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Report | Tigers claim bonus-point win in front of sell-out crowd

Figure image

Leicester Tigers have claimed a 35-22 bonus-point win on New Year’s Eve in front of a sell-out crowd Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

A clinical 25-minute flurry in the first half saw the visitors off, a frustrating second 40 giving Tigers something to work on ahead of the visit of Saracens on Saturday.

Tigers looked good from the off, winning the early collisions and working their way into Bath’s territory.

Despite their dominance, it was Tigers who would concede first, Bath scrumhalf Louis Schreuder pinching a pass from Pollard to score from long range.

The early knock didn’t dent Tigers’ confidence however, and I wouldn’t be long before backrow Matt Rogerson was muscling his way over the line, Pollard converting from under the sticks.

That score got the home side going, the forwards turning the screw up front with their physicality in-tight.

The backs were in the mood as well though. Generating quick ball, scrumhalf Tom Whiteley pulled Tigers attack left, and quickly around the corner. With a slight overlap, Whiteley found a perfect pass to Mike Brown and the veteran showed his class to score on his first ever Premiership start on the wing.

In the lead, Tigers went hunting for more. James Cronin and as next to score, the Irish prop burrowing under Bath defenders to score.

At 21-7, Tigers now needed just one more try for a first half bonus point, and Jasper Wiese wasn’t waiting around, the bruising backrower bowling through Bath off the kickoff.

With momentum, Tigers worked their way deep in the visitors area and George Martin was simply too powerful to stop from close range. Pollard kicked his fourth conversion to make it 28-7.

Bath did knock over a penalty before the break, making it 28-10 as the teams ran to the tunnel.

Tigers head coach Dan McKellar admitted after the game that the second half was frustrating from the home side’s point of view, but a penalty try forced at the maul early on in the second half certainly put Leicester in a strong position, 35-10, as Bath found a purple patch.

Leicester did have their chances to push on, but it was Bath who would bag a couple late tries to make it 35-22 at the final whistle.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 28-10 BAT

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 35-22 BAT

Attendance

25,849

Referee

Karl Dickson

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
35

Full Time

Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
22
Leicester Tigers
T
C
T
C
T
C
T
C
T
KOHTFT
Bath Rugby
T
C
P
T
C
T

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bath Rugby
Possession
58%
42%
Territory
48%
52%
Penalties Conceded
10
11
Yellow Cards
0
2
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
103/126 82%
145/167 87%
Scrums Won
5/5 100%
4/4 100%
Lineouts Won
19/21 90%
15/18 83%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Freddie Steward
14Harry Simmons
13Dan Kelly
12Solomone Kata
11Mike Brown1T
10Handre Pollard4C
9Tom Whiteley
1James Cronin1T
2Julian Montoya
3Joe Heyes
4George Martin1T
5Ollie Chessum
6Matt Rogerson1T
7Tommy Reffell
8Jasper Wiese
16Finn Theobald-Thomas
17Francois van Wyk
18Will Hurd
19Harry Wells
20Kyle Hatherell
21Olly Cracknell
22Joe Powell
23Jamie Shillcock

Commentary

FULL TIME AT MATTIOLI WOODS WELFORD ROAD

Tigers claim an important, five-try, bonus point home win against old foes Bath Rugby, finishing 2023 in style.

Full time score: Leicester Tigers 35 - 22 Bath Rugby

80

CONVERSION MISSED | BATH RUGBY

From way out wide, Bath shave the post and miss the chance to add the extras.

TRY | BATH RUGBY

Bath finish the game off with a third try, substitute Ewan Richards driving over in the corner as the clock ticks into the red.

CONVERSION | BATH RUGBY

A simple conversion for Bailey adds the extras for Bath.

TRY | BATH RUGBY

Louie Hennessey gets the visitors' first points of the second half, scoring under the posts following a break in midfield.

70

Tigers go close

The home side have been pressing for another but just can't get over the whitewash for a sixth try of the match.

A Mike Brown interception and pop to a rampaging Wiese saw them a shade from the line earlier in the half and another chance has just passed them by.

Jamie Shillcock picks up on a loose ball with a punt forward and hares after it, drawing the five metre scrum as Bath choose to touch down behind their own line.

From there a break down in the initial scrum sees Bath clear the ball but Tigers come running it back, their drives repelled and the ball turned over.

62

HUGE TURN OUT HERE AT HOME

Attendence is announced as a confirmed sell out, with 25'849 of the Tigers Family cheering on the side today!

SUBSTITUTIONS | LEICESTER TIGERS

Triple substitutions here for Tigers, all to stellar ovations, with Montoya replaced by Finn Theobald-Thomas for his maiden Premiership appearance at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, Harry Wells replacing George Martin and Kyle Hatherell replacing Jasper Wiese.

SUBSTITUTIONS | LEICESTER TIGERS

Substitutions in the front row as Tigers see Cronin depart for Francois Van Wyk and Heyes leaves the field for Will Hurd.

SUBSTITUTION | LEICESTER TIGERS

A change in the back row as Olly Cracknell replaces Tommy Reffell.

50

Tigers keeping the pressure on

The home side are desperate for more scores, with Brown and Simmons both having plenty of opportunities to probe the Bath defence.

A cheer goes up for captain Julián Montoya who collects an attempted chip and chase beautifully, before offloading to Brown.

YELLOW CARD | BATH RUGBY

Within the fracas surrounding the penalty try, Bath No. 8 Jaco Coetzee is shown a yellow card.

PENALTY TRY | LEICESTER TIGERS

Tigers strike first in the second 40, a penalty try given as George Martin almost drives over for his second.

THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY

The sun has set and the night is rolling in as Orlando Bailey kicks us off for the second period here at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

HALF TIME HERE AGAINST BATH RUGBY

Tigers go into the second half with a strong lead, after Matt Rogerson's first Premiership try for Tigers added to scores from Mike Brown, James Cronin and George Martin.

Half time score: Leicester Tigers 28 - 10 Bath Rugby

PENALTY | BATH RUGBY

Bath end the half with a simple penalty from dead in front of the posts, Orlando Bailey adding the three.

CONVERSION | Handré Pollard

Another simple kick for the fly half, duly dispatched.

TRY | GEORGE MARTIN

Just moments from the restart, Tigers score again!

It starts with a blood and thunder carry from Wiese, who smashes through several Bath players out wide and draws a penalty. Pollard duly dispatches it to touch just five metres out.

From the line-out, Tigers play it outwards, Simmons showing lovely feet to get over the gainline before lock Martin crashes over on an abrasive line to get the crowd on their feet.

CONVERSION | Handré Pollard

A third conversion of the game for Pollard, who adds the extras from close range.

TRY | JAMES CRONIN

The prop grabs his first try of the season!

Tigers play it short again, with Bath a forward down, and Cronin drives over from close range.

YELLOW CARD | BATH RUGBY

GJ van Velze is shown to the sin bin for stopping a potential grounding.

CONVERSION | Handré Pollard

The Springbok furthers Tigers lead to a converted try, with a splendid kick from out left again.

Leicester Tigers have the highest successful kick conversion % in the Gallagher Premiership this year and Pollard adds further gloss to that statistic.

TRY | MIKE BROWN

On his 271st Premiership appearance, Mike Brown grabs a try!

The full back, who finds himself on the wing today, races over after a precision miss pass from Tom Whiteley finds him in space.

20

BACK & FORTH ACTION

A second interception from the visitors sees Tom de Glanville go close but Tigers repel the Bath waves and regain possession.

Strong kicking from Freddie Steward and dancing feet from wing Harry Simmons gets Tigers back up field and the battle resumes in the centre of the pitch.

CONVERSION | Handré Pollard

Pollard restores parity with a confident kick just to the left of the posts.

TRY | Matt Rogerson

And there's the opening score for Tigers!

Matt Rogerson gets his second try in a Leicester jersey, driving over from short range after a succession of tight carries gets the forwards over the whitewash.

10

Tigers building back

The home side are working their way back into this match, with strong carries from the likes of James Cronin and Dank Kelly.

A big turnover from Jasper Wiese on halfway lights up the crowd as does the decision to kick for the corner. Line-out incoming!

CONVERSION | BATH RUGBY

Orlando Bailey adds the extras from in front of the posts to stretch the defecit to seven points.

TRY | BATH RUGBY

Bath strike first with a canny interception from scrum-half Louis Schreuder.

Tigers had dominated the early precedings, winning the ball back in Bath's half and playing abrasive phases but Schreuder's intercept flips momentum on its head and allows the away side the early lead.

KICK-OFF

Handré Pollard gets us underway with a lofted nudge, with Steward contesting well from the off.

Bath reply with a long nudge of their own and the first kick battle of the day ensues. Ollie Chessum gets an early charge down to put the pressure on and the crowd roars in approval.

The atmosphere inside Mattioli Woods Welford Road is electric!

-5

ALMOST TIME TO KICK OFF

The crowd are in full, booming voice, with a huge roar for Leicester Tigers.

Let's get ready for rugby!

-30

30 MINUTES TO KICK OFF

There's just half an hour to go till Tigers face old foes Bath Rugby in front of a sold-out crowd here at Mattioli Woods Welford Road!

Take your seat in the stadium, boot up TNT Sports or stick with us here on Matchday Live for all the fireworks from the Gallagher Premiership.


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Sam Harris
14
Tom de Glanville
13
Max Ojomoh
12
Will Butt
11
Matt Gallagher
10
Orlando Bailey
9
Louis Schreuder
1
Juan Schoeman
2
Hame Faiva
3
Will Stuart
4
Quinn Roux
5
Josh McNally
6
GJ van Velze
7
Chris Cloete
8
Jaco Coetzee

Replacements

16
John Stewart
17
Thomas du Toit
18
Johannes Jonker
19
Ewan Richards
20
Arthur Greene
21
Tom Carr-Smith
22
Louie Hennessey
23
Brendan Owen

Team News | Chessum to bring up 50 Tigers caps in New Year's clash

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Leicester Tigers have named their team for Sunday’s New Year’s Eve clash against Bath in round ten of the Gallagher Premiership at 3pm at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in Leicester.

Academy graduate Ollie Chessum will make his 50th appearance in Tigers colours against the current leaders, with fellow pathways product Dan Kelly featuring in his 50th league fixture.

Winger Harry Simmons starts in what will be his first Premiership game of the season, with Tom Whiteley partnering Handré Pollard in the halves for the first time this campaign.

Tommy Reffell returns to boost Tigers’ backrow with Matt Rogerson earning a start at blindside flanker.

Leicester Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar said: “Last week’s performance was really disappointing, and we don’t shy away from that. but we’ve come back to Oval Park after some time with family this week, reviewed the game thoroughly and we are very clear on where we need to be better.”

“It’s a special day for Ollie Chessum making his 50th appearance for the club, particularly given he’s a local boy who’s come through our Academy.

“Playing New Year’s Eve in front of a packed house at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, there’ll be a massive buzz come 3pm on Sunday and we’re looking forward to it.”

STARTING XV

15 Freddie Steward [78]

14 Harry Simmons [35]

13 Dan Kelly [69]

12 Solomone Kata [8]

11 Mike Brown [17]

10 Handré Pollard [21]

9 Tom Whiteley [18]

1 James Cronin [23]

2 Julián Montoya (c) [48]

3 Joe Heyes [133]

4 George Martin [70]

5 Ollie Chessum [49] *

6 Matt Rogerson [11]

7 Tommy Reffell [106]

8 Jasper Wiese [67]

 

REPLACEMENTS

16 Finn Theobold-Thomas [3]

17 Francois van Wyk [42]

18 Will Hurd [34]

19 Harry Wells [186]

20 Kyle Hatherell [9]

21 Olly Cracknell [30]

22 Joe Powell [7]

23 Jamie Shillcock [14]

*50th Leicester Tigers appearance

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
2
Bath Rugby
Bath RugbyBAT18110751141398705311560
8
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI189094354082755515445
Form Guide
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LLLLW
Last Match
Beat Exeter Chiefs 40-22
Past Meeting
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Form
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Past Meeting
Form
LWWWL
Last Match
Lost to Northampton Saints 21-25
Past Meeting
Lost 22-35

Matchday Live

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Bath Rugby22
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