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Victory moves Tigers into Premiership top four

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Leicester Tigers leapfrogged Exeter into the top four in the Aviva Premiership with a 25-15 victory over the Chiefs.

Geoff Parling, on his 150th Premiership appearance, crossed for the crucial score in the second half, finishing off a neat pass by second row partner Sebastian de Chaves.
 
Freddie Burns, who made his 100th Premiership appearance, kicked the rest of the Tigers points on a faultless afternoon from the tee.
 
But Exeter, who scored two tries through Thomas Waldrom and Will Chudley, claimed a losing bonus point through Henry Slade’s last-minute penalty.
 
Dan Cole, Geoff Parling, Ben Youngs and Tom Youngs returned from international duty with England in the RBS 6 Nations to take their place in the starting XV. Hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini, who captained Italy in his 75th Test cap last weekend, was named among the replacements.
 
On a day of milestones, Julian Salvi made his 100th starting appearance for Tigers.
 
Former Tigers No8 Thomas Waldrom made his first return to Welford Road since his move to Exeter last summer.
 
Exeter had a strong wind at their backs in the opening half and Henry Slade looked to take advantage with an early penalty kick which was close to his own 10m line. His kick had the distance but flew wide of the left post.
 
Referee JP Doyle ruled that Seremaia Bai’s tackle on Slade was late and awarded the Chiefs a second penalty, this time 30m out, but the fly-half screwed his kick across the posts.
 
A lineout drive gave Tigers their first attacking platform of the game. The ball was spun to Miles Benjamin and Adam Thompstone, who were closed out by the Chiefs defence before the visitors went off their feet. Burns landed his kick to give Leicester a 3-0 lead.
 
Exeter had Tigers under pressure from the restart, winning a holding on penalty that Slade pumped to the corner. The Chiefs set up the drive but Tigers held it out on their own line and won the scrum put-in as the ball was held up.
 
Tigers worked their way up the field through a scrum penalty that Burns managed to kick to touch on the bounce, despite the strong wind. And when Parling was tackled off the ball on the Exeter 22, Burns drilled over his second penalty to double the lead.
 
An accidental offside against Jamie Gibson gave Slade another penalty from inside his own half, and this time he was on target to leave Tigers 6-3 ahead after 23 minutes.
 
Neat footwork by Thompstone helped create space for Gibson on the right flank but the cover defence scrambled across to force him into touch.
 
A misplaced pass by Waldrom had his defence under pressure in their 22 but Slade mopped up the loose ball just ahead of Ben Youngs and cleared long.
 
It was all hands to the pump in the Tigers defence as Exeter went through phase after phase, looking for an opening. But Tigers held firm through 27 phases until referee Doyle ruled Salvi infringed at a ruck. Exeter maintained the pressure at a lineout, but Tigers sacked the drive and when the ball was moved right Matt Smith halted Sam Hill and then recovered to force Ian Whitten into a knock-on.
 
Tigers won a penalty at the scrum to ease the pressure. And when Salvi emerged from a scrappy lineout with possession Tigers were on the attack again. Benjamin and Ben Youngs made further ground before Chiefs were ruled offside. Burns made it three kicks from three to restore Leicester’s six-point lead.
 
It was Benjamin’s last involvement, the winger hurt a knee in the attack and was replaced by Vereniki Goneva.
 
A wonderful Tigers lineout routine on halfway was almost rewarded with the first try. The forwards created a gap through which Ben Youngs burst to collect brother Tom’s throw. It caught Exeter napping. Ben returned the ball to Tom, who was stopped 5m from the line. Exeter scrambled back to prevent Tigers from crossing but went offside in front of their posts. Burns landed his kick, the last of the half, to send Tigers in at the break with a 12-3 lead.
 
A tackle off the ball on Tom Youngs gave Tigers a penalty right at the start of the second period. Burns maintained his 100 per cent kicking record to move Leicester 15-3 ahead.
 
Tom Youngs was first to an overthrown lineout on the Exeter 22 and barrelled his way to within 8m but Will Chudley managed to steal possession as he made the tackle.
 
Instead it was Exeter who scored the game’s first try. Waldrom peeled off the back of a 5m scrum and was stopped by Burns. But Exeter kept the ball alive and Waldrom rejoined the attack to score next to the posts. Slade slammed his simple conversion against a post as Tigers led 15-8.
 
Another neat lineout move allowed Goneva to attack the Exeter defence in their 22 but his offload was knocked on and Slade cleared.
 
A stunning 60m kick to the corner by Burns had Tigers back in Exeter territory. And when Slade could only find touch on his 22, Tigers put together a period of pressure that had Exeter scrambling in defence. Eventually, Goneva was put into space down the left but he was tackled into touch one metre short of the line.
 
Exeter made a mess of the lineout and Cole came through to claim the ball. However, he was unable to ground the ball under a pile of bodies.
 
Tigers managed to secure possession at a messy scrum and Sebastian de Chaves sent second row partner Parling over at the left corner to score. Burns added a touchline conversion to give Tigers a 22-8 lead with 14 minutes remaining.
 
Exeter hit back with a breakaway try four minutes later. Tigers fans demanded a penalty when Exeter from what appeared an offside position. But Slade played on and evaded Tait to bear down on the Tigers line. Tait scrambled back to make the tackle but Chudley was in support for a simple finish.
 
Slade’s conversion left Tigers 22-15 ahead.
 
Exeter captain Dean Mumm conceded a penalty inside his 22 for playing replacement scrum-half Sam Harrison. Burns knocked over the kick to move Tigers 10 points ahead going into the last five minutes.
 
To compound Mumm’s error, he was pinged for a deliberate knock-on on halfway that allowed replacement centre Tommy Bell to use up precious time with his attempt, which fell short.
 
Chiefs came close to grabbing a third try which would have secured a losing bonus point but Laurence Pearce made a brilliant recovery tackle to knock possession from Dave Lewis just as he looked certain to score.
 
But Exeter were awarded a penalty at the scrum and Slade landed his kick from right in front of the posts to give the Chiefs a losing bonus point.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 12-3 EXE

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 25-18 EXE

Attendance

24,000

Referee

JP Doyle

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Exeter Chiefs
Possession
33%
67%
Territory
0%
0%
Penalties Conceded
8
11
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
172/190 91%
137/158 87%
Scrums Won
5/7 71%
3/5 60%
Lineouts Won
9/9 0%
14/14 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15
14
13
12Seremaia Bai
11Miles Benjamin
101C6P
9Ben Youngs
1Marcos Ayerza
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Sebastian De Chaves
5Geoff Parling1T
6Jamie Gibson
7Julian Salvi
8
16
17Logovi'i Mulipola
18Fraser Balmain
19Jack Whetton
20Laurence Pearce
21
22Tommy Bell
23
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
25

Full Time

Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs
18

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Seremaia Bai
12
Seremaia Bai
Miles Benjamin
11
Miles Benjamin
10
Marcos Ayerza
1
Marcos Ayerza
Sebastian De Chaves
4
Sebastian De Chaves
Geoff Parling
5
Geoff Parling
Jamie Gibson
6
Jamie Gibson
Julian Salvi
7
Julian Salvi
8

Subs

16
Fraser Balmain
18
Fraser Balmain
Jack Whetton
19
Jack Whetton
Laurence Pearce
20
Laurence Pearce
Tommy Bell
22
Tommy Bell
23

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
14
Ian Whitten
13
Jack Nowell
12
Sam Hill
11
10
Henry Slade
9
Will Chudley
1
Carl Rimmer
2
Jack Yeandle
3
Alex Brown
4
Mitch Lees
5
Damian Welch
6
Dave Ewers
7
8
Thomas Waldrom

Subs

16
Elvis Taione
17
Ben Moon
18
19
20
Kai Horstmann
21
22
23
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2215164534213237394268
5
Exeter Chiefs
Exeter ChiefsEXE22140866343722670465768
Form Guide
Form
DWDDD
Last Match
Draw with Brive null-null
Past Meeting
Lost 13-35
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WWWLL
Last Match
Lost to Bristol Bears 7-20
Past Meeting
Won 35-13

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers25
Leicester Tigers
Exeter Chiefs18
Exeter Chiefs
Full Time