a 24-0 lead for Chiefs before, approaching the hour mark, Leicester got on to the scoreboard when Anthony Watson crossed in his first league start of the campaign.

The try came on the back of a strong ten minutes from Tigers, putting the hosts under pressure deep inside their own end, and Watson was the beneficiary out wide on the end of a well-placed pass from Solomone Kata to see him with a clear run to the line.

Pollard was unable to convert and the deficit remained 19 points with just 20 minutes left on the clock.

After a strong ten-minute spell from Tigers, Kata added a second try assist in the 70th minute when he offered up another beautiful ball down the left flank for Freddie Steward to take and go over for his side's second. 

The try was unable to be converted by replacement Jamie Shillcock which meant the difference was 14 points, where it looked like it would remain until a try with the clock in the red for the home side to secure a bonus-point, 29-10 win at Sandy Park.

Dan McKellar and his side host Bath Rugby up next, on New Year's Eve, in the first of back-to-back matchdays at Mattioli Woods Welford Road ahead of a January 6 Double Header at home for the men's and women's teams against London Saracens (Gallagher Premiership) and Harlequins (Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby).

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Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

EXE 21-0 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

EXE 29-10 LEI

Attendance

15,000

Referee

Tom Foley

Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs
29

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
10
Exeter Chiefs
T
C
T
T
C
P
T
KOHTFT
Leicester Tigers
T
T

Match Stats

Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
Possession
46%
54%
Territory
52%
48%
Penalties Conceded
14
10
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
176/213 83%
134/159 84%
Scrums Won
7/7 100%
7/7 100%
Lineouts Won
15/18 83%
15/16 94%

Player Stats

Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Freddie Steward1T
14Anthony Watson1T
13Dan Kelly
12Solomone Kata
11Josh Bassett
10Handre Pollard
9Ben Youngs
1James Whitcombe
2Julian Montoya
3Dan Cole
4George Martin
5Harry Wells
6Ollie Chessum
7Emeka Ilione
8Jasper Wiese
16Finn Theobald-Thomas
17Francois van Wyk
18Joe Heyes
19Olly Cracknell
20Kyle Hatherell
21Tom Whiteley
22Jamie Shillcock
23Mike Brown

Commentary

DEFEAT FOR TIGERS IN DEVON

Tigers suffer 29-10 defeat to Chiefs at Sandy Park despite second-half comeback.

TRY | EXETER CHIEFS

The home side, with the clock in the red, get over through Rusiate Tuima for a bonus-point try.

TRY | FREDDIE STEWARD

Freddie Steward crosses out wide after another well-placed pass from Solomone Kata, who now has two try assists, to cut Exeter's lead to 14 points.

SHILLCOCK INJECTED INTO THE GAME

Jamie Shillcock is on, at fly-half, in place of Handré Pollard.

65

FIFTEEN ON THE CLOCK

The deficit remains 19 points at Sandy Park with just 15 minutes left on the clock. 

TRY | ANTHONY WATSON

Leicester are on the board  and it's Anthony Watson who gets over his league return, in the corner, after pressure pays off for Tigers on the Exeter line.

PEN | HENRY SLADE

Exeter's lead is extended to 24-0 with 30 minutes remaining thanks to a penalty goal from Henry Slade.

CHANGES IN THE TIGERS PACK

Emeka Ilione and Dan Cole replaced by Olly Cracknell and Joe Heyes after 46 minutes.

BACK UNDERWAY IN EXETER

The second half gets going at Sandy Park.

CHIEFS LEAD AT THE BREAK

Exeter take a 21-0 lead into the changing rooms at the break after a dominant first 40 minutes from the home side.

CON | EXETER CHIEFS

Henry Slade converts his own try to make it 21-0 approaching the break.

TRY | EXETER CHIEFS

The home side have their third, through Henry Slade, after the Chiefs centre swoops on a loose ball near halfway and runs it in under the posts.

BASSETT OFF FOR BROWN

Another forced change for Dan McKellar in the backs as Josh Bassett is replaced by Mike Brown.

35

CHIEFS DENIED AT THE LINE

Exeter get up celebrating a third try but Referee Tom Foley rules it as a double movement, denying the home side with five minutes remaining in the first half.

WHITELEY REPLACES YOUNGS

Ben Youngs is helped from the field with a leg injury and replaced by Tom Whiteley at scrum-half.

30

ALL EXETER IN FIRST THIRTY

The home side dominating possession and territory during the first half hour at Sandy Park but Tigers holding on in defence so far, since the last score in the 11th minute. 

20

MARTIN BACK IN ACTION

George Martin returns to the field after his ten-minute spell in the sin bin, with no change to scoreline during his absence.

YELLOW CARD | GEORGE MARTIN

George Martin is shown yellow and sent for 10 minutes on the sideline following the penalty try ruling.

PENALTY TRY | EXETER CHIEFS

The Chiefs lead 14-0 after George Martin is ruled to have tackled the man before he received a pass, which the officials believe would have been a try.

10

HEADING TO THE TMO

The TMO is being called upon for the first time today after Exeter find space in the Leicester defensive line but can't covert, however claim an early tackle preventing the score.

CON | EXETER CHIEFS

The home side lead 7-0 after seven minutes thanks to Henry Slade's conversion after their first try.

TRY | EXETER CHIEFS

The home side are the first to get across the chalk this afternoon, on the back of repeated infringements from the lads, and it's Jacques Vermeulen who crashes over.

5

TERRITORIAL OPENING

Both sides looking for early advantage in terms of territory in the opening five minutes at Sandy Park.

HERE WE GO!

We are underway at Sandy Park!


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Tom Wyatt
14
Rory O'Loughlin
13
Henry Slade
12
Ollie Devoto
11
Ben Hammersley
10
Harvey Skinner
9
Tom Cairns
1
Scott Sio
2
Jack Yeandle
3
Ehren Painter
4
Dafydd Jenkins
5
Lewis Pearson
6
Ethan Roots
7
Jacques Vermeulen
8
Greg Fisilau

Replacements

16
Dan Frost
17
Nika Abuladze
18
Josh Iosefa-Scott
19
Rusiate Tuima
20
Ross Vintcent
21
Stu Townsend
22
Joe Hawkins
23
Zack Wimbush

Team News | Tigers bring back experience for Exeter clash

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Dan McKellar has named the matchday squad for Saturday’s clash against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park in Round 9 of the 23/24 Gallagher Premiership.

Tigers have injected Freddie Steward, Handré Pollard, captain Julián Montoya, Dan Cole, Ollie Chessum and Jasper Wiese back into the side for the first of three mouth-watering league clashes either side of the new year.

Tommy Reffell misses out through injury which sees Academy graduate Emeka Ilione start in a league game for the first time, with prop James Whitcombe getting his first starting jersey of the Premiership campaign.

Ilione forms a new-look back row with Wiese and Chessum, who holds the distinction of playing across the back five in a Leicester jersey.

Ahead of the trip to Exeter, Leicester Tigers Head Coach Dan McKellar said: “This is a pivotal point of the season and we’re excited for the challenge heading down to Exeter. They’re a good side, particularly at home so it’s certainly a big game for us."

“It’s a long season and you’ll pick up knocks along the way but last week showed the depth we have within our squad and the confidence we have to use all players who work for an opportunity."

STARTING XV

15 Freddie Steward [77]

14 Anthony Watson [17]

13 Dan Kelly [68]

12 Solomone Kata [7]

11 Josh Bassett [10]

10 Handré Pollard [20]

9 Ben Youngs [307]

1 James Whitcombe [44]

2 Julián Montoya (c) [44]

3 Dan Cole [315]

4 George Martin [69]

5 Harry Wells [185]

6 Ollie Chessum [48]

7 Emeka Ilione [17]

8 Jasper Wiese [66]

REPLACEMENTS

16 Finn Theobold-Thomas [2]

17 Francois van Wyk [41]

18 Joe Heyes [132]

19 Olly Cracknell [39]

20 Kyle Hatherell [8]

21 Tom Whiteley [17]

22 Jamie Shillcock [13]

23 Mike Brown [16]

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
5
Exeter Chiefs
Exeter ChiefsEXE127053502717951396135
6
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI127052932543936323233
Form Guide
Form
LWLLL
Last Match
Lost to Gloucester Rugby 14-17
Past Meeting
Won 29-10
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLLWW
Last Match
Beat Ealing Trailfinders 29-21
Past Meeting
Lost 10-29

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Leicester Tigers10
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