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Tigers enjoy winning start to 2015

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Leicester Tigers began 2015 with a 17-8 victory over Bath Rugby at a sold-out Welford Road that moved them joint fourth in the Aviva Premiership.

Tom Youngs scored Tigers’ only try of the game in the first half, finishing off a lineout drive for his first try of the season.
 
Fly-half Owen Williams kicked four penalties for the Tigers, who had gone behind to George Ford’s early penalty.
 
Bath scored a try of their own right on full-time, but it proved only a consolation when Ford missed the conversion that would have given them a losing bonus point.
 
The result, in front of a capacity 24,000 crowd, moved Tigers above Exeter Chiefs and level on points with Wasps in the Aviva Premiership table.
 
Tigers welcomed back Marcos Ayerza and Youngs after they started among the replacements at Sale Sharks. With Dan Cole ruled out with a foot injury, they were joined in the front row by Fraser Balmain. Graham Kitchener came into the second row and there were starting spots in the backs for Anthony Allen and Adam Thompstone. Julian Salvi made the 100th appearance of his Tigers career.
 
Bath included former Tigers backs Ford and Horacio Agulla in their starting XV and ex-Leicester scrum-half Micky Young on the bench.
 
Bath settled into the game with a period of early possession. And they were awarded the game’s first penalty when Tigers were pinged for going off their feet, and Ford kicked the visitors into a 3-0 lead.
 
Salvi blocked Ford’s clearance and Ayerza picked up the loose ball to give Tigers their first attacking position. Bath were ruled offside but Williams struck the left post with the penalty. The ball rebounded to Matt Garvey but Miles Benjamin was quick to react, preventing the ball being released and winning a second penalty that Williams landed to level the scores.
 
A tap penalty by Ben Youngs had Tigers on the attack again. Benjamin and Vereniki Goneva combined down the left where the Fiji international was stopped eight metres short. Bath went offside inn defence, Tigers kicked to the corner but the lineout was lost and the chance went away.

Referee Matthew Carley spoke to Bath captain Stuart Hooper after another penalty against the visitors in their 22 moments later.
 
Tigers went for the corner, Crane set up the drive and with the Bath pack under pressure Benjamin and Goneva joined in to help it over the line, where Tom Youngs applied the finish. It went unconverted as Tigers led 8-3 after 18 minutes.
 
Williams extended the Leicester lead with his second penalty after Bath infringed at a lineout close to halfway.
 
Tigers enjoyed a huge period of pressure in the Bath 22 with Goneva and Williams going close to adding a second try. Crane and Ayerza were also stopped just short as they picked and went from the rucks but met solid Bath defence. The visitors were pinged for a no-arms tackle but when Tigers went to the corner, Dave Attwood stole the lineout on his own line and Ford cleared.
 
Bath counterattacked through Anthony Watson and Ford before putting together phase after phase in the Tigers 22. And they claimed a try when Ollie Devoto, on for Kyle Eastmond, found Burgess to cross on the left but the final pass was ruled forward.
 
Tigers were called on again in defence with Chris Cook’s tap penalty almost caught them off guard. Burgess then knocked on 5m out as he tried to latch onto Ford’s pass but play was pulled back for an earlier penalty.
 
Bath went for the corner and Garvey peeled off the maul but was stopped by Williams, who worked with Crane to win the penalty for holding on.
 
A monster Ford penalty to the corner gave Bath one last attacking chance of the first-half. Tigers were pinged for coming in at the side of the maul but Ford missed a simple penalty to leave Tigers 11-3 ahead at the break.
 
Ben Youngs’ clever chip over the Bath defence had Cook under pressure from the chasing Benjamin, and he fumbled the ball out for a 10m lineout. However, Tigers were pinmged at the lineout and the chance went away.
 
Good defensive pressure in midfield had Bath going backwards in their own half, and when Salvi latched onto Burgess Tigers were awarded a holding-on penalty on the 10m line. Williams landed his kick to move Tigers 14-3 ahead.
 
It was a good start to the half for Tigers, who also forced Watson into a knock-on into touch and won turnover ball on a Bath lineout.
 
Excellent defence from Ben Youngs then caused a moment of indecision from Ford and resulted in Devoto being held in the choke tackle. Tigers were awarded a penalty at the resulting scrum and Williams landed his kick to give the hosts a 17-3 lead with 20 minutes to go.
 
Bath looked for an immediate reply with some neat hands in the backs almost creating an opening for Francois Louw but play was pulled back for a forward pass by Matt Banahan in the build-up.
 
However, Tigers were unable to clear the danger and had to defend a 5m lineout. But they held up the maul and then forced Ross Batty into a knock-on when the ball was moved into midfield.
 
Tigers were called on to defend a series of 5m lineouts as the game headed into the last 15 minutes. With a penalty advantage from one maul, Devoto kicked for Banahan on the left wing but the ball beat him into touch.
 
At the next lineout Bath fed Rokoduguni down the narrow side where he was bundled into touch by Robert Barbieri and Gibson 2m from the line. Tigers secured their own ball and found touch on the 22. There Kitchener stole the lineout and Sam Harrison kicked deeper into Bath territory to ease the pressure.
 
However, Bath scored with the final attack of the game, finally getting their lineout drive going and Batty applied the finish to the left of the posts. However, Ford was wide with the conversion as Tigers secured a first win of 2015 and Bath headed back to the West Country empty-handed.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 11-3 BAT

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 17-8 BAT

Attendance

24,000

Referee

Matthew Carley

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bath Rugby
Possession
54%
46%
Territory
54%
46%
Penalties Conceded
13
14
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
107/117 91%
103/116 89%
Scrums Won
6/12 50%
1/1 100%
Lineouts Won
15/15 0%
21/21 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15
14
13
12Anthony Allen
11Miles Benjamin
104P
9Ben Youngs
1Marcos Ayerza
2Tom Youngs1T
3Fraser Balmain
4Graham Kitchener
5Geoff Parling
6Jamie Gibson
7Julian Salvi
8
16
17Michele Rizzo
18Tiziano Pasquali
19Sebastian De Chaves
20Robert Barbieri
21
22
23Seremaia Bai
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
17

Full Time

Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
8

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

13
Anthony Allen
12
Anthony Allen
Miles Benjamin
11
Miles Benjamin
10
Marcos Ayerza
1
Marcos Ayerza
Fraser Balmain
3
Fraser Balmain
Geoff Parling
5
Geoff Parling
Jamie Gibson
6
Jamie Gibson
Julian Salvi
7
Julian Salvi
8

Subs

16
Tiziano Pasquali
18
Tiziano Pasquali
Sebastian De Chaves
19
Sebastian De Chaves
Robert Barbieri
20
Robert Barbieri
22
Seremaia Bai
23
Seremaia Bai

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Anthony Watson
14
Horacio Agulla
13
Sam Burgess
12
11
Matt Banahan
10
George Ford
9
Chris Cook
1
Paul James
2
3
4
Stuart Hooper
5
Dave Attwood
6
Matt Garvey
7
8

Subs

16
Ross Batty
17
Nick Auterac
18
Henry Thomas
19
Dominic Day
20
Leroy Houston
21
Micky Young
22
Ollie Devoto
23
Semesa Rokoduguni
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
2
Bath Rugby
Bath RugbyBAT22160662541421172439275
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2215164534213237394268
Form Guide
Form
WDWDD
Last Match
Draw with Bayonne null-null
Past Meeting
Won 36-31
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LWDLL
Last Match
Lost to Wasps 44-52
Past Meeting
Lost 31-36