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Pearce at the double in bonus-point win

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Laurence Pearce scored a second-half brace as Leicester Tigers secured a 38-17 bonus-point win against London Welsh.

Tigers ran in six tries in front of 23,016 at Welford Road to move back into the Aviva Premiership top four.

Ben Youngs got the ball rolling with a fourth-minute try but the Tigers found themselves behind at the break after Koree Britton's try for Welsh on half-time.

Pearce struck from a lineout drive shortly after the restart to put Tigers back into the lead before finishing off Mathew Tait's break for his second score.

Sam Harrison, named the Players' Player of the Season during the week, finished Niall Morris's 60m run for the bonus-point try before Jamie Gibson and Tom Youngs added further tries in the closing stages.

Brad Thorn and Graham Kitchener returned from injury to line up in the second row while international trio Michele Rizzo, Leonardo Ghiraldini and Logovi'i Mulipola started in the front row.

Mathew Tait and George Catchpole linked up in a new-look midfield. Blaine Scully and Adam Thompstone were on the wings with Niall Morris at full-back.

London Welsh included Tigers Academy graduate Ben Pienaar in their back row while Opeti Fonua, who will be moving to Tigers for next season, was among the replacements, alongside former Tigers back-rower Richard Thorpe.

The game kicked off in sunshine and a strong breeze. And it was only three minutes old when London Welsh prop Nathan Trevett was replaced by Eddie Aholelei after taking a knock in a tackle on Mulipola.

Moments later Tigers had the lead. Jamie Gibson's lineout ball off the top on the Welsh 22 found Ben Youngs, who took advantage of a huge gap at the back of the set-piece to run in unopposed. Burns landed the conversion.

Welsh turned down a kick at goal when Tigers were pinged at a maul, Olly Barkley kicking to the corner. But Tigers spoiled the lineout and the Exiles' opportunity went away.

But Welsh took on their next penalty, after Tigers were whistled for holding on but wing Chris Elder was wide with his kick.

Welsh were forced into another change in the 23rd minute with Will Robinson replacing the injured James Lewis.

The game was punctuated by the sound of the referee's whistle and struggled to get going in the opening quarter. It was typified by one smart Tigers move that came to an end on the right flank with a knock-on by Blaine Scully, though the ball appeared to go backwards.

Salvi claimed an overthrown lineout to spark a Tigers attack from deep. Adam Thompstone made some 40m down the left flank but was eventually forced into a grubber kick as the defence came across and Barkley found good distance with his clearance.

Tait rain the ball back, but was pinged for holding on and Elder landed his kick to put Welsh's first points on the board.

Tigers responded with a lovely backs move, which revolved around Tait and Burns and ended with Morris sliding a kick behind the Welsh defence for Thompstone to chase but the bounce beat him into touch.

Elder missed a long-range penalty attempt but Tigers were under pressure from the restart, through Chris Hala'ufia. The Welsh No8 broke a couple of tackles and offloaded for Koree Britton to crash over from close-range. Robinson landed the extras right on the stroke of half-time to give Welsh a 10-7 lead at the break.

Tigers regained the lead right at the start of the second period with their second try. Burns kicked a penalty to the corner and it paid dividends as Tigers controlled the drive for Pearce to finish at the left corner. Unconverted, it gave Tigers a 12-10 lead.

Thompstone then hit Robinson with an excellent tackle as the replacement clutched onto a high kick, Tigers rucked over and won the penalty for holding on, as Welford Road began to find its voice.

Tigers made their first changes after 47 minutes with Fraser Balmain and Tom Youngs coming on for Rizzo and Ghiraldini respectively. Balmain packed down at tighthead with Mulipola moving across to the loosehead side of the scrum.

The momentum was with Tigers now and they made the most of an offside on the Welsh 22 to claim their third try. Tait made an incisive break, fixed last-man Robinson and found Pearce on his outside to cross for his second try. It gave Tigers a 17-10 lead with 30 minutes remaining.

Geoff Parling replaced Thorn before play restarted.

Welsh went down to 14 men with 25 minutes left when Hala'ufia was shown a red card. Hala'ufia initially hit Pearce with a high tackle but then struck the Tigers No8 as he was lying on the ground. Referee Tim Wigglesworth consulted his TMO David Grashoff before issuing the red card.

Tigers almost took advantage of their extra man when they worked an overlap on the right but Scully went into contact just as the space looked to open up for on his outside.

Jordan Crane and Sam Harrison replaced Pearce and Ben Youngs as the game entered the final quarter. Seremaia Bai then replaced Catchpole and Fonua was introduced to the fray for Welsh.

A stunning break by Morris was rewarded with the bonus-point try. Morris held-off Thorpe's attempted tackle on his own 22 and he was eventually stopped just short of the line. But Tigers kept the ball alive and Harrison spun out of a tackle to score Tigers' fourth try of the game. Burns added the extras to move Tigers 24-10 ahead.

It was Burns' last contribution, the fly-half was replaced by Tommy Bell, while Riccardo Brugnara came on for Mulipola.

Tigers continued to press and scored a fifth try with 11 minutes left. Parling's pass out of the tackle created the space for Gibson, who rode the tackle to score at the right-hand corner. Bell nailed a brilliant touchline conversion to give Tigers a 31-10 lead.

Fonua's quickly-taken penalty didn't let Tigers set their defence, and he held off a couple of tacklers to crash over from close range.

Parling thought he had scored his second try in consecutive home matches moments later when he dived in at the right-hand corner but his foot had gone into touch.

But Tigers had the last word, when Tom Youngs bounced out of a couple of tackles to score Tigers' sixth try of the game. Bell landed the conversion with the final kick of the game.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 7-10 LWE

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 38-17 LWE

Attendance

23,016

Referee

Tim Wigglesworth

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
London Welsh
Possession
75%
25%
Territory
0%
0%
Penalties Conceded
12
15
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
1
Tackles Won
39/49 80%
121/149 81%
Scrums Won
11/11 100%
9/12 75%
Lineouts Won
12/12 0%
9/9 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
London Welsh
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Niall Morris
14
13
12George Catchpole
11
102C
9Ben Youngs1T
1Michele Rizzo
2
3Logovi'i Mulipola
4
5Graham Kitchener
6Jamie Gibson1T
7Julian Salvi
8Laurence Pearce2T
16Tom Youngs1T
17Riccardo Brugnara
18Fraser Balmain
19Geoff Parling
20
211T
22Tommy Bell2C
23Seremaia Bai
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
38

Full Time

London Welsh
London Welsh
17

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Niall Morris
15
Niall Morris
14
10
2
4
Jamie Gibson
6
Jamie Gibson
Julian Salvi
7
Julian Salvi
Laurence Pearce
8
Laurence Pearce

Subs

Riccardo Brugnara
17
Riccardo Brugnara
Fraser Balmain
18
Fraser Balmain
Geoff Parling
19
Geoff Parling
20
Tommy Bell
22
Tommy Bell
Seremaia Bai
23
Seremaia Bai

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Alan Awcock
14
Rhys Crane
13
12
James Lewis
11
Chris Elder
10
Olly Barkley
9
Rob Lewis
1
Nathan Trevett
2
3
Ben Cooper
4
Ben West
5
Matt Corker
6
Ben Pienaar
7
Darren Waters
8
Chris Hala'ufia

Subs

16
Nathan Morris
17
Eddie Aholelei
18
Jack Gilding
19
Josh McNally
20
21
Richard Thorpe
22
23
Will Robinson
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2215164534213237394268
12
London Welsh
London WelshLWE2200222231021-79829147101
Form Guide
Form
DWDDD
Last Match
Draw with Brive null-null
Past Meeting
Won 38-17
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LLLLL
Last Match
Lost to Saracens 17-68
Past Meeting
Lost 17-38

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers38
Leicester Tigers
London Welsh17
London Welsh
Full Time