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Report | Tigers start 2022 with bonus-point win

Leicester Tigers extended their unbeaten run into the new year with a 31-0 triumph against Newcastle Falcons on Sunday.

After making it 10 out of 10 in the league with Christmas victory at Bristol, Tigers stretched their winning run to 16 matches in all competitions since defeat in Round 21 last season and stayed top of the Gallagher Premiership with 50 points.

After an opening period dominated by heavy rain at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, Tigers turned pressure into points in the 10 minutes before half-time thanks to tries from a driving maul – with Dan Kelly credited for the touchdown – and then Matt Scott as they led 17-0 at the break.

George Martin provided the third try after a prolonged spell of pressure in the second half. But Tigers had to wait until the final action of the game to add a fourth from Harry Potter to seal the full five points.

Steve Borthwick brought Eli Snyman, Matt Scott and Guy Porter into the starting line-up, and was forced into a late change in the back row where Ollie Chessum was replaced by Harry Wells in the absence of both Marco van Staden and Jasper Wiese.

George Ford made his 100th starting appearance since his debut for Tigers as a 16-year-old in 2009, and it was also a landmark afternoon for Falcons full-back Mike Brown who reached 250 games in Premiership rugby.

Ford got the game started in light drizzle on an overcast afternoon and quickly had a chance to get the scoreboard moving with a third-minute penalty when the opposition were caught offside in defence.

The drizzle turned to heavy rain with the game just five minutes old, blowing into Tigers’ faces as they played from a penalty to the right-hand corner, only to lose ball after Ellis Genge had taken on the Falcons defence.

Both teams then chose to kick from hand as the elements dictated a territorial approach, with full-backs Freddie Steward and Mike Brown having to stand up to a steady supply of teasing high ball.

After a scrum penalty gave Tigers a chance on the left, the forwards drove infield from the lineout and Guy Porter showed remarkable athleticism to catch and touch down in one movement from Ben Youngs’ kick to the corner. But after numerous replays, TMO Ian Tempest ruled he had simultaneously touched the white line of touch in goal and the try was denied.

Not to be deterred, Tigers were immediately back on the attack, after another knock-on from a kickchase, and then the bounce from a Ford chip to the left corner beat Porter as the ball squirted into touch just short of the tryline.

When a penalty followed, Tigers turned down a kick at goal to stay in the corner. Finally, with sun peaking out and the rain finally in abeyance, the breakthrough followed.

A big maul from the set-piece took play towards the line and, with backs joining the push, it finally got over the chalk, with Dan Kelly taking the pats on the back from team-mates. Ford’s conversion made it 10-0 on 33 minutes.

Falcons made good use of scrappy ball from a lineout as scrum-half Louis Schreuder kicked down the left touchline for almost their first incursion into the Tigers 22. But, when Youngs chose to play out from a defensive position, Harry Potter took play 60 metres upfield. Although Brown cleared to touch, the next phase brought a second score.

Tigers chipped in behind and, when Joel Hodgson missed the bouncing ball, Scott nudged it forward and gathered to dot down under the posts. Ford converted to make it 17-0 with one minute left in the half.

The second half started with Tigers on the attack again, forcing Brown back to his line, where he was driven over by a combination of Kelly and Scott. But ball was knocked-on at the five-metre and the chance had gone.

Falcons, though, still found it difficult to get out of their own territory, forced back by Ford’s kicking and by a kickchase from Steward which forced another error and then a scrum penalty midway inside the Newcastle half.

But, after setting up the drive to the line on the right, Tigers were wrapped up in possession and Falcons had scrum put-in as Logovi’i Mulipola joined their front row from the bench.

The pressure, though, stayed on and phases after phase of play from the Tigers until finally, George Martin dived over to score on the right. Referee Karl Dickson been playing advantage for three offside penalties as he then checked for a possible kinock-on in attack before awarding the score.

Ford’s conversion from the right made it 24-0 with 24 minutes left on the clock.

Another push from the forwards, with Nephi Leatigaga on for Genge, almost brought another score but this time Falcons held up the charge in-goal and they were able to drop-out.

Nic Dolly, Charlie Clare, Joe Heyes, Jack van Poortvliet and Freddie Burns all entered the fray from the bench in the final quarter, with Kini Murimurivalu and Matias Moroni also on for the closing 10 minutes.

Murimurivalu, Dolly and Wells made up the back row as the Tigers earned a penalty inside their own 22 after Falcons dangerman Adam Radwan had had his first chance to show his pace in attack before being closed down.

With just 100 seconds left on the clock, Falcons spilled ball in trying to play out of their 22 and Tigers had the final chance from a scrum.

It eventually came with the forwards gaining the territory and Burns finding Potter with a flighted crosskick, though the wing still had to beat two defenders and reach out to score the bonus-point try with the clock on 80 minutes. Burns added the conversion to bring the game to a close.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 17-0 NEW

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 31-0 NEW

Attendance

22,515

Referee

Karl Dickson

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
31

Full Time

Newcastle Falcons
Newcastle Falcons
0
Leicester Tigers
P
T
C
T
C
T
C
T
C
KOHTFT
Newcastle Falcons

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Newcastle Falcons
Possession
57%
43%
Territory
64%
36%
Penalties Conceded
5
10
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
83/98 85%
120/134 90%
Scrums Won
11/12 92%
5/6 83%
Lineouts Won
20/22 91%
11/12 92%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Freddie Steward
14Harry Potter1T
13Matt Scott1T
12Dan Kelly1T
11Guy Porter
10George Ford3C1P
9Ben Youngs
1Ellis Genge
2Julian Montoya
3Dan Cole
4Eli Snyman
5Calum Green
6Harry Wells
7Tommy Reffell
8George Martin1T
16Charlie Clare
17Nephi Leatigaga
18Joe Heyes
19Kini Murimurivalu
20Nic Dolly
21Jack van Poortvliet
22Freddie Burns1C
23Matias Moroni

Commentary

Tigers 31 (4 tries) Falcons 0. It's now 11 out of 11 in the league, 15 in a row in all competitions this season. 

Attendance is 22,515. Thank you.

Freddie Burns adds the conversion to make it 31-0 with the last action of the afternoon.

Bonus-point score from Harry Potter in the corner.

Ford adds the conversion for a 24-0 lead, 56min.

55min | Unrelenting pressure, with referee playing advantage three times for offside, ends with a try for Tigers back-row George Martin.

41

The teams are back out, Tigers led 17-0. Falcons to kick off.

HALF-TIME BREAK

Tigers 17-0 Falcons following converted tries by Dan Kelly (we think) and Matt Scott.

Ford kicks the conversion and Tigers are 17-0 in front.

TRY TIME

38min | Matt Scott latches on to loose ball in behind the Falcons defence to score under the posts.

Ford adds the conversion for a 10-0 lead approaching half-time.

32min | A mighty maul takes play up to the line, difficult to say who is at the bottom of it but it's a try to Tigers. 8-0

30

The sun is out! Now just waiting for the tide to go out too.

30

The sun is out! Now just waiting for the tide to go out too.

20

What is heavier than heavy rain? Whatever it is called, we're having it now at Mattioli Woods Welford Road. Tigers will have to attack two by two shortly.

19

Superb catch and touchdown by Guy Porter in the left corner, but he touches touch in goal with his left hand and the try is denied. 

15

Still 3-0 to Tigers, unfortunately the light drizzle has turned to heavy rain. 

3min | Penalty from George Ford gives Tigers a 3-0 lead.

KICK-OFF | Tigers v Falcons

We are under way, as George Ford kicks off in his 100th starting appearance for Tigers. Tigers are right to left as we look at it from the dugouts in the Breedon Stand, attacking the Beehive Money Stand.  

0

WEATHER CHECK

It's cloudy at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, the pitch is damp, a bit of a breeze around the place. 

0

TODAY'S OPPOSITION

In a late change, Falcons prop Adam Brocklebank is ruled out and Kyle Cooper is promoted from the bench. Logovi'i Mulipola is added to the replacements.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Mateo Carreras, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Adam Radwan, 10 Joel Hodgson,  Louis Schreuder; 1 Kyle Cooper, 2 Charlie Maddison, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Philip van der Walt, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Carl Fearns.

Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Callum Chick, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Tom Penny.

0

TEAM NEWS

HOW TIGERS LINE-UP

There is a late change with Harry Wells joining the back row in place of Ollie Chessum. Kini Murimurivalu comes into the matchday 23.

STARTING XV [with Tigers appearances]

15 Freddie Steward [44], 14 Harry Potter [24], 13 Matt Scott [33], 12 Dan Kelly [30], 11 Guy Porter [29], 10 George Ford [116], 9 Ben Youngs [272]; 1 Ellis Genge (c) [98], 2 Julián Montoya [13], 3 Dan Cole [276], 4 Eli Snyman [7], 5 Calum Green [72], 6 Harry Wells [137], 7 Tommy Reffell [59], 8 George Martin [27]

REPLACEMENTS

16 Charlie Clare [36], 17 Nephi Leatigaga [53], 18 Joe Heyes [84], 19 Kini Murimurivalu [29], 20 Nic Dolly [12], 21 Jack van Poortvliet [31], 22 Freddie Burns [84], 23 Matías Moroni [22]

0

MATCH PREVIEW | Tigers v Falcons

Newcastle Falcons defence coach Nick Easter says the visitors will be “buzzing” as they run out at Mattioli Woods Welford Road this afternoon against Gallagher Premiership leaders Leicester Tigers.

Former England No8 Easter, who is now part of Dean Richards’ coaching staff in the North-East, said: “Nobody outside of our group will be expecting us to get a result, but I can assure you the expectation within the club is really strong that we can go down there and get the win.

“Our boys will be absolutely buzzing at the opportunity of going there in a cauldron of an atmosphere and getting into a proper battle. It’s the perfect game for us to get back into it after three weeks without a match.”

Last season’s meeting at Mattioli Woods Welford Road brought a 26-12 victory for Tigers with scores from Charlie Clare and Hanro Liebenberg plus 18 points from fly-half George Ford.

Tigers bring Porter, Matt Scott and Eli Snyman into the starting line-up this week and fly-half Ford makes his 100th starting appearance for the club. 

Newcastle full-back Mike Brown this afternoon becomes the sixth player to make 250 appearances in Premiership rugby.

Karl Dickson is the referee, in his 51st Premiership fixture.

0

WELCOME TO MATCHDAY LIVE!

We’re LIVE from Mattioli Woods Welford Road for this opening game of 2022 as Leicester Tigers host Newcastle Falcons in the Gallagher Premiership. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

If you are unable to join us at the game, you can keep up to date with all of the action right here with our Matchday Live service on the Tigers App and website at www.leicestertigers.com.


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Mike Brown
14
Mateo Carreras
13
Matias Orlando
12
Luther Burrell
11
Adam Radwan
10
Joel Hodgson
9
Louis Schreuder
1
Kyle Cooper
2
Charlie Maddison
3
Trevor Davison
4
Greg Peterson
5
Sean Robinson
6
Philip van der Walt
7
Will Welch
8
Carl Fearns

Subs

16
Robbie Smith
17
Logovi'i Mulipola
18
Mark Tampin
19
Callum Chick
20
Gary Graham
21
Sam Stuart
22
Brett Connon
23
Tom Penny

Team News | Tigers side to face Falcons

Steve Borthwick has named the Leicester Tigers matchday squad for Round 12 of the Gallagher Premiership season against Newcastle Falcons at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

"Their pack makes everything a battle and possess players out-wide with skill and pace"

Steve Borthwick

Ellis Genge, Julián Montoya and Dan Cole make up an unchanged front row, with Eli Snyman’s inclusion alongside Calum Green the only change in the tight-five from the side who defeated Bristol Bears on Boxing Day.

In a new-look back-row, Ollie Chessum and Tommy Reffell are the flankers with George Martin at No8.

Charlie Clare, Nic Dolly, Joe Heyes, Nephi Leatigaga and Harry Wells are the replacement forwards.

In his 100th starting appearance for Tigers, George Ford is the side’s fly-half.

Ford is partnered by Ben Youngs as the starting half-backs, with Jack van Poortvliet and Freddie Burns included on the Leicester bench.

Dan Kelly and Matt Scott start in the Leicester midfield, with Matías Moroni named among the replacements.

In the only other change to the starting backline, Guy Porter is included on one wing with Harry Potter on the other and Freddie Steward is the Tigers full-back.

Speaking about Sunday’s opponents, Borthwick said: “Newcastle are a really tough team, led by one of the league’s most experienced coaches in Dean Richards who will have his side ready after two weekends without a match.

“They play smart rugby; the Falcons scrum is one of the very best in the Premiership, their pack makes everything a battle and possess players out-wide with skill and pace.”

STARTING XV
15 Freddie Steward [44]
14 Harry Potter [24]
13 Matt Scott [33]
12 Dan Kelly [30]
11 Guy Porter [29]
10 George Ford [116]
9 Ben Youngs [272]
1 Ellis Genge (c) [98]
2 Julián Montoya [13]
3 Dan Cole [276]
4 Eli Snyman [7]
5 Calum Green [72]
6 Ollie Chessum [20]
7 Tommy Reffell [59]
8 George Martin [27]

REPLACEMENTS
16 Charlie Clare [36]
17 Nephi Leatigaga [53]
18 Joe Heyes [84]
19 Harry Wells [137]
20 Nic Dolly [12]
21 Jack van Poortvliet [31]
22 Freddie Burns [84]
23 Matías Moroni [22]

Falcons XV: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Mateo Carreras, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Adam Radwan, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Louis Schreuder; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 Charlie Maddison, 3 Trevor Davison, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Philip van der Walt, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Carl Fearns

Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Kyle Cooper, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Callum Chick, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Tom Penny

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI242004726452274885211394
12
Newcastle Falcons
Newcastle FalconsNEW246117436660-22457874434
Form Guide
Form
LWWWW
Last Match
Beat Saracens 15-12
Past Meeting
Won 27-5
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLLLL
Last Match
Lost to Northampton Saints 26-65
Past Meeting
Lost 5-27

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers31
Leicester Tigers
Newcastle Falcons0
Newcastle Falcons
Full Time