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Tigers take bonus point in defeat at Quins

Figure image
Leicester Tigers had to settle for a bonus point from their trip to the Twickenham Stoop after losing 25-19 to Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership on Friday night.

Tigers had led through Harry Thacker’s second-half try but were undone by the kicking boots of Ben Botica and an opportunist late try for Marland Yarde on a filthy night in London.
 
Freddie Burns’s penalty three minutes from time set up a nerve-wracking finale but Tigers were unable to make huge late pressure tell.
 
The result, Tigers’ third successive defeat in the Aviva Premiership, saw Quins leapfrog them into third place.
 
Jean de Villiers made his first appearance for Tigers after recovering from jaw and calf injuries. The former South Africa captain was a late replacement for Matt Smith, who was on the bench.
 
There was a late change at No10 too, with Oli Braynt selected to make his first Aviva Premiership start with Freddie Burns on the bench.
 
De Villiers partnered Manu Tuilagi, who was also returning from injury, at centre. Mathew Tait reverted to full-back to accommodate the return of Tuilagi, with Telusa Veainu joining Peter Betham on the wings.
 
Brendon O'Connor and Ed Slater were other injury returnees in the starting XV, while Laurence Pearce came in at No8 after his try-scoring appearance from the bench at Newcastle last week.
 
The game kicked off in heavy rain and swirling wind, and took a while to get going.
 
Bryant’s neat kick for space was fumbled by Ross Chisholm on his 22 to give Tigers an early attacking platform. And from the scrum Quins went offside giving Bryant his first kick at goal, which he landed to give his team a 3-0 lead after six minutes.
 
Tigers struggled to deal with the restart and O’Connor was pinged as he competed to win possession on the floor. Ben Botica landed his kick to level the scores.
 
It was a stop-start beginning to the game, with the conditions not allowing much running rugby and making handling difficult. But the Tigers lineout worked well and the Quins defence opened for Peter Betham’s run at the back of the set-piece but play was pulled back for a block.
 
Telusa Veainu picked off Winston Stanley’s pass on the left wing but had 50m to the line. Chisholm came across to make the tackle and then forced the ball from his grasp 5m out. Quins then broke to the other end where Tim Visser chipped over last-man Tait but the ball bounced into touch 20m out.
 
Bryant calmed things down with a kick to the corner, and when Tigers won back possession they opted for a series of pick-and-goes which drew an offside penalty in front of the posts and Bryant kicked Leicester back into a three-point lead.
 
However, Tigers knocked-on the restart and were penalised at the resulting scrum, and Botica levelled the scores again after 25 minutes.
 
This time it was Quins who failed to deal with the restart as Betham charged down Botica’s attempted clearance. Tigers won possession at the lineout and then won a penalty as Adam Jones failed to roll and Bryant made it three from three to put Tigers 9-6 ahead.
 
Marland Yarde’s step off the right flank had Tigers scrambling in defence but he lost his footing to allow players to get back. However, referee JP Doyle ruled he was held in the tackle and Botica levelled matters for a third time.
 
Tigers made a change four minutes before the break with Harry Thacker replacing O’Connor in the back row. Ghiraldini then forced Luke Wallace into a mistake, making the tackle and forcing him into a forward pass as Quins threatened down the right.
 
The score remained 9-9 at the break, and there were no changes as the teams emerged for the second period.
 
Tigers were called on in defence in the opening moments of the half, and kept Quins at arm’s length outside their 22. A big hit on Harry Sloan then forced a knock-on but referee Doyle stopped play for the scrum as Harrison looked to launch a counterattack.
 
Instead, Quins were awarded a penalty as they put the squeeze on at a scrum on the Tigers 22 and Botica kicked them into the lead for the first time in the game after 46 minutes.
 
Burns was introduced for Bryant on 50 minutes.
 
Ghiraldini looked to have stolen possession from Nick Easter on the Tigers 10m line but he was pinged for not releasing and Botica’s penalty extended Harlequin’s lead to 15-9.
 
But Tigers struck with their first attack of the second half to score the first try. Pearce and Tuilagi combined off the back of a lineout to punch a hole in the Quins defence, Thacker drove round the corner, held off the tackle to score on the left. Burns’s conversion gave Tigers a 16-15 lead after 56 minutes.
 
Tigers were winning the big collisions as the clock ticked into the final quarter.  Indeed, Tuilagi’s tackle on Chisholm forced a knock-on and won the penalty as retreating Quins players picked up in an offside position.
 
However, a penalty against Tigers at scrum time was kicked by Botica to give Quins an 18-16 lead with 14 minutes remaining. Tigers introduced Logovi’i Mulipola for Fraser Balmain for the restart.
 
His first involvement was to carry hard at the Quins defence and give Leicester a foothold in their half. Betham joined the attack to make ground down the left but Mulipola spilled possession at the next phase.
 
But Tigers kept up the pressure, Veainu’s kick forcing Chisholm to backtrack and concede a lineout in his 22. And when Quins came in at the side of the maul Tigers had a touchline penalty but Burns was wide with his kick.
 
Instead, Quins turned over possession close to halfway and countered to score on the right. Botica slid a kick into the unguarded right corner and Yarde won the race to score. Botica added the extras to give Quins a 25-16 lead.
 
Tigers won a penalty at the restart and Burns landed his kick from 40m to bring Tigers within range of a losing bonus point.
 
They had a final chance to win the game with a lineout 10m from the Quins line as the clock ticked into overtime. Tigers hammered away through more than 20 phases looking for a way through the Quins defence. However, the hosts held firm and eventually forced a knock-on to signal full-time.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

HAR 9-9 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

HAR 25-19 LEI

Attendance

14,800

Referee

JP Doyle

Harlequins
Harlequins
25

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
19

Match Stats

Harlequins
Leicester Tigers
Possession
46%
54%
Territory
42%
58%
Penalties Conceded
12
11
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
116/128 91%
80/89 90%
Scrums Won
9/10 90%
5/5 100%
Lineouts Won
7/7 0%
11/11 0%

Player Stats

Harlequins
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Mathew Tait
14Peter Betham
13Jean De Villiers
12Manu Tuilagi
11Telusa Veainu
10Oliver Bryant3P
9Sam Harrison
1Marcos Ayerza
2Leonardo Ghiraldini
3Fraser Balmain
4Ed Slater
5Michael Fitzgerald
6Tom Croft
7Brendon O'Connor
8Laurence Pearce
16Harry Thacker1T
17Riccardo Brugnara
18Logovi'i Mulipola
19Graham Kitchener
20
21Jono Kitto
221C1P
23Matt Smith

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Peter Betham
14
Peter Betham
Jean De Villiers
13
Jean De Villiers
Oliver Bryant
10
Oliver Bryant
Marcos Ayerza
1
Marcos Ayerza
Leonardo Ghiraldini
2
Leonardo Ghiraldini
Fraser Balmain
3
Fraser Balmain
Ed Slater
4
Ed Slater
Laurence Pearce
8
Laurence Pearce

Subs

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Ross Chisholm
14
Marland Yarde
13
Winston Stanley
12
Harry Sloan
11
Tim Visser
10
Ben Botica
9
Tito Tebaldi
1
Mark Lambert
2
Dave Ward
3
Adam Jones
4
James Horwill
5
6
Mathew Luamanu
7
Luke Wallace
8
Nick Easter

Subs

16
Joe Gray
17
Owen Evans
18
Kyle Sinckler
19
George Merrick
20
James Chisholm
21
Samson Egerton
22
Tim Swiel
23
Matt Hopper

Match preview: Harlequins versus Tigers

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Leicester Tigers and hosts Harlequins will both be determined to find the form that took them into the top four of the Aviva Premiership table when they meet at The Twickenham Stoop on Friday evening.

Quins suffered a fourth successive defeat in all competitions when they were beaten at Gloucester last weekend, while Tigers lost a second consecutive league game at Newcastle Falcons.
 
While Tigers remain in third place in the Aviva Premiership table, a group of four – Wasps, Northampton, Sale and Gloucester – were able to narrow the gap on the leading places and Quins dropped a place to fifth after Round 12.
 
Tigers won the season’s opening meeting of the sides in Round 2 but have lost on their last four visits to the Stoop since a 43-33 victory there in April 2012 on a day when they overturned a 13-point deficit before securing a sixth consecutive bonus-point victory. Revisit all of the action from that day by clicking here for the match report or here for the match gallery.
 
Kick-off at The Stoop is at 7.45pm on Friday in the opening action of Round 13.
 
There is live coverage on BT Sport, including Freeview, or follow all of the action with the Tigers website and social media channels.
 
“In the last two games we’ve not been good enough,” said Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill. “We still believe in how we are trying to play but you have to keep working at your game and get it right.
 
“This is a huge game for both sides. We’ve earned the right to be third in the table after 12 rounds but you can’t afford to lose many more games or you will drop out of the top four.
 
“We put ourselves under pressure against Saints and Gloucester but managed to dig ourselves out of a big hole. But in the last few weeks we have not been able to do that. We need to learn very quickly. If you do the basics really well, roll your sleeves up and control the contact areas you are more likely to win.”
 
Tigers will be without Dan Cole and Ben Youngs who are with the England squad preparing for the third round of the Six Nations Championship next weekend, while Quins are without five players who are in England’s 24-man squad. Tigers second row Dom Barrow serves the last game of a two-week suspension.
 
Match referee on Friday is JP Doyle, officiating in his 106th Premiership fixture.
 
Tigers will be in the club’s home kit at The Stoop.
 
 
 
 
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
7
Harlequins
HarlequinsHAR2210111547583-3655666755
Form Guide
Form
WLWWW
Last Match
Beat Exeter Chiefs 40-38
Past Meeting
Lost 29-35
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Won 35-29

Matchday Live

Harlequins25
Harlequins
Leicester Tigers19
Leicester Tigers
Full Time