Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Tigers return to top four with bonus-point win

Figure image
Leicester Tigers moved back into the Aviva Premiership play-off places with a 47-20 bonus-point victory over London Irish.

Tigers set the ball rolling inside the opening five minutes of Sunday's clash with Adam Thompstone scoring the opening try. It was added to by Harry Thacker, Lachlan McCaffrey and Jono Kitto as Tigers secured their try bonus point before half time.
 
Tom Croft finished off Jean de Villiers instinctive inside pass to continue the scoring in the second half. De Villiers then scythed through for his first score in Tigers colours and Thompstone rounded things off with his second and Leicester’s seventh.
 
It was de Villiers’s first Welford Road start, the former South Africa captain partnering Manu Tuilagi at centre, and there was a first start in Tigers colours for scrum-half Jono Kitto. Thompstone returned on the wing.
 
Tom Youngs failed a late fitness test so Harry Thacker started at hooker. Dom Barrow returned after a two-week ban, Lachlan McCaffrey returned to the back row with Ed Slater at No8. Mike Williams was named on the bench on his return from a broken arm.
 
Burns signalled Tigers’ intent to go for tries by turning down an early penalty to go for the corner. Slater was pulled down as he collected the ball, giving Tigers free ball but Tait was tap-tackled as he tried to tiptoe through.
 
Tigers went to the corner again, and this time made the position pay. Veainu looped around de Villiers, fed Tait who looked to have a walk-in but unselfishly found Thompstone on his outside to score. It went unconverted as Tigers led 5-0 after five minutes.
 
Irish settled with a passage of possession play that took them into the Tigers 22. Marcos Ayerza was ruled to come in at the side of ruck and Theo Brophy Clews kicked their first points of the game.
 
Tigers responded with a beautifully-crafted second try. Burns’s half-break created the opportunity for the offload, which was expertly picked off his toes by Thacker. The hooker stepped inside last man Sean Maitland and under the posts for his second try in as many games. Burns had a simple conversion to put Leicester 12-3 ahead.
 
Mathew Tait then showed brilliant skill to pluck a hanging kick out of the air and return it with interest to pin Irish back in their own 22.
 
It was all Tigers and they went to the corner with another kickable penalty. This time Croft was pulled down in the lineout and Burns tried to take advantage with a kick to Thompstone on the opposite flank but the winger was unable to gather cleanly.
 
Play came back for the penalty and this time Tigers shifted the ball away from the maul, Kitto found McCaffrey who slipped Brophy Clews’s tackle to score under the posts. It was the flanker’s third try of the season, and converted by Burns, gave Tigers a 19-3 lead 10 minutes before half-time.
 
Tuilagi was alert to a quickly-taken throw, hitting Scotland international Blair Cowan with a huge hit as he received the ball.
 
Tigers finished the half with a flourish to bring up the try bonus point. Burns’s break was supported by Fitzgerald, who produced a lovely back-of-the-hand pass to put Kitto in next to the posts for his first try. Burns converted with the last kick of the half to send Tigers in at the break 26-3 ahead.
 
Brilliant work by Veainu, breaking down the left and chipping into the Irish 22, was rewarded with a penalty for holding on by the Exiles scrum-half Scott Steele. Burns punted the kick crossfield for Thompstone, but he was shepherded into touch by Andrew Fenby.
 
Tigers continued to pile forward and only a lack of ball control prevented them making the most of another Veainu break.
 
However, Veainu was at the heart of the move that led to Tigers’ fifth try. Tigers secured quick ball off his run, and smart hands by Thacker, Burns and Tuilagi kept the move alive for de Villiers to throw a blind inside pass that found Croft to charge over from close range.
 
Tigers though they had scored a sixth – and a second for Kitto – moments later. Thompstone squirmed under Fergus Mulchrone’s attempted tackle and found Kitto on his inside whose run took him in at the right corner. But as Burns was lining up his conversion referee Ian Tempest consulted television match official David Sainsbury before ruling Thompstone’s final pass was forward.
 
Instead, it was Irish who rallied to score the game’s next try. Hooker David Paice burrowed over from close range to finish a series of well-constructed phases in the Tigers 22. It went unconverted to leave Tiegrs 33-8 ahead midway through the second half.
 
Irish threatened a second try when they pumped a penalty to the corner, but strong lineout defence by the Tigers turned over possession for Burns to clear long.
 
With Williams and Logovi’i Mulipola introduced from the bench, Tigers sent wave after wave of their big runners down on the Irish defence. Eventually the power told and created the hole for de Villiers to score his first try in Leicester colours. Burns’s conversion moved Leicester 40-8 ahead.
 
There was more to come from Tigers moments later as Sam Harrison displayed superb awareness with an inside pass that put Thompstone through a yawning hole in the Irish defence to finish next to the posts. Tommy Bell, on for Burns, landed a simple conversion.
 
Tait was the next to make a break, and only a tap-tackle by last-man Fenby prevented him going some 60m to score.
 
Irish put together a neat move off a lineout to score their second try with eight minutes remaining. Ciaran Hearn latched onto Shane Geraghty’s inside pass before giving Joe Trayfoot a clear run to the line. Geraghty converted.
 
Irish scored their third try right on full-time, Fenby finishing off Hearn’s break at the right-hand corner to conclude the scoring.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 26-3 LON

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 47-20 LON

Attendance

23,173

Referee

Ian Tempest

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
London Irish
Possession
70%
30%
Territory
0%
0%
Penalties Conceded
12
13
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
84/99 85%
138/163 85%
Scrums Won
6/6 100%
7/7 100%
Lineouts Won
19/19 0%
12/12 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
London Irish
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15
142T
13Manu Tuilagi
12Jean De Villiers1T
11Telusa Veainu
105C
9Jono Kitto1T
1Marcos Ayerza
2Harry Thacker1T
3Fraser Balmain
4
5
61T
7Lachlan McCaffrey1T
8Ed Slater
16
17Riccardo Brugnara
18Logovi'i Mulipola
19Mike Williams
20Laurence Pearce
21
22Tommy Bell1C
23
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
47

Full Time

London Irish
London Irish
20

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Jean De Villiers
12
Jean De Villiers
10
Jono Kitto
9
Jono Kitto
Marcos Ayerza
1
Marcos Ayerza
Fraser Balmain
3
Fraser Balmain
5
Lachlan McCaffrey
7
Lachlan McCaffrey
Ed Slater
8
Ed Slater

Subs

16
Riccardo Brugnara
17
Riccardo Brugnara
Laurence Pearce
20
Laurence Pearce
Tommy Bell
22
Tommy Bell
23

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
14
Topsy Ojo
13
Ciaran Hearn
12
Fergus Mulchrone
11
Andrew Fenby
10
Theo Brophy-Clews
9
Scott Steele
1
Tom Smallbone
2
David Paice
3
Halani 'Aulika
4
William Lloyd
5
Elliott Stooke
6
7
Blair Cowan
8
Ofisa Treviranus

Subs

16
Tom Cruse
17
18
Leo Halavatau
19
20
21
22
Shane Geraghty
23
Johnny Williams
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
12
London Irish
London IrishLON224018328620-29236740420
Form Guide
Form
DWDDD
Last Match
Draw with Brive null-null
Past Meeting
Lost 9-22
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
DDDDD
Last Match
Draw with Agen null-null
Past Meeting
Won 22-9

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers47
Leicester Tigers
London Irish20
London Irish
Full Time