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Tigers go down to Irish defeat

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Leicester Tigers lost at home in the Aviva Premiership for the first time since November 2013 after a late penalty condemned them to a 22-19 defeat by London Irish on Saturday afternoon.

Tigers fought back from 13-6 down at half-time through Vereniki Goneva’s fourth try of the season, the boot of Freddie Burns and a monster penalty by Owen Williams to level matters going into the final 10 minutes.
 
However, Shane Geraghty’s penalty two minutes from time, which followed a first-half try for Halana Aulika, secured Irish their first victory at Welford Road since 2003, and only their ninth in the fixture.

Miles Benjamin made his first appearance of the season after recovering from a knee injury. Blaine Scully also returned to the backline as Goneva moved to centre in the absence of Anthony Allen, Manu Tuilagi and Seremaia Bai.

The front row was without the services of Marcos Ayerza, Tom Youngs, Logovi'i Mulipola and Dan Cole meaning a first Premiership start for Tigers for Tom Bristow. Sebastian de Chaves came into the second and Jamie Gibson started at flanker against his former club.
 
Tigers Academy products Alex Lewington and Scott Steele started for the first time against their former club after their summer moves to Madeski Stadium. Irish were captained by former Tigers lock George Skivington.
 
The game took a while to get going with both sides feeling each other out in the opening exchanges. The visitors had the first chance to put points on the board after five minutes when Julian Salvi was adjudged to have held on in the tackle and Geraghty landed the penalty to give Irish a 3-0 lead.
 
Irish thought they had worked a try for James Short at the left corner but referee Greg Garner consulted his television match official who ruled it out for Luke Narraway’s block on Williams in midfield.
 
Tigers were given their first chance for points in the 13th minute after a solid scrum was rewarded with a penalty but Freddie Burns was wide with his kick from distance.
 
Geraghty doubled the visitors’ lead with a monster penalty from inside his own half after Tigers were pinged for crossing.
 
Burns’s huge up-and-under, moments after receiving treatment for a bang, had Lewington under pressure from Salvi and Benjamin before good work by Crane won a holding-on penalty but Burns pushed his kick wide from close to halfway.
 
More good work by Crane stold the ball in midfield and Scully made a 30m break down the right before his offload out of Andy Fenby’s tackle was knocked forward.
 
Blair Cowan’s burst through the midfield had the Tigers defence backpedalling before Leonardo Ghiraldini bundled Kieran Low into touch inside the Leicester 22.
 
Garner then reversed a penalty decision for Irish after Cowan appeared to punch Gibson in the face, the referee deciding to take no further action.
 
Tigers worked their way into the Irish 22 where the visitors went off their feet at a ruck and Burns kicked Leicester’s first points of the game to halve the deficit.
 
Lewington caught the restart to set Irish on the attack. And the wing was well tackled into touch by Williams at he looked to finish at the right corner.
 
Irish made a mess of the lineout to win their own throw at the corner. Skivington collected possession to set up the drive, which was finished off by Halani Aulika. Geraghty’s conversion gave Irish a 13-3 lead seven minutes before half-time.
 
Captain Ben Youngs led the response, his snipe taking Tigers deep into the Irish 22. Vereniki Goneva tried his luck and was held in the tackle by Geraghty, who was shown a yellow card. Burns landed his penalty to leave Tigers 13-6 down.
 
Burns then charged down Chris Noakes’s attempted clearance but the bouncing ball evaded Salvi’s grasp and fell for Cowan to mop up.
 
Williams’s break took him up to the Irish line, Tigers recycled but Youngs’s long pass was intercepted by Fergus Mulchrone. He broke from his pwn line and was stopped in Tigers’ territory before Scully took the ball into touch to signal half-time.
 
Tigers had the first opportunity of the second-half to get the scoreboard moving when Irish came in at the side of a ruck inside their own 22. Burns landed his kick from the angle to leave Tigers 13-9 behind after 47 minutes.
 
Tigers then had a scrum put-in just outside the Irish 22 after Fenby’s massive clearance went dead in-goal. But Irish put Tigers under pressure and won the penalty.
 
At the other end, Crane was pinged for not rolling and Geraghty, back on after his yellow card, restored the visitors’ seven-point lead.
 
Excellent work by Scully won the restart above Jebb Sinclair and a penalty for playing the ball on the floor. Burns went for the corner and after Irish defended the initial drive, Goneva surprised everyone in the stadium with a burst from the front of a ruck to score from 18 yards. Burns added the extras to level the scores at 16-16.
 
Tigers went down to 14 men midway through the second half when Garner showed Crane a yellow card for something the referee had seen at a ruck 10m from the Leicester line. Geraghty’s penalty gave Irish a 19-16 lead.
 
Burns wide with a penalty from the left before Williams landed a mammoth kick from five metres inside his own half to level the scores going into the final 10 minutes.
 
Geraghty then took on a long-distance penalty of his own, but his kick bounced back off the bar and was tidied up by Robert Barbieri.
 
However, Garner then ruled that Tait played the ball off his feet in robbing Fenby, and Geraghty landed the kick to give Irish a three-point lead with two minutes remaining.
 
Tigers had one last attack but when Goneva lost the ball in contact Geraghty was able to clear the danger.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 6-13 LON

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 19-22 LON

Attendance

21,682

Referee

Greg Garner

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
19

Full Time

London Irish
London Irish
22

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
London Irish
Possession
50%
50%
Territory
0%
0%
Penalties Conceded
9
11
Yellow Cards
1
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
100/111 90%
105/119 88%
Scrums Won
3/4 75%
8/10 80%
Lineouts Won
14/14 0%
15/15 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
London Irish
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Mathew Tait
14Blaine Scully
13Vereniki Goneva1T
12Owen Williams1P
11Miles Benjamin
101C3P
9Ben Youngs
1Tom Bristow
2Leonardo Ghiraldini
3Fraser Balmain
4
5Graham Kitchener
6Jamie Gibson
7Julian Salvi
8
16Neil Briggs
17Riccardo Brugnara
18Tiziano Pasquali
19Harry Wells
20Laurence Pearce
21Robert Barbieri
22Sam Harrison
23Matt Smith

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Blaine Scully
14
Blaine Scully
Vereniki Goneva
13
Vereniki Goneva
Owen Williams
12
Owen Williams
Miles Benjamin
11
Miles Benjamin
10
Tom Bristow
1
Tom Bristow
Leonardo Ghiraldini
2
Leonardo Ghiraldini
Fraser Balmain
3
Fraser Balmain
4
Jamie Gibson
6
Jamie Gibson
Julian Salvi
7
Julian Salvi
8

Subs

Neil Briggs
16
Neil Briggs
Riccardo Brugnara
17
Riccardo Brugnara
Tiziano Pasquali
18
Tiziano Pasquali
Laurence Pearce
20
Laurence Pearce
Robert Barbieri
21
Robert Barbieri

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Andrew Fenby
14
Alex Lewington
13
Fergus Mulchrone
12
Shane Geraghty
11
James Short
10
Chris Noakes
9
Scott Steele
1
Tom Court
2
David Paice
3
Halani 'Aulika
4
George Skivington
5
Jebb Sinclair
6
Kieran Low
7
Blair Cowan
8
Luke Narraway

Subs

16
Gerard Ellis
17
Matt Parr
18
Leo Halavatau
19
Dan Leo
20
Tom Guest
21
Tomas O'Leary
22
Eamonn Sheridan
23
Topsy Ojo
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2215164534213237394268
10
London Irish
London IrishLON227114442578-13646574640
Form Guide
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Won 33-32
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LLLLD
Last Match
Draw with Bristol Bears null-null
Past Meeting
Lost 32-33

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers19
Leicester Tigers
London Irish22
London Irish
Full Time