Leicester Tigers have defeated Newcastle Falcons 47-3 in round eight of the Gallagher Premiership at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in Leicester.
Tigers backrow bagged three tries in the bonus-point victory for Dan McKellar’s Tigers side, Leicester’s defence taking the lion-share of the plaudits after not conceding a try for the first time in their league campaign to date.
Newcastle started brightly, pinning Leicester inside their defensive zone. Tigers’ defence was impressive, but after giving several penalties away out-wide, Leicester infringed in front of the posts, and Falcons made it 3-0.
Tigers would not take long to respond. Falcons did not retreat soon enough after attempting to clear their lines, and after referee Sara Cox marched the visitors a further 10 metres, Handré Pollard sent Leicester towards the corner.
The maul did its job, and backrow Tommy Reffell was the player to benefit, the Welsh international scoring the first try of the game. Pollard converted with effortless class to make it 7-3.
Newcastle arguably had the better of the running in the next period of the match, but it was Tigers who would score next, converting off the lineout again, this time centre Matt Scott picking a superb line to score in front of the Mattioli Woods stand.
Pollard made not mistake and Tigers now looked in the mood for more. Forcing their fifth turnover at the breakdown inside 35 minutes, Leicester got back into Falcons territory and showed slick hands in a tight channel which saw Reffell bag his second try of the game.
Pollard couldn’t find the mark, the score now 19-3.
It took Tigers the full 80 minutes to secure a bonus-point against Gloucester last time out, and it would require more than 40 for Tigers to get their fourth try of the game but it would come through Jasper Wiese, making it 26-3 at the break.
Rain poured at Mattioli Woods Welford Road as the teams returned, Tigers still looking physically committed to finishing Falcons off. Off the back of a rolling maul that was in excellent form on the day, Reffell completed his hat-trick with Pollard’s conversion pushing it to 33-3.
Pollard, Youngs and company’s job was done, but Tigers continued to defend their line with the same purpose as the opening minute.
Falcons routinely created opportunities to score, but Leicester’s line stayed intact. With clinical precision, Leicester reached the 40-point mark, Ollie Hassell-Collins adding another try to his growing tally.
Tigers now look forward to kicking off their Investec Champions Cup campaign against the SHL Stormers next Sunday, 3pm at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.