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Tigers secure bonus-point win over Bristol

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Leicester Tigers secured a second bonus-point victory in as many games as they scored eight tries in a 50-17 victory over Bristol Rugby.

Tigers scored five tries in the first-half of Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash at Welford Road before adding three more after the break.

The win, which followed last week’s bonus-point victory against Gloucester, was started with a first try for Tigers by Pat Cilliers. Owen Williams added a second before JP Pietersen (2) and Telusa Veainu announced their return injury with tries before the break.

Tigers continued to hunt further tries in the second period, and they duly arrived through Brendon O’Connor’s charge down, Adam Thompstone’s smart finish at the corner and Greg Bateman scoring from a lineout drive.

The win consolidated Tigers' position in fifth place in the Aviva Premiership after 15 rounds.

Internationals Veainu and Pietersen returned from injury to take their place in the starting XV. France centre Maxime Mermoz started his first game for the club after a try-scoring appearance from the bench in the win over Gloucester last weekend.

Sam Harrison teamed up with Owen Williams at half-back. Mike Williams returned to the back row with Mike Fitzgerald moving into the second row in place of Ed Slater. Tom Croft was included among the replacements alongside prop Ellis Genge, who has been training with the England squad this week.
 
Jordan Crane, who made 220 appearances for Tigers, made his first return to Welford Road since his summer switch to Bristol. Former Tigers Rob Hawkins, Jamal Ford-Robinson and Will Hurrell were also named in the Bristol squad.

Tigers began the game well and enjoyed plenty of possession in the first five minutes. But consecutive penalties gave Bristol field position and then the chance to take the lead, which was grabbed by full-back Jason Woodward with just seven minutes on the clock.

Veainu’s first involvement was to break the Bristol defence and find Pietersen on a supporting line. He was stopped by Woodward but Tigers kept possession and, crucially, kept their patience. They probed at the Bristol defence before Cilliers slipped Thretton Palamo’s tackle to score.

It was Cilliers’s first try for Tigers and gave them a 5-3 lead after 13 minutes.

Tigers displayed the same amount of patience in scoring the second try five minutes later. Almost every player got their hands on the ball as Tigers sent wave after wave of attacks down on the Bristol defence. Eventually the pressure told and Owen Williams fended off Adrian Jarvis to score next to the posts. It was Williams’s third try of the season and he converted to put Tigers 12-3 ahead.

Tigers looked to pass out of the tackle as much as possible and it almost created an opportunity for a third try midway through the half but Veainu was unable to gather O’Connor’s offload with the Bristol defence stretched.

Tigers did score a third in the 24th minute. Hamilton punched a hole in the Bristol defence and, as they realigned, Williams angled a kick to the left where Pietersen, with the aid of a deflection off his knee to take him past last-man Woodward, scored. Williams landed the conversion to move Tigers 19-3 ahead.
 
The bonus-point fourth try came two minutes later. Again, Tigers showed plenty of patience and no little skill in keeping the ball alive through phase after phase. The finishing touch came from Veainu, who pirouetted out of a couple of tackles to score next to the posts. Williams converted. Tigers led 26-3.
 
Veainu was at the centre of a brilliant fifth try. His dancing feet took him from his own 22, through the Bristol defence and onto last-man Woodward. O’Connor and Williams provided support to send Pietersen over for his second of the game and one of the tries of the season.
 
Tigers weathered a period of Bristol pressure as the visitors sent a couple of penalties to the corner. Mike Fitzgerald overturned possession at the first lineout before Bristol spilled possession as they set up the drive on the second occasion.
 
But the visitors did score a try right on half time. Hawkins, the former Tigers hooker, burst onto Will Cliff’s flat pass to score next to the posts. Woodward converted as Tigers led 31-10 at the break.
 
Matt Smith replaced Jack Roberts for the start of the second half. Smith’s first involvement was too send a beautifully directed grubber down the right touchline that was run out by Woodward for a Leicester lineout 10m from the Bristol line. Bristol infringed at two lineouts, but Tigers were unable to make the third time pay and were whistled for offside as they set up the drive.
 
But Tigers were tenacious in defence and refused to let Bristol out of their 22. It was rewarded when O’Connor charged down Tusi Pisi’s clearance and the flanker had the freedom of the Bristol 22 to dot down. Williams’s conversion put Tigers 38-10 ahead.
 
George McGuigan and Greg Bateman replaced Tom Youngs and Cilliers before the restart. Mathew Tait then came on for Mermoz and Ellis Genge replaced Michele Rizzo to face his former club.
 
A fluid move involving Pietersen, Veainu and Thompstone ended with Thompstone kicking behind the Bristol defence where Alby Mathewson mopped up on his line.
 
Tigers won the holding-on penalty and from the resulting lineout Harrison, with another penalty advantage, went down the narrowside and fed Thompstone for a simple score at the corner to move Tigers 43-10 ahead.
 
Good work by Veainu stopped Palamo in his tracks as he angled a run towards the left-hand corner before Genge's barrelling, fending off a trio of Bristol defenders, took Leicester back into the visitors’ 22. Tigers secured quick ball for Thompstone to test Palamo’s defence but the Leicester winger was held up over the line.
 
Harry Thacker replaced O’Connor before the resulting scrum. The set-piece gave Tigers another platform from which to attack. Again they stayed patient but this time, with another penalty advantage, Tait spilled possession under a heavy tackle just short of the line.
 
The try eventually came at the next lineout. Croft set up the drive and Bateman applied the finish for his second of the season. Owen Williams’s touchline conversion took Tigers up to 50 points.
 
Bristol scored a second try from the restart. Owen Williams’s clearance was charged down by replacement prop Ford-Robinson who managed to dot down before the ball ran dead. Woodward converted to leave Tigers 50-17 ahead.
 
The game lost structure as it headed into the final 10 minutes. Thacker was stopped just short of the line, where he flung a speculative offload that was picked off by Hurrell.
 
Bristol finished on the attack and claimed a try in the last play. However, the TMO ruled that Bristol were held up over the line to bring the end on a satisfying afternoon’s work for the Tigers.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 31-10 BRI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 50-17 BRI

Attendance

21,848

Referee

Tom Foley

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
50

Full Time

Bristol Bears
Bristol Bears
17

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bristol Bears
Possession
80%
20%
Penalties Conceded
14
8
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
93/102 91%
152/184 83%
Scrums Won
4/6 33%
8/9 11%
Lineouts Won
8/8 100%
13/13 100%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bristol Bears
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Telusa Veainu1T
14Adam Thompstone1T
13Jack Roberts
12Maxime Mermoz
11JP Pietersen2T
10Owen Williams1T5C
9Sam Harrison
1Michele Rizzo
2Tom Youngs
31T
4Dom Barrow
5Michael Fitzgerald
6Mike Williams
7Brendon O'Connor1T
8
16George McGuigan
17Ellis Genge
18Greg Bateman1T
19Tom Croft
20Harry Thacker
21
22Mathew Tait
23Matt Smith

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Jason Woodward
14
Jack Wallace
13
12
Tusi Pisi
11
Thretton Palamo
10
Adrian Jarvis
9
Will Cliff
1
Ryan Bevington
2
Rob Hawkins
3
Gaston Cortes
4
Dan Tuohy
5
Mark Sorenson
6
Mitch Eadie
7
Jack Lam
8

Subs

16
Marc Jones
17
Jack O'Connell
18
Jamal Ford-Robinson
19
James Phillips
20
Sam Jeffries
21
Alby Mathewson
22
Gavin Henson
23
Will Hurrell
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI22140856744512258486466
12
Bristol Bears
Bristol BearsBRI223019382707-32542942620
Form Guide
Form
WWLWW
Last Match
Beat Gloucester Rugby 33-26
Past Meeting
Lost 23-26
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WDLLL
Last Match
Lost to Wasps 8-44
Past Meeting
Won 26-23

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers50
Leicester Tigers
Bristol Bears17
Bristol Bears
Full Time