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Tigers roar to first home win of the season

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Leicester Tigers made it three wins from four games at the start of the Aviva Premiership season with a 34-14 victory over Bath Rugby on Sunday afternoon.

Tigers scored three tries to record their first home win of the campaign and inflict on Bath their first defeat in front a noisy Welford Road.
Brendon O’Connor got the ball rolling with his second try of the season, while Owen Williams’s boot opened up an 11-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Semesa Rokoduguni’s reply left Tigers 14-7 ahead at the break. But they doubled their advantage soon after the restart when Tom Youngs finished off a lineout drive.
Williams continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over, and despite a few nerves following Tom Dunn’s try, Tigers finished on top. They sniffed a bonus point when Ed Slater dived in from close-range but despite were unable to claim the fourth score in a frantic finish.
Tigers made a change before kick-off with Freddie Burns dropping to the bench after being unwell. Mathew Tait stepped up from the bench to make his 100th appearance for the club, with Owen Williams moving to fly-half.
Marcos Ayerza and Lachlan McCaffrey returned to the pack, while Telusa Veainu moved to full-back and Adam Thompstone came into the back three.
Bath made a change before kick-off with Jonathan Joseph ruled out through injury. Dan Bowden came in against his former club alongside Matt Banahan. Aled Brew came onto the bench.
Tigers came flying out of the traps, testing the Bath defence through 21 phases. But with the heavens opening shortly after the kick-off, it made for a slippery ball and eventually a knock-on 5m out brought the attack to an end. It set the tone for a dominant first quarter by the Tigers.
Tigers mauled the Bath defence some 15m towards their own line, and with it they had Welford Road in full voice. The maul was dragged down and Owen Williams kicked Tigers into a 3-0 lead. It was the first time Tigers had scored first in an Aviva Premiership game this season.
George Ford, against his former club, eased Bath into the game, and gave them their first bit of territory, with a couple of clever kicks into the corners. But Tigers dealt with them well, Owen Williams eventually found touch close to halfway.
Mike Williams stole possession at the lineout and Tigers struck. Peter Betham’s arcing run took him through the Bath defence, his pass found Veianu on the touchline, who popped the ball back inside for O’Connor to dive in for his second try of the season. Tigers led 8-0 after 15 minutes.
Tigers had their tails up and the Mikes Williams and Fitzgerald combined to win a holding-on penalty from Tom Homer, as he fielded Ben Youngs’s up-and-under.
A scrum penalty on the Bath 22 allowed Owen Williams to move the lead to 11-0 after 20 minutes.
Bath were next to score. Ford sliced his high kick but Semesa Rokoduguni beat JP Pietersen to the high ball and when he landed had a free run to the right corner for Bath’s opening try. Ford converted to leave Tigers 11-7 ahead.
Veainu was then alert to Ford’s kick through, beating Bowden to the ball on the 22 for Owen Williams to find touch.
Bath had plenty of possession and territory now and Ford’s cross kick picked out Rokoduguni again but he was well marshalled by Pietersen before play came back for an earlier penalty. Ford was off target with his kick from the angle.
Tigers regrouped and a lineout midway inside the Bath half gave them the platform to attack. Leicester forced Bath back into their 22 but a heavy tackle on Mike Williams forced a knock-on. Smart feet by Tait then opened a half gap before Pietersen was whistled for holding on.
The momentum had swung back towards Tigers, and they almost scored a second try when Pietersen burst through on halfway. He was eventually stopped 5m out and as Tigers swept forward Tom Ellis was offside under his posts. Owen Williams’s penalty moved Tigers 14-7 ahead at the break.
Jack Roberts came on for Pietersen at half-time, slotting in at centre with Betham going to the wing, before Aled Brew replaced Bowden for the visitors.
Tigers made a strong start to the second half, putting together multiple phases before O’Connor’s run was killed on the left. Tigers had the penalty and went to the corner and won another penalty at the lineout, which saw referee Matthew Carley put Bath on a team warning.
Referee Carley signalled a penalty as Tigers set up the resulting drive, and with the advantage they drove Tom Youngs over to score the second try. Owen Williams landed the kick from out wide to move Tigers 21-7 ahead.
Bath settled themselves with a series of phases of their own. And with Tigers defending their line for their lives, they went offside but Ford missed a simple penalty.
Bath continued to test the Leicester defence in close quarters and with Ford’s probing kicks, and it took a stunning 60m boot by Owen Williams to ease the pressure and force the visitors back into their 22.
Replacement prop Ellis Genge made a mess of a scrum 40m out, but Owen Williams’s penalty was off target. Instead, an obstruction by Kahn Fotuali’i on Veainu gave him a penalty in front to move Tigers 24-7 ahead going into the final quarter.
Great work by Betham and Veainu to chase down Ford and then Fotuali’i won another penalty bang in front and suddenly Tigers were 27-7 ahead with 19 minutes left.
Thompstone and Veainu combined to tackle the flying Anthony Watson into touch as the England winger dived for the corner.
Bath gave themselves a lifeline 12 minutes from time. A short lineout routine saw Tom Dunn and Matt Garvey exchange passes and the replacement hooker barged over at the corner. Ford’s extras left Tigers 27-14 ahead.
Superb work from Ed Slater ripped possession from the heart of a Bath maul, as they threatened another before replacement fly-half Burns sent an inch-perfect kick to the right corner to force Bath to attack from deep.
Instead, it was Tigers who gave themselves hope of a try bonus when superb maul work, and then a close-range finish brought a third try through Slater. Burns drop kicked the conversion to put Tigers 34-14 ahead.
Tigers had one last chance, when Burns sent a penalty from inside his own half to the Bath 22 with time up. But in a frantic finish Rokoduguni picked off Burns’s pass befove eventually being bundled into touch in the last play as he tried to snatch a consolation score at the other end.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 14-7 BAT

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 34-14 BAT




Matthew Carley

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers

Full Time

Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bath Rugby
Penalties Conceded
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Tackles Won
87/103 84%
114/132 86%
Scrums Won
1/1 0%
2/4 50%
Lineouts Won
15/15 100%
16/16 100%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers
15Telusa Veainu
14Adam Thompstone
13Peter Betham
12Mathew Tait
11JP Pietersen
10Owen Williams1C5P
9Ben Youngs
1Marcos Ayerza
2Tom Youngs1T
3Dan Cole
4Michael Fitzgerald
5Graham Kitchener
6Mike Williams
7Brendon O'Connor1T
8Lachlan McCaffrey
16George McGuigan
17Ellis Genge
18Greg Bateman
19Ed Slater1T
20Will Evans
21Sam Harrison
22Freddie Burns1C
23Jack Roberts

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

Semesa Rokoduguni
Dan Bowden
Anthony Watson
George Ford
Henry Thomas
Charlie Ewels
Dave Attwood
Matt Garvey
Tom Ellis
Leroy Houston


Tom Dunn
Beno Obano
Max Lahiff
Elliott Stooke
Zach Mercer
Will Homer
Jeff Williams
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI22140856744512258486466
Bath Rugby
Bath RugbyBAT22120104864404652495659
Form Guide
Last Match
Lost to Sale Sharks 13-21
Past Meeting
Won 48-27
Last Match
Past Meeting
Last Match
Beat Saracens 61-29
Past Meeting
Lost 27-48

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers34
Leicester Tigers
Bath Rugby14
Bath Rugby
Full Time