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Report | Tigers push Bears close as crowds return

Leicester Tigers were beaten 26-23 by top-of-the-table Bristol Bears who finished the game pinned on their own tryline in a controversial conclusion to proceedings at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday.

Tigers had a succession of set-piece penalties just five metres from the tryline in the closing moments as Bristol lost a prop to a yellow card and there had to be a meeting of the officials and management to determine how many players they could have left on the field before the game ended with the defence intact.

Bristol had led 14-6 at half-time with enterprising tries from Semi Radradra and Harry Randall before the biggest cheer of the afternoon – in the first home game played in front of a crowd for 15 months – greeted a score from Hanro Liebenberg and conversion by Johnny McPhillips which put Steve Borthwick’s men in front at 16-14 after the break.

Bears, though, responded with two tries in three minutes as they chased a win that would confirm a home semi-final and stretch their lead at the top of the table.

Tigers fought back again with Julian Montoya steering a forward drive over the tryline to make it 23-26 and set up the finale.

Sixth-placed Tigers had recorded successive victories over Harlequins and Worcester Warriors, going into the game with just one home defeat since the end of January. But Bristol have lost just twice in the Gallagher Premiership since Round 8 in February as they chased a home semi-final.

With a crowd of reduced-capacity crowd of 6,400 admitted for the first time since as win over Worcester in February 2020 due to Covid restrictions, Tigers ran out to welcoming cheers on a sweltering afternoon and when fly-half McPhillips got the game started, kicking towards the Mattioli Woods Stand end, cries of ‘Tigers Tigers’ rang around the stadium.

Bristol slapped the kick-off forward on their 22, and Ben Youngs and Hanro Liebenberg threatened an immediate breakthrough. But, with advantage over, and space opening on the right, ball was knocked-on just five metres from the tryline.

Harry Potter, though, returned a clearing with a break on the right and George Martin charged through the middle before Freddie Steward took play wide but knocked-on in contact wide.

The first scrum ended with a penalty for Bristol who had withdrawn Kyle Sinckler before kick-off and brought the experienced John Afoa into the front row. But they missed their lineout and back-rower Martin quickly got Tigers forward again until a penalty award at the breakdown allowed McPhillips to kick the opening points.

Bristol gained some attacking impetus from the restart, with Nathan Hughes making an impact in possession before Tigers closed out the threat.

Moments later, when Max Malins offloaded loosely over his head on the left, Tigers latched on to loose ball and booted upfield where Randall fielded just 10 metres from his tryline and was immediately bundled into touch by the chasing Matt Scott.

Potter pulled up in the chase and was led off, with Nemani Nadolo taking over on the wing.

A break from Henry Purdy almost provided a two-on-one chance for Bears in attack before Tigers raced back to cover and a string of passes provided space for Semi Radradra and Piers O’Conor to combine on the left before losing control of the ball.

After being pinned back early, on the Bears started to build their attacking game, with Siale Piutau used as an initial ball-carrier, and they opened their account with a length-of-the field try, started by Malins and finished by Radradra after Piutau’s decisive break and long pass out to his left. Callum Sheedy made it 7-3 to the visitors with the conversion.

Freddie Steward felt the physical force of Radradra upfield moments later, but still brought his man down before a counter-attack saw Ellis Genge in possession in the centre of the field, only to be called back for a knock-on as he offloaded to Matias Moroni. It was decision neither player agreed with and met with disapproval from the home crowd too.

A second big hit on Hughes from Martin kept Bristol in their own 22, but when Tigers did build some phases of possession, Purdy stepped in to intercept and the chance was gone.

Genge enjoyed a penalty award in his favour as Afoa brought a scrum down on the left, but Bears defended well from the lineout and then again as the hard-working Scott and Ben Youngs linked nicely 30 metres out.

Bears lost Piutau to a head injury check as Liebenberg chased down a break on their right, then some hard work in possession brought a penalty which McPhillips landed from 40 metres to pull Tigers to within a point of the visitors.

It stayed that way for just one minute, however, as Bears scrum-half Randall broke from a tap penalty 30 metres out and beat the final defender before dotting down next to the posts. The conversion made it 14-6 in Bears’ favour just before half-time.

Piutau returned as Sheedy got the second half started and Julian Montoya made his comeback from injury as a replacement for skipper Tom Youngs.

Nadolo’s work in contact earned a Tigers penalty which McPhillips pushed to touch on the left, but Chris Vui got up early to pick off the lineout.

Tigers only had to wait another couple of minutes, though, for the opening points of the second half as McPhillips landed his third kick after Harry Wells had won a penalty on the floor to make it 9-14.

Liebenberg’s anticipation won back ball on the Tigers left and, although Moroni had no space to work with in support, they still had lineout ball as a platform but again lost possession at the set-piece.

Ben Youngs reacted to a break by Purdy as he raced to bouncing ball near his own line and was awarded a penalty when as he received a push in the back trying to make the catch.

Former Tigers hooker Jake Kerr was among the Bears replacements in the opening minutes of the half and Tigers sent on Jasper Wiese on 50 minutes as Tommy Reffell made way.

A scrum penalty on the 10-metre line brought a big response from the home crowd but McPhillips was just off-target with the kick on 51 minutes.

History-maker Richard Wigglesworth replaced Youngs at the restart to become the first man to make 300 appearances in Premiership Rugby.

Nadolo made a timely intercept as Bears threatened a counter-attack and his team-mates made the most of it, recycling quickly for McPhillips to test the defence and find Liebenbger in the wide channel on the right where he ran in to score and level the scores at 14-14.

McPhillips stayed calm to add a conversion from the right to put Tigers 16-14 in front.

Joe Heyes joined the forward pack as Wigglesworth cleared Tigers lines at the restart, but Bristol provided an instant response with two more tries to claim a bonus point just short of the hour.

First, work at a lineout provided an opportunity for Malins to break through a hole near halfway and run free to score. Then an interception as Tigers looked to play out wide gave Radradra the chance to latch on to a Piers O’Conor offload to score in the right-hand corner. Sheedy’s conversion of that try provided a 10-point lead at 26-16.

Liebenberg’s work in defence shut out another attack and Tigers quickly got upfield, turning down a shot at the posts to go to the corner where Kerr was yellow carded defending the set-piece.

Tigers made the most of the opportunity, too, Tomas Lavanini driving a maul which ended with fellow Argentina international Montoya scoring his fourth try in just five appearances for the club.

McPhillips nailed the conversion kick from wide on the right to pull the game back to 23-26 with 67 minutes gone on the clock.

A penalty gave Bristol a chance to threaten again but, after Murimurivalu had twice tried to win ball on the floor, fellow Fijian Nadolo got his considerable frame over the breakdown to win turnover ball just a couple of metres from his own tryline.

When a scrum penalty followed, the crowd’s energy rose again and the whistle went in Tigers’ favour twice more as they played from the set-piece on the left, and again when they pushed for the tryline.

Bristol were back up to 15 men as Tigers elected for a five-metre scrum on the left and went to do the same again after being awarded a free-kick.

Before the ball left Wigglesworth’s hands at the feed, the whistle went yet again and Tigers stayed there for another set-piece.

Referee Tempest raised his arm again as Tigers applied the pressure and with the clock on zero, and although they reached the tryline, the verdict was no try but yet another penalty for a penalty collapse.

When a yellow card followed, Bristol lost their tighthead prop and the officials had to consult the regulations on the touchline to determine a course of action. The question on the Bristl bench was whether original prop Afoa could come back on.

The ruling was that Bears had to take off an extra player, with Sheedy heading to the dugout and Afoa back in the front row.

As the scrum set for one final push, ball rolled loose and Bears kicked into touch to bring the final whistle, though it took some time for the officials to separate the players with emotions running high.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 6-14 BRI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 23-26 BRI

Attendance

6,400

Referee

Ian Tempest

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
23

Full Time

Bristol Bears
Bristol Bears
26
Leicester Tigers
P
P
C
T
C
T
C
KOHTFT
Bristol Bears
T
C
T
C
T
T
C

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bristol Bears
Possession
55%
45%
Territory
60%
40%
Penalties Conceded
8
19
Yellow Cards
0
2
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
75/107 70%
103/126 82%
Scrums Won
11/11 100%
5/6 83%
Lineouts Won
13/16 81%
9/12 75%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bristol Bears
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Freddie Steward
14Harry Potter
13Matias Moroni
12Matt Scott
11Kini Murimurivalu
10Johnny McPhillips2C3P
9Ben Youngs
1Ellis Genge
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Harry Wells
5Cameron Henderson
6George Martin
7Tommy Reffell
8Hanro Liebenberg1T
16Julian Montoya1T
17James Whitcombe
18Joe Heyes
19Tomas Lavanini
20Jasper Wiese
21Richard Wigglesworth
22Zack Henry
23Nemani Nadolo

Commentary

FULL-TIME | TIGERS 23-26 BRISTOL

It's a bitter end to a game which had everything.

The boot of Johnny McPhillips playing its part before Liebenberg and Montoya scored tries for Tigers. As the lads give it everything!

80

PLAY BACK UNDERWAY

Wigglesworth feeds, and the scum and Bristol do enough to force the error and get ball on hands and Ian Tempest calls the final whistle, but plenty of controversy with both teams involved in the fracas.

The Leicester Tigers fan making their feelings clear. 

80

BRISTOL HAVING TO REARRANGE THEIR PACK

A long discussion between officials as Bristol look to make the legal replacements following the yellow card. 

Both head coaches involved in a chat with Ian Tempest. 

LAST CHANCE SALOON FOR TIGERS

Last chance for Tigers with another scrum. Wigglesworth feeds and Tigers a metre short! And it will be another penalty, as Montoya thought he'd done enough! 

We'll have another scrum in the same spot for Tigers. Wigglesworth in again, and Ian Tempest spots the collapse and shows the yellow card to Bristol. A man advantage for Tigers deep into injury time. 

80

HUGE SCRUM!

Tigers into the scrum with just a few minutes of the game left. Wigglesworth will feed following the reset, and it will be another reset!

The pressure really on Bristol here, as Ian Tempest talks to both front rows. Wigglesworth finally gets the ball out and Nadolo is held up. McPhillips kicks clear, but Malins collects, but we go back again for the earlier penalty!

76

TIGERS EDGE CLOSER

Nadolo loses the ball forward, but we'll reset for another Tigers penalty. McPhillips goes for the corner and again and here we go with another five metre line out. 

Montoya finds Lavanini and the maul rumbles forward. Penalty advantage coming, but Tigers still want to play.

Steward cuts in-field and Tigers are pushed back. 

74

TIGERS ON TOP IN CLOSING FIVE

Montoya feeds the set-piece, Hanro Liebenberg collects and the maul does its job. The backline links up and Freddie Steward just pulls the throw forward and its a forward pass, but we'll go back for the penalty advantage.

Touch found in Tigers half. 

72

WHAT A SCRUM

TIGERS SCRUM ABSOLUTELY DESTROYS THE BRISTOL PACK, winning the penalty and Johnny McPhillips can find the corner. 

71

TIGERS KEEPING UP PRESSURE

Bristol opting for the short ball to gain the yards, as they press into the Tigers half. Now on the five metre mark, but a huge turnover courtesy of Nemani Nadolo and Wigglesworth can kick clear. 

Tigers win the knock on following a mis-judged lineout by Bears and Tigers applying pressure where it matters!

70

FAST HANDS FROM BEARS

Bristol look to respond upping the pace through the backline, but Tigers match them closing out the space. Sheedy in the end kicks for the sideline and a lineout on the half way line for Julian Montoya. 

It's fed in, and the penalty goes Bears way off the phase, do the disappoinment of the 6,000 fans in the stadium. 

MCPHILLIPS CLOSES THE GAP

Johnny McPhillips kicking the points for Tigers and there's just three points in it! 

MONTOYA TRY FOR TIGERS

It's a Montoya special as Tigers revert to what they know best and it's a rolling maul try for Leicester when it matters. 

YELLOW CARD FOR BRISTOL

Jake Kerr shown the yellow card for Bristol and Tigers now with the man advantage. McPhillips finds touch ahead of the set-peice. 

64

TIGERS LOOK TO BUILD

Penalty comes Tigers way from the restart, with Hanro Liebenberg delivering a superb counter ruck, and a chance for Tigers to build again. 

Julian Montoya sets up the line-out, Richard Wigglesworth keeps things ticking, but we go back for the penalty in Tigers favour. McPhillips opts for the corner with a chance for Tigers to work the set-piece. 

TIGERS REPLACEMENT

Harry Wells comes off for Tomas Lavanini in the second row. 

CONVERSION FOR BEARS

Callum Sheedy kicks the conversion off the tee. 

TRY FOR BRISTOL

It's another lightning try for Bristol as they break following the mistake from Johnny McPhillips as Semi Radradra runs into the corner. 

TIGERS REPLACEMENT

Joe Heyes comes on for Dan Cole in the front row.

TRY FOR BRISTOL

Max Malins with an instant response from the away side, with Sheedy missing the conversion kick as Bears back in front. 

57

BRISTOL BACK AT TIGERS

Wigglesworth with a delightful box kick to ease the pressure from the restart. Tigers work the ball forward, but it falls into Bristol hands, as they look to for a quick response. 

It's worked wide and Max Malins finds space...

TIGERS LEAD FROM CONVERSION

Leicester Tigers in front as Johnny McPhillips adds the extras!

TRY FOR TIGERS!

Hanro Liebenberg levels the scores on the day after a well worked try from the Tigers backline. A special mention for Nemani Nadolo taking five Bristol players into contact. 

TIGERS REPLACEMENT

Richard Wigglesworth comes on to replace Ben Youngs at scrum-half 

52

PENALTY MISS FOR TIGERS

Johnny McPhillips misses from the tee after a penalty from the resulting scrum, a chance missed for the fly-half.  

TIGERS REPLACEMENT

Tommy Reffell makes way for Jasper Wiese, switching to No.8. 

50

MARTIN BREAKS FOR TIGERS

Julian Montoya's lineout is collected high and Tigers break from their own half. An exchange of kicks, and George Martin with the dummy to find space, as Tigers work hard to break the Bristol line. 

Another handling error from the earlier play and a Tigers scrum.

48

BRISTOL PENALISED IN ATTACK

Randall collects from the line-out knock down and Bristol aim to get the ball across the pitch. Ben Earl comes forward, but it's held up by the Tigers defence. 

Purdy tries the kick-chase and in his eagerness pushes Ben Youngs off the ball, and the penalty for Tigers. 

46

TIGERS MISTAKE FROM THE LINE-OUT

Harry Wells is helped up to collect from the restart. Ben Youngs box kicks clear and Liebenberg snatches up the highball, release Matias Moroni, who throws back and it's just in touch for a Tigers line out. 

Cam Henderson unlucky in the air, and the penalty goes Bristol way from the resulting phase. 

THIRD PENALTY KICK FOR MCPHILLIPS

Johnny McPhillips gets a hattrick of kicks, this time from a central position as Tigers earn some early points in the second half. 

44

PENALTY TIGERS WAY

The penalty goes Tigers way following the phase play, a chance here for Johnny McPhillips to add to his tally....

43

BRIGHT START FOR TIGERS

Johnny McPhillips kicks for touch following an early penalty in the home sides favour. Great work from Nemani Nadolo at the breakdown. 

Montoya's first line-out is given away however, and ball back with Bears. Harry Randall clears and ball back in Tigers hands. The Tigers pack earn the yards as Tigers creep up to halfway. 

TIGERS REPLACEMENT

Julian Montoya comes on for Leicester Tugers at the start of the second half, replacing skipper Tom Youngs. 

40

TIGERS V BRISTOL | SECOND HALF

Callum Sheedy kicks off the second half as Tigers look to close the eight point deficit. Tigers attacking the Robin Hood Stand here at Mattioli Woods Welford Road. 

HALF TIME | TIGERS 6 -14 BRISTOL

Leicester Tigers trailing Bristol Bears at the break following two tries from the visitors. Successful penalty kicks from Johnny McPhillips the Tigers only points of the half. 

CONVERSION FOR BEARS

Callum Sheedy converts from close range. 

TRY FOR BRISTOL

Harry Randall's quick thinking rewarded just like that, as Bristol get their second try of their game. 

38

QUICK THINKING FROM BEARS

Nadolo comes away from the restart, before Ben Youngs box kicks clear. Bears lineout, works well and advantage going Bears way. The penalty comes and Randall reacts quickly, darting forward and is able to ride the challenges...

MCPHILLIPS WITH SECOND PENALTY KICK

The fly-half with his second successful kick of the day as Tigers give the supporters something to cheer. Just one point in it now with less than five minutes of the first half. 

35

PENALTY TIGERS WAY

Liebenberg is on hand to do enough as Bristol attack down the right flank. Penalty goes Tigers way following the phase, with Bears not releasing on the ground.

A chance for Johnny McPhillips to add to the scoreboard...

34

TIGERS FINDING SPACE

Ball with Bears following the a scappy bit of play, McPhillips picks up a loose ball, Matt Scott dances through the space and offloads to Ben Youngs who's looking for support. 

Tigers still with the ball through Murimurivalu, and Cam Henderson knocks on, as Tigers keep the pressure on, 

32

TIGERS THREAT FROM OUT WIDE

The front rows engage once again on the Tigers left flank, Randall feeds and the penalty is called...Tigers way! A win for Ellis Genge as John Afoa collapses the scrum. McPhillips into touch.

Tom Youngs throws in with Tigers looking to attack the left flank, ball comes out to the right through the Tigers midfield. Scott nudges a right footed kick forward and Hanro Liebenberg almost reaches it. Another threatening Tigers attack.

30

TERRITORY STILL IN BEARS HALF

Tigers go through the phases , but Henry Purdy reads the pass out wide before being held up. Ball back with Bears, but still deep in their own half. 

Murimurivalu collects and runs at the defence finding space. Matt Scott almost finding Nadolo out wide on the left flank, and Tigers inches away from a dangerous attack. 

28

TIGERS SENSE A CHARGE

The Bears scrum is reset twice, before Randall collects a scrappy take. Tommy Reffell holds up the attack and Tigers defending on the half way line. Sheedy finally kicks and Freddie Steward sweeps up.

Ball comes back at Tigers and Nemani Nadolo chases his own kick, which trickles out in Tigers favour. Line out called by Bristol and Tigers not giving them time on the ball. 

Liebenberg charges down and kicks and the crowd roars its appreciation. The sliced kick by Randall means Tigers can keep the pressure on. 

24

TIGERS LOOKING FOR BALL IN HAND

Tigers struggling to find ball in hand from the restart as Bears break on two occasions down either flank. Tigers have the line out, Youngs keeps things moving, but the knock on is called by Ian Tempest in the Tigers attack. 

 

CONVERSION BEARS

Callum Sheedy with the extra points from the tee as Bears lead 3-7 on the 20 minute mark. 

TRY FOR BEARS

A try against the run of play as Bristol take the lead through Semi Radradra after a delightful break and pass from Siale Piutau. 

20

SCRUM TIME

Youngs misses out Nadolo before finding his backs from the ball coming out of the scrum. It looked as if Tigers were lining up the Fijian. 

Bears line out following a Moroni kick. they work it back towards Tigers and Freddie Stewards boot is high, but collected by Randall. 

19

HIGH PRESSURE GAME FROM TIGERS

Kini Murimurivali runs things out from the scrum. Ben Youngs is forced to kick and Tigers play for territory. Ball with Bears. Randall finds Radradra and Nadolo almost matches him in the tackle.

High pressure from Tigers, and the clearance kick is sliced by Randall. And the ref spot a knock on, another scrum. 

17

OFFSIDE SPOTTED

The offside spotted by the TMO, and we'll go back for the resulting penalty. Sheedy kicks into touch.

Capon finds the front man, Piutau almost breaks the line. Radradra joins the attack, but its knocked on and a chance for Youngs to feed the scrum.  

15

SCRUM TIME!

Both packs face off once again just shy of the half-way line. Randall feeds the scrum, and then comes away with it. He finds Piutau, but the move is held up with the penalty going the away sides way.

Sheedy's touch, and Capon with the line-out. Tigers disrupt and come away in the air. Youngs kicks clear. Max Malins tries to run things out. Henry Purdy breaks down the Tigers left, but Matt Scott does enough.

Bristol beginning to switch hands, but a mistake allows Ben Youngs to kick clear once again. A scrappy exchange of kicks mirrored at the breakdown, with the penalty going Tigers way. 

15

SCRUM TIME!

Both packs face off once again just shy of the half-way line. Randall feeds the scrum, and then comes away with it. He finds Piutau, but the move is held up with the penalty going the away sides way.

Sheedy's touch, and Capon with the line-out. Tigers disrupt and come away in the air. Youngs kicks clear. Max Malins tries to run things out. Henry Purdy breaks down the Tigers left, but Matt Scott does enough.

Bristol beginning to switch hands, but a mistake allows Ben Youngs to kick clear once again. A scrappy exchange of kicks mirrored at the breakdown, with the penalty going Tigers way. 

12

TIGERS CAN'T CAPITALISE

The line-out is too far for Harry Wells in a rare mistake for the Tigers pack, the pressure pays off as Bristol try to run the ball out. Penalty going Tigers way, and Bristol still struggling to get out their half. 

The line-out isn't collected cleanly however, and the ball is knocked on in the melee. 

TIGERS REPLACEMENT

Nemani Nadolo comes on for Harry Potter following an injury to the wing. 

9

TIGERS PRESSURE

Harry Randall collects the ball after a searching kick from Johnny McPhillips, the hard work is repaid as they put the pressure on in the corner and into touch for a Tigers line-out. 

You know what happens here when Tigers are five metres out...

8

BRISTOL ATTACK

Sheedy restarts and Murimurivalu collects. It falls back into Bristol hands and they build their first attack of the day. We'll go back for the knock on and a scrum deep in the Tigers half. 

Liebenberg comes away with it and Matt Scott is on hand, Tigers opt to kick and Max Malins collects. Tigers turnover, but the home side penalised at the breakdown. Sheedy finds touch. 

MCPHILLIPS KICKS PENALTY POINTS

Johnny McPhillips gets the games first points kicking Tigers into a 3-0 lead to a huge roar from the Leicester faithful. 

6

TIGERS RELENTLESS OPENING

Penalty goes Bristol Bears way from the scrum as Tigers at fault. Callum Sheedy finds touch and the game's first line out. 

It goes over the top, and Harry Wells comes away with it. Dan Cole involved and Wells back with the ball in hand. Ben Youngs nudges forward but just too far for Kini Murimurivlau. Bristol concede the penalty in a strong position for Tigers. 

2

TIGER START STRONG

Ben Youngs darts forward carrying the ball forward and Harry Wells and Hanro Liebenberg in support. The ball finds Wellsy out on the wide right, but he fumbles.

Tigers barrelling forward from the restart with Freddie Steward and Ellis Genge finding space. A mistake with the hands and it's the games first scrum. 

KICK-OFF | TIGERS V BRISTOL

Johnny McPhillips gets things underway for Leicester Tigers in front of more than 6,000 supporters at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Tigers playing towards the Mattioli Woods Stand on a beautiful sunny afternoon in Leicester.

0

FIVE TO GO...

We're just five minutes from kick-off in Round 21 of the Gallagher Premiership, as both teams head in after their warm-ups. 

It's a fantastic sight to once again see the stands with supporters in, a thank you to all who have made the journey to today's fixture. 

0

BRISTOL BEAR’S LINE-UP

Late change as Kyle Sinckler comes out for John Afoa, with Nahuel Chaparro coming onto the replacements bench. 

 

Bristol Bears: 15 Max Malins; 14 Piers O’Conor, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Siale Piutau, 11 Henry Purdy; 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall; 1 Yann Thomas, 2 Will Capon, 3 John Afoa, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Chris Vui, 6 Steven Luatua (c), 7 Dan Thomas, 8 Nathan Hughes.

Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 Nahuel Chaparro, 19 Joe Joyce, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Alapati Leiua.

0

TIGERS XV

[Club appearances in brackets]

15 Freddie Steward [33]
14 Harry Potter [15]
13 Matías Moroni [15]
12 Matt Scott [23]
11 Kini Murimurivalu [21]
10 Johnny McPhillips [20]
9 Ben Youngs [262]
1 Ellis Genge [87]
2 Tom Youngs (c) [214]
3 Dan Cole [262]
4 Harry Wells [122]
5 Cameron Henderson [15]
6 George Martin [15]
7 Tommy Reffell [46]
8 Hanro Liebenberg [34]

REPLACEMENTS:
16 Julián Montoya [4]
17 James Whitcombe [6]
18 Joe Heyes [70]
19 Tomás Lavanini [35]
20 Jasper Wiese [18]
21 Richard Wigglesworth [14]
22 Zack Henry [25]
23 Nemani Nadolo [14]

0

MATCH PREVIEW

Sixth-placed Tigers have recorded successive victories over Harlequins and away to Worcester Warriors in the last two games.

The only home defeat for Steve Borthwick’s side in any tournament since the end of January was against Northampton in Round 17.

Bristol have lost just twice in the Gallagher Premiership since Round 8 in February, with both defeats coming in their last four matches, at home to Exeter Chiefs and away to Sale Sharks.

The teams have met on 186 previous occasions with Leicester winning 95 to 82 by Bristol and nine games drawn.

Read the full preview, including a word from today’s starting scrum-half Ben Youngs HERE. 

0

FANS RETURN FOR TIGERS V BRISTOL | 3.00PM KO

A special day at Mattioli Woods Welford Road as we welcome back the Tigers Family to the stadium for the first game in front of supporters since March 2020. 

We’re live from the stadium with all the build-up ahead of kick-off as Tigers take on visitors Bristol Bears in the penultimate fixture of the 2020/21 campaign. 

 


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Max Malins
14
Piers O'Conor
13
Semi Radradra
12
Siale Piutau
11
Henry Purdy
10
Callum Sheedy
9
Harry Randall
1
Yann Thomas
2
Will Capon
3
John Afoa
4
Dave Attwood
5
Chris Vui
6
Steven Luatua
7
Daniel Thomas
8
Nathan Hughes

Subs

16
Jake Kerr
17
Jake Woolmore
18
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
19
Joe Joyce
20
Ben Earl
21
Andy Uren
22
Ioan Lloyd
23
Alapati Leiua

Team News | Leicester Tigers line-up for final home game

Steve Borthwick has named the Leicester Tigers matchday squad to take on Bristol Bears at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday in the final home game of the Gallagher Premiership season.

Tom Youngs will captain the team at hooker in the Tigers front row alongside props Ellis Genge and Dan Cole, with Harry Wells and Cameron Henderson in the second row.

George Martin returns to the starting line-up at blindside flanker, with Hanro Liebenberg moving to No.8 and Tommy Reffell at openside in the back row.

“They are the best team in the country and have deservedly led the league from the get-go this season and we’re aware that it will be a challenge for us on Saturday afternoon”

Steve Borthwick

Ben Youngs and Johnny McPhillips are the Leicester half-backs, while Matt Scott partners Matías Moroni in the Tigers midfield.

Freddie Steward is the full-back in a back three with wings Kini Murimurivalu and Harry Potter. 

Julián Montoya is in line to make his return from injury after being included on the Tigers bench alongside James Whitcombe, Joe Heyes, Tomás Lavanini and Jasper Wiese as the replacement forwards. 

Scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth is named as a backs replacement alongside Zack Henry and Nemani Nadolo and is in line to become the first player in the competition’s history to make 300 Premiership appearances. 

Previewing Saturday’s fixture, Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick said: “Bristol are a superb side and have a star-studded squad at their disposal which they have heavily invested in over a number of seasons.

“They are the best team in the country and have deservedly led the league from the get-go this season and we’re aware that it will be a challenge for us on Saturday afternoon.”

Mattioli Woods Welford Road welcomes supporters to a match for the first time in more than 15 months on Saturday, which Borthwick said was “very pleasing” for the squad.

“We have missed our fans being with us at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, sharing matchdays with us over the past year, and it’s very exciting to have them back,” Borthwick said.

“I’m very pleased for the players that they get the opportunity to have this game in front of supporters and very pleased the supporters get to see this team representing them on the pitch.”

Discussing the return from injury of Montoya, Borthwick added: “It is great to welcome Julián back for Saturday’s game after a lengthy lay-off with injury.

“He was worked extremely hard and diligently in his recovery to get back to playing with his team-mates.”

Borthwick also described the potential milestone for Wigglesworth as “incredible”.

“To make 300 appearances in a competition like Premiership Rugby is an incredible achievement,” said the Tigers head coach.

“Richard has reached this feat through his determination and hunger to want to be the very best he can be and the high standards he sets himself as a professional player.

“It has been a great privilege for me to witness his hard work up close, first as a player and now as a coach.”

LEICESTER TIGERS XV:

[club appearances in brackets]

15 Freddie Steward [33]

14 Harry Potter [15]

13 Matías Moroni [15]

12 Matt Scott [23]

11 Kini Murimurivalu [21]

10 Johnny McPhillips [20]

9 Ben Youngs [262]

1 Ellis Genge [87]

2 Tom Youngs (c) [214]

3 Dan Cole [262]

4 Harry Wells [122]

5 Cameron Henderson [15]

6 George Martin [15]

7 Tommy Reffell [46]

8 Hanro Liebenberg [34]

REPLACEMENTS:

16 Julián Montoya [4]

17 James Whitcombe [6]

18 Joe Heyes [70]

19 Tomás Lavanini [35]

20 Jasper Wiese [18]

21 Richard Wigglesworth [14]

22 Zack Henry [25]

23 Nemani Nadolo [14]

Bristol Bears: 15 Max Malins; 14 Piers O’Conor, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Siale Piutau, 11 Henry Purdy; 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall; 1 Yann Thomas, 2 Will Capon, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Chris Vui, 6 Steven Luatua (c), 7 Dan Thomas, 8 Nathan Hughes.

Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 John Afoa, 19 Joe Joyce, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Alapati Leiua.

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Bristol Bears
Bristol BearsBRI221714561379182754213285
6
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2211011478492-1451625354
Form Guide
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Lost 23-26
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLWDL
Last Match
Lost to Harlequins 36-43
Past Meeting
Won 26-23

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers23
Leicester Tigers
Bristol Bears26
Bristol Bears
Full Time