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Tigers win rollercoaster clash at Quins

Leicester Tigers recorded a first away win of the season with a 31-28 verdict at Harlequins on Saturday in Round 4 of the Aviva Premiership season.

Telusa Veainu provided the only try of the opening half, showing good pace and a clever finish in the right-hand corner, with George Ford kicking the other points as the visitors went at the break 11-9 in front.

But two tries in the opening minutes of the second half from Quins threatened to change the change completely, before Tigers replied in similar fashion through Jonny May and Greg Bateman to set up an enthralling final quarter as the lead continued to change hands regularly.

A final penalty from Ford gave Tigers the lead for a fourth – and final – time in the afternoon as Tigers recorded a second successive win at The Stoop.

After a first win of the season against Gloucester in Round 3, head coach Matt O’Connor welcomed back Dom Barrow in the second row and Dominic Ryan at flanker, with Joe Maksymiw missing out and Luke Hamilton reverting to the bench.

Harry Wells, retained in the second row, made his 20th first-appearance to qualify for his player’s tie.

After Harlequins kicked off, buoyed by an away win over Wasps in the previous round, they held ball for the opening three minutes, getting through a dozen phases of play before gaining a penalty when Tigers played themselves into trouble on their own line. Fly-half Marcus Smith, this week named in England’s training squad, kicked them into a three-point lead.

Tigers were given an instant opportunity to reply when Quins knocked-on at the restart and then penalised at the scrum, allowing Ford to level the scores with a kick from 35 metres.

A succession of penalties against Quins began with Mark Lambert failing to roll away from a tackle on Ellis Genge and, after setting up a drive at the resulting lineout, Tigers looked to keep the pressure on the home defence.

They finally got a reward when quick lineout ball on the left and carries from Mike Williams and Sione Kalamafoni provided fresh momentum. Jonny May entered play on the right and Veainu slid to the tryline. The assistant referee had the perfect view and confirmed the score to referee Ian Tempest.

Ford, though, could not add the conversion as Tigers led 8-3 with 13 minutes gone.

Fly-half Smith cut the deficit with a three-pointer after Genge was penalised in a central position and Tigers lost Ryan to a head injury assessment during the break in play, with Hamilton entering the action.

Veainu showed another flash of brilliance on a run upfield just after the 20-minute mark, wrong-footing a succession of defenders as he straightened his line, but May and Nick Malouf were unable to latch on to the opportunity on the right with Quins running out of cover.

There was a scare at the other end when Malouf was hit as he tried to claim a kick and then Marcus Smith anticipated a pass from Ben Youngs, but Veainu raced across to make the tackle.

Respite did not last long, though. Dan Cole was penalised for a deliberate knock-on 25 metres out and Smith confidently added the kick to give the hosts a 9-8 advantage.

Veanui sniffed another opportunity when Quins knocked-on at the restart and Tigers set up an attack from the scrum. The defence quickly closed down on the Tonga international but Tigers still had an opportunity when Quins were penalised for a high tackle.

Tigers were gaining some reward at scrum time too, but after two penalties within reach of the line, it was the visiting pack who were then penalised at the set-piece and Quins were able to clear.

They could not keep Tigers out of reach for long, though, and Ford landed a penalty kick from the right when Quins were whistled at a breakdown to reclaim the lead for the visitors just two minutes before half-time.

Neither set of coaches made any changes at half-time, but it was Quins who gained the breakthrough with two tries in a two-minute spell.

First Danny Care scored with a tap penalty and then heavyweight back-rower Mat Loamanu rampaged his way to the line in the corner.

As Quins forced Tigers off their ball at a scrum on halfway, Alofa Alofa threatened with a run up towards the line. But at the recycle, Care’s pass picked out Genge who was still retreating. The referee awarded a penalty and Care went for the tap and darted to the line to the left of the posts. The conversion from Smith made it 16-11 to the hosts with 43 minutes gone.

And 90 seconds later, Quins latched on to loose ball near halfway and, with Chris Robshaw flat out injured in the middle of the pitch, Marland Yarde broke upfield before Loamanu arrived on his right shoulder and outpaced the defence to score and provide a 10-point cushion.

Referee Tempest lost his patience with the props at the next scrum, showing a yellow card to Genge and Will Collier as the front rows went to ground, while Quins also lost fly-half Smith to injury, with Tim Swiel brought off the bench.

As the game opened up, Tigers grabbed a second try and a foothold in the game, with Matt Toomua tempting the Quins defence out and delaying the pass long enough to pick out May on the left and he ran round Yarde to score his fourth try of the season. Ford’s extras made it 21-18.

Harry Thacker replaced skipper Tom Youngs before Quins kicked off again and Tigers were quickly back on to the front foot with a scrum on halfway after some obstruction from the Quins attack.

And after a strong carry from Hamilton and then Malouf, and with a penalty advantage being played, replacement Bateman showed some sharp finishing skills for a try which wrestled the advantage back in the direction of the visitors. Ford’s conversion made it 25-21 in their favour.

A see-saw encounter continued as Quins claimed the next score on 63 minutes. First, Tigers repelled charges from Loamanu and Roberts, with Ford making a superb stop on the Welsh centre, but then Care picked out a run from Alofa on the left with the defence short-handed and he ran through behind the posts to score. Swiel’s conversion swung the scoreboard in the hosts’ favour at 28-25.

Ford quickly levelled the scores again with a penalty from the edge of the 22 as both sides still struggled to retain any advantage.

One phase of play around the 72-minute mark had fans from both sides on their feet as Yarde broke free on the Quins right. First, he kicked over Veainu as Genge made a tackle, then Malouf chased Ford’s clearing kick all the way up to the home side’s tryline. When the referee blew for a penalty against Quins, he ran through the play with the television match official before returning for the Tigers penalty.

Ford kicked the three-pointer to claim the lead for a fourth time with just six minutes remaining but the Tigers defence still had to stay on task, keeping Quins in their own half.

Another period of pressure promised a final, decisive score from Tigers, with Sam Harrison and Genge going close, but Quins stuck on their tackles and when Tigers went wide, ball was lost just five metres out with less than three minutes remaining.

The next three minutes were played out just metres from the Quins line as they kept hold of the ball and Tigers kept tackling, before a final spill allowed the visitors to claim possession and kick out to secure a hard-fought win.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

HAR 9-11 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

HAR 28-31 LEI

Attendance

14,418

Referee

Ian Tempest

Match Stats

Harlequins
Leicester Tigers
Possession
56%
44%
Territory
52%
48%
Penalties Conceded
13
11
Yellow Cards
1
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
94/119 79%
158/187 84%
Scrums Won
4/4 100%
13/15 87%
Lineouts Won
8/11 73%
5/7 71%

Player Stats

Harlequins
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Telusa Veainu1T
14Nick Malouf
13Matt Smith
12Matt Toomua
11Jonny May1T
10George Ford2C4P
9Ben Youngs
1Ellis Genge
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Harry Wells
5Dom Barrow
6Mike Williams
7
8Sione Kalamafoni
16Harry Thacker
17Greg Bateman1T
18Logovi'i Mulipola
19Luke Hamilton
20Valentino Mapapalangi
21Sam Harrison
22Joe Ford
23Mathew Tait
Harlequins
Harlequins
28

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
31
Harlequins
P
P
P
T
C
T
T
C
KOHTFT
Leicester Tigers
P
T
P
T
C
T
C
P
P

Commentary

80

What a game!

What an advert for the Aviva Premiership. It was a game that had everything, the lead swapping hands time and again, brilliant tries and huge hits. Don't miss the highlights!

Tigers win!

Tigers claim their first win on the road, and their second in a row, with a gutsy, battling performance at The Twickenham Stoop. What a game!

80

Time is up

80 minutes on the clock and Quins are still pinned in their 22

79

Tigers defence is brilliant

No way out for Quins as Tigers keep them pinned on their own line

77

Huge scrum

The clock has stopped as a massive scrum is set 5m from the Quins line. Tigers have the nudge on but it's to be reset, Two minutes left

77

So close for Tigers

May makes a lovely break, finds Harrison but he is stopped by last-man Harrison. Tigers hammer away but Barrow cannot collect Harrison's pass and spills the ball 3m out

75

A long five minutes ahead

There are still five minutes to go, and anything could happen, such has been the topsy turvy nature of this game. It's breathless

It's carnage out there!

The bodies are tiring everywhere out there. Replacement Tait is off after hurting himself in a big tackle and Joe Ford on for his Tigers debut. Now Sam Harrison replaces Ben Youngs

Tigers lead, again!

With everything go off around him, Ford keeps his cool to kick the penalty and push Tigers into the lead

73

Tigers go for the posts

Play comes all the way back for the infringement on he Quins line. No card for Roberts. Ford to go for the posts

72

TMO time

Referee Tempest goes to his TMO to check Genge and Veainu's tackle on Yarde. It's all good!

72

It's all happening here!

Genge makes the tackle on Yarde as he chips ahead. Tigers counterattack. Malouf wins the foot race to Ford's kick. He is held by Roberts and Tigers have the penalty on the Quins line.

70

Tino time!

Valentino Mapapalangi forces the knock-on in the tackle. Good work by the Tonga back-row replacement

Premiership debut

Quins loosehead prop Lewis Boyce is on for Mark Lambert for his league bow

Mulipola on for Cole. T Youngs is back on for Thacker, who has picked up a knock

It's all square at The Stoop

Ford kicks the penalty, and it is 28-28 in Twickenham. All to play for in the last 13 minutes.

Mat Tait is on for Matt Smith, as Tigers win a penalty in front of the posts for hands in the ruck

64

Tigers chance

Quins lose possession at the kick-off and it almost lands in the hands of May, but he cannot collect and it's a knock-on to Tigers

Swiel kicks the conversion

Swiel has a simple conversion to complete the seven-point score

Quins go over again

Quins make the most of a penalty advantage, with Care picking out Alofa Alofa to crash over from close range

58

More on Bateman's try

Props aren't meant to score tries like that! He glides past James Horwill as he collects Ford's pass and then steps around Brown to score

Ford adds the extras

It's 14 points in two minutes for Tigers, as Ford adds the extras. Tigers lead by four with 21 minutes to go

What a try! What a match!

Greg Bateman charges on to Ford's flat pass, steps around England's Mike Brown and scores a beauty by the posts.

Thacker on

A captain's shift by Tom Youngs comes to an end, and Harry Thacker is on

54

More on May's try

Ben Youngs and Malouf combine brilliantly to take Tigers down the left. It comes back inside, where Toomua lets Care fly out of the line and throws a wonderful pass to give May a free run to the line. May runs round towards the posts to make the conversion easier

Ford converts

Ford adds a simple conversion to bring Tigers back to within three points

Brilliant try for Tigers

TRRYY! It's that man May who is in for Tigers! His fourth for the Tigers

Subs for each team

Bateman comes on for Williams, Sinckler for Marchant for the scrum, which Quins win a penalty at

Yellow card apiece

Genge and Will Collier receive a yellow card for a misdemeanor at scrum time. They shrug at each other as they come off

50

Genge on the hoof

Ellis Genge in full flow is a thing of beauty. He charges over Jamie Roberts but spills the ball as he goes to ground.

Quins rejig

Smith is off for Quins with Tim Swiel on at fly-half

It's all happening at the Stoop

Conversion missed, Chris Robshaw off for a HIA with Ben Glynn on

More points for Quins

Quins have flown out of the blocks to score a second try in the opening moments of the second half. Mat Luamanu holds off the despairing late tackle to score at the right-hand corner

Smith adds the extras

Fly-half Marcus Smith completes the seven-point score with the conversion

Care gives Quins the lead

Tigers can't deal with the Quins attack and get the penalty for the retreating Genge blocking Care's pass. Care takes it quick and scores by the posts

43

Scrum time

A scrum early in the second half is overturned by Quins and they attack from deep

Second half underway

George Ford kicks off the second half, with Tigers attacking the end to the left as we type!

That's half-time. Tigers hold a two-point lead, thanks to Veainu's first try of the season and six points for George Ford.

40

Not straight, again!

The Quins lineout not functioning at times today ... Buchanan again off target with his throw

Tigers lead again

... Ford arrows his kick between the posts to give Tigers a two-point lead. The penalty count stacking up against Quins, who have given eight away so far this half

37

Penalty to Tigers

Tigers have a chance to retake the lead. Quins pinged on the floor in stopping Genge's run. Ford to kick ...

35

Youngs with the break

Ben Youngs snipes down the side of a ruck. He has Ford in support and slides a kick towards the line but Smith gets back to mop up and Quins secure possession

35

Another scrum penalty

Another scrum ends in a penalty to Tigers. Ford kicks them to the Quins 22, but Tigers lose their first lineout of the afternoon

34

Good defence

Quins look neat moving the ball in front of the Leicester defence, but Tigers don't look in trouble and eventually Buchanan knocks-on

31

Scrum on down

Tigers win two successive penalties at the scrum 5m from the Quins line, pack down for a third time, and referee Tempest awards the penalty against the visitors!

28

Strong and stable

And solid scrum platform gives Tigers a really good attacking position in the Quins 22. Veainu and Malouf test the defence before Tigers get the penalty for a high tackle on Veainu

27

Eddie watch

England head coach Eddie Jones has made the short trip from Twickenham HQ to Twickenham Stoop to watch today's proceedings.

Quins lead again

Dan Cole gives Smith a welcome tackle. But the Tigers prop cannot stop himself from flinging out an arm at the next phase and knocking on, deliberately in the eyes of referee Ian Tempest. Smith lands the penalty

24

Tigers under the pump

The Tigers scrum is under pressure 5m, but Kalamafoni secures possession and Youngs makes 15m with his kick

22

Lucky Tigers!

Malouf can't deal with an up-and-under before Ben Youngs throws a speculative pass that is picked off by Smith. He loses possession forwards as Veainu hits him from the side.

21

Telusa goes Strictly Come Dancing

Wonderful dancing feet by Veainu takes him through the Quins defence but May's pass for Malouf goes to ground and the opportunity goes away. Veainu's run is worth watching on the highlights

19

Lucky Brown

The luck is with Mike Brown, who hits a kick deep into Tigers territory from his own half. The ball looks to be rolling dead but stops just shy of the dead-ball line in goal. Drop out to Tigers

Points for the hosts

Smith punishes Tigers with his second penalty of the game

17

Penalty to Quins

Harlequins maintain possession through a number of phases before Ellis Genge is pinged for going off his feet

15

Shhhhhh!

It's eerily quiet around the Stoop, but the home side have something to get them going as Jack Clifford goes on a run down the left, where he is tackled by Nick Malouf

15

Not straight!

While Tigers' lineout has started well, Rob Buchanan is off target with his first throw. Scrum to Tigers

12

More on the try

Tigers had gained ground with a series of penalties, and with a well-working lineout, built a platform in the Quins 22. Veainu's angled run looked to have been stopped but his momentum took him over for his first try of the season

12

Conversion goes wide

Ford is unable to add the extras with a testing kick from the right touchline

Try time!

Slight confusion around the Stoop as Veainu is tackled just short of the line, but his momentum took him over. The try is confirmed by the touch judge and Tigers lead for the first time!

10

Tigers go to the corner

Tigers are deep in Quins territory after kicking a series of penalties for territory ...

Ford brings Tigers level

... Ford lands his kick from around 40m to level the scores

5

Penalty to Tigers

Tigers earn a penalty at the first scrum of the game, Quins loosehead Mark Lambert going to ground. Ford going for goal ...

Quins take an early lead

... and Smith lands a simple kick to give Quins the lead

4

Early penalty for Quins

Veainu is swamped by Quins tacklers as he receives a pass from May 5m from his line and is whistled for holding on ...

0

We're off

Young Quins fly-half Marcus Smith gets us going, with Telusa Veainu collecting his kick-off

0

Followed by the hosts

Harlequins are now out as well. The hosts will kick-off with Tigers attacking the end to our right

0

The Tigers are out

Led out by captain Tom Youngs, Tigers are the first out on to the pitch

0

Kick-off moments away

The warm-ups are over. The teams are in the changing rooms for their last-minute prep. Kick-off is just round the corner

0

Shirt sleeve order

It's a pleasant 19C at the Twickenham Stoop as the teams go through their warm-up

0

The Tigers team for today

15 Telusa Veainu 14 Nick Malouf 13 Matt Smith 12 Matt Toomua 11 Jonny May 10 George Ford 9 Ben Youngs 1 Ellis Genge 2 Tom Youngs (captain) 3 Dan Cole 4 Harry Wells 5 Dom Barrow 6 Mike Williams 7 Dominic Ryan 8 Sione Kalamafoni

 16 Harry Thacker 17 Greg Bateman 18 Logovi’i Mulipola 19 Luke Hamilton 20 Valentino Mapapalangi 21 Sam Harrison 22 Joe Ford 23 Mathew Tait

0

The Harlequins team for today

15 Mike Brown 14 Marland Yarde 13 Joe Marchant 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Charlie Walker 10 Marcus Smith 9 Danny Care 1 Mark Lambert 2 Rob Buchanan (118) 3 Will Collier 4 George Merrick 5 James Horwill (captain) 6 Chris Robshaw 7 Jack Clifford 8 Mat Luamanu
 
16 Dave Ward 17 Lewis Boyce 18 Kyle Sinckler 19 Charlie Matthews 20 Ben Glynn 21 Dave Lewis 22 Tim Swiel 23 Alofa Alofa


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Mike Brown
14
Marland Yarde
13
Joe Marchant
12
Jamie Roberts
11
Charlie Walker
10
Marcus Smith
9
Danny Care
1
Mark Lambert
2
Rob Buchanan
3
Will Collier
4
George Merrick
5
James Horwill
6
Chris Robshaw
7
Jack Clifford
8
Mathew Luamanu

Subs

16
Dave Ward
17
Lewis Boyce
18
Kyle Sinckler
19
Charlie Matthews
20
Ben Glynn
21
Dave Lewis
22
Tim Swiel
23
Alofa Alofa
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
5
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2213095374726561555663
10
Harlequins
HarlequinsHAR227015479640-16158785336

Harlequins welcome Leicester Tigers to the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday with both teams chasing successive Aviva Premiership victories.

While Tigers notched a first win of the season against Gloucester in Round 3 a week ago, Quins were making it two in a row as they backed up a home win over Gloucester by becoming the first Premiership team to win on Wasps territory last Sunday.

Quins are chasing a hat-trick of league victories for the first time since May 2014.

Tigers, though, did claim a home-and-away double over their rivals last season – for the first time since 2010/11 – with Sam Harrison and Freddie Burns on the scoresheet in a 27-18 win at The Stoop in February.

Team news was announced by both camps at noon on Friday, with Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor recalling Dom Barrow after injury and giving Dominic Ryan a place in the back row.

Quins give a starting place to new England squad member Marcus Smith at fly-half but are without prop Joe Marler after he suffered a rib injury in the win over Wasps in Round 3.

Tigers will wear the club’s all white alternate kit at The Stoop.

Referee is Ian Tempest in his 34th Premiership match in charge.

Kick-off is at 3.00pm and there is live coverage on BT Sport.

Form Guide
Harlequins
Form
LLWLW
Last Match
Beat Chiefs 28-26
Past Meeting
Lost 18-33
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Leicester Tigers
Form
LLLLL
Last Match
Lost to Racing 11-34
Past Meeting
Won 33-18

Matchday Live

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Leicester Tigers31
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