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Tigers go down to defeat at home

Figure image
Leicester Tigers slipped to a first defeat in four games as Exeter Chiefs claimed a 34-15 Aviva Premiership victory at Welford Road.

Tigers got off to a good start with a try inside the first five minutes for Italy international Michele Rizzo.
But Exeter fought back to take a commanding 27-8 half-time lead through Kai Horstmann’s charge-down score, a penalty try and a try for Stuart Townsend.
Tigers rallied at the start of the second period with a smart try from Maxime Mermoz. But Exeter claimed the try bonus and secured their victory with a fourth of the game, scored from close range by Mitch Lees.
Tom Youngs and Tom Croft returned to the forward pack for the meeting of fifth and second in the Aviva Premiership. Youngs lined up alongside Greg Bateman and Michele Rizzo, who played for Italy against England last weekend. Croft was named in a back row that included Brendon O’Connor and Luke Hamilton.

Matt Smith returned to the backline alongside Mermoz, with Peter Betham moving to the bench. Jono Kitto started at scrum-half with Owen Williams at fly-half.
Tigers flew out of the blocks to take the game to Exeter in the opening stages. Williams’s high kick was not dealt with by Phil Dolman and JP Pietersen kicked towards the Exeter line. Olly Woodburn was alert to the danger and hacked into touch with Pietersen in pursuit.
Tigers secured the lineout and while the maul was pulled down they maintained pressure and Rizzo drove over from close range for his first try of the season. Unconverted, it gave Tigers a 5-0 lead after five minutes.
Rizzo was pinged for playing scrum-half Stuart Townsend at a ruck but Henry Slade miscued his kick from halfway, the ball landing wide and short.
It was temporary reprieve and Exeter took the lead with their first try. Kai Horstmann charged down Williams’s clearance and the ball bounced kindly on the Leicester line for the flanker to score under the posts. Slade converted to put Exeter 7-5 ahead.
Tigers responded by putting together almost 30 phases in the Exeter half. They met stern resistance from the visitors but were rewarded with a penalty as Mitch Lees failed to release and Williams landed a simple penalty to put Tigers 8-7 ahead.
Again the lead was short-lived. Tigers were pinged on their 22 at the restart and Slade landed his kick to give Exeter a 10-8 lead.
Short, Thomas Waldrom and Dollman combined to punch a hole in the Leicester midfield. The ball was worked to the left where Ian Whitten’s kick beat Woodburn into touch 5m from the Leicester line.
Exeter maintained the pressure through consecutive lineout penalties on the Leicester line. And when Tigers pulled down the second drive referee Matthew Carley awarded Exeter a penalty try. Youngs received a yellow card and Slade converted to put Exeter 17-8 ahead.
The visitors made their man advantage count with a third try right at the end of the sin-bin period. Geoff Parling found himself in space on the right where he was hauled down just short of the line but Townsend followed up to dive over Croft’s tackle to score. Slade added the touchline conversion to give the Chiefs a 24-8 lead.
Slade extended the Exeter lead by another three points with the final kick of the half, punishing a ruck offence with a simple penalty to send the visitors in at the break 27-8 ahead.
Tigers sent on Ellis Genge at the start of the half, and Sam Harrison and Mike Williams shortly after the restart.
Tigers had to score first in the second period and they did just that, six minutes after the restart. Mermoz stepped off his left foot, through a gap in the Exeter defence and managed to ride Woodburn’s tap tackle to score next to the posts. Williams converted to cut the deficit to 27-15.
A knock-on by Woodburn as he tried to scoop up Williams’s kick gave Tigers field position 6m from the Exeter line. Tigers were awarded a penalty at the scrum and successive lineout penalties, but no card was forthcoming.
Instead, Owen Williams’s cross-field kick picked out Thompstone, who touched down at the back of the in-goal area but the TMO ruled he had run out of pitch.
Play came back for the penalty and when Exeter infringed a third time at the lineout Parling was finally shown a yellow card.
Harrison took a whack on the knee at a ruck and had to come off. It forced Tigers into a rejig with Peter Betham replacing Harrison and Freddie Burns going to scrum-half.
Exeter took advantage at the first scrum to win possession against the head 10m from the Leicester line. And they made the position pay by driving Lees over for the bonus-point fourth try. Slade converted to give Chiefs a 34-15 lead.
Good defence by Thompstone and Veainu forced Short into a knock-on just short of the line, as Exeter looked to extend their lead.
Tigers had the chance to score consolation points with two late penalty lineouts. However, Mike Williams knocked-on as he charged onto a pass at the first before another handling error conceded possession at the next lineout as Tigers ended the game empty-handed.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 8-27 EXE

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 15-34 EXE




Matthew Carley

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers

Full Time

Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Exeter Chiefs
Penalties Conceded
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Tackles Won
108/119 91%
181/199 91%
Scrums Won
5/6 17%
7/7 0%
Lineouts Won
15/15 100%
12/12 100%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
15Telusa Veainu
14Adam Thompstone
13Matt Smith
12Maxime Mermoz1T
11JP Pietersen
10Owen Williams1C1P
1Michele Rizzo1T
2Tom Youngs
3Greg Bateman
4Michael Fitzgerald
5Dom Barrow
6Tom Croft
7Brendon O'Connor
16George McGuigan
17Ellis Genge
19Mike Williams
20Lachlan McCaffrey
21Sam Harrison
22Freddie Burns
23Peter Betham

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

Olly Woodburn
Ian Whitten
Ollie Devoto
Henry Slade
Stu Townsend
Carl Rimmer
Luke Cowan-Dickie
Harry Williams
Mitch Lees
Geoff Parling
Don Armand
Kai Horstmann
Thomas Waldrom


Jack Yeandle
Ben Moon
Tomas Francis
Jonny Hill
Sam Simmonds
Jack Maunder
Joe Simmonds
Sam Hill

Big match preview: Tigers v Chiefs

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A big weekend of Aviva Premiership rugby kicks off at Welford Road on Friday (7.45pm) with an Aviva Premiership Round 17 fixture between Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs.

Chiefs are in second place in the league table, three places and seven points ahead of the Tigers with just five fixtures remaining in the regular season after this weekend.
The two clubs have met on 53 previous occasions, with Leicester winning 35 to 14 by the Chiefs with four games drawn. Chiefs, though, have won on three previous visits to Welford Road – against Nottingham in a Championship fixture in 2009 and against Tigers in the league in 2011 and in the semi-final of the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2015 when Greg Bateman scored the decisive try before moving to Leicester at the end of that season.
Bateman plays against his former team-mates this weekend after being named in the Leicester front row, while Chiefs include former Tigers duo Geoff Parling and Thomas Waldrom in their forward pack.
Team news was announced on Thursday lunchtime, with Tigers welcoming Tom Youngs, Tom Croft and Matt Smith back into the starting team, while Ellis Genge and Mike Williams have been released from England training in time to join the matchday squad.
Previewing the game, Tigers centre Matt Smith said: “There are a few ex-Tigers boys down there and they have some exciting backs so hopefully it will be a free-flowing game.”
Referee for Friday is Matthew Carley, in charge of his 56th Premiership fixture.
Kick-off is at 7.45pm and tickets are still available. Book at the Tigers ticket office. Call in at Welford Road or phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2)(open from 9am on matchday) or click here to book online.
To find out what more is in store for visitors to Welford Road, click here for our full matchday guide.
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
Exeter Chiefs
Exeter ChiefsEXE221534667452215865515384
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI22140856744512258486466
Form Guide
Last Match
Beat Ealing Trailfinders 29-21
Past Meeting
Lost 10-29
Last Match
Past Meeting
Last Match
Lost to Gloucester Rugby 14-17
Past Meeting
Won 29-10

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers15
Leicester Tigers
Exeter Chiefs34
Exeter Chiefs
Full Time