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Tigers make it three in a row with win over Sale

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Leicester Tigers secured their third successive Aviva Premiership victory of the Six Nations period with a 28-8 win against Sale Sharks.

Tigers scored three tries in the game to record a victory that backed up wins against Gloucester Rugby and London Irish in the two previous Aviva Premiership rounds.
 
Laurence Pearce crossed for the opening try in the first half, his first in the Aviva Premiership, which was followed soon after by a penalty try at scrum time.
 
Tigers were made to wait until the last five minutes before scoring their third, the eye-catching Seremaia Bai latching onto first phase scrum ball to power over.
 
Tigers hunted a bonus-point in the dying moments but, despite a 40m break by replacement prop Michele Rizzo that had Welford Road on its feet, had to settle for a four-point haul that lifted them above Sale in the table.
 
Geoff Parling and Brad Thorn returned from injury to take their places in the second row. Pearce started in the back row and, with Tom Youngs and Leonardo Ghiraldini on international duty in the RBS 6 Nations, Neil Briggs took over at hooker.
 
Blaine Scully made his return from injury on the wing in a rejigged backline with Fijian duo Bai and Vereniki Goneva teaming up in midfield. There was a place on the bench for Christian Loamanu.
 
Tigers began the game at a high tempo with Bai and Goneva breaking tackles in the midfield to get the hosts on the front foot.
 
The Tigers pack won the first scrum against the head and Bai made a dart through the first tackle. Crane picked up and drove to within five metres where Sale infringed allowing Burns to kick Tigers’ opening points.
 
Tigers were back on the attack when Sale hooker Marc Jones found Crane at the back of a lineout. Crane made 15m before Tait went on his own but became isolated and was whistled for holding on.
 
Sale got their lineout together at the next set-piece and drove 10m up towards halfway where Briggs came in at the side. Nick MacLeod, the Sale fly-half, landed the penalty from inside his half to level the scores.
 
Tigers threatened with ball in hand in the opening stages and broke the line again when Parling charged on to Burns' flat pass. Tigers flooded forward and Pearce forced his way over for his second try in Tigers’ colours, the momentum carrying him over despite the attempts of full-back Mike Haley. It was Tigers' first try in 316 minutes of Premiership action, the club's longest league run without a score. 

Burns added the conversion from in front of the posts to give Tigers a 10-3 lead.
 
Crane was the next to break the Sale line to take Tigers back into the visitors’ 22. He offloaded for Ayerza who was tackled without possession by Magnus Lund, giving Burns a simple kick to put Tigers 13-3 ahead after 16 minutes.
 
Quick hands by Bai and Burns forced Tom Arscott in to a deliberate knock-on close to halfway just as a gap opened on the left, and the Sale wing received a yellow card from referee Greg Garner.
 
Burns’ flat pass put Adam Thompstone through a gap on the left and deep into Sale territory. Thorn and then Tait tried their hands from close range, before Briggs drove over by the posts but was held up over the line.
 
Arscott returned to the field as the forwards packed down for the scrum. Crane picked up at the base and combined with Sam Harrison to set Tigers on another attack. Tigers had the advantage of an offside penalty as Pearce tried to force his way under the posts but was also held up.
 
Lund received a yellow card for the offside and Tommy Taylor replaced Jones in the Sale front row as Tigers opted for another scrum. With Crane in control at the base, Tigers drove the Sale scrum back and as it splintered referee Garner awarded the penalty try. Burns added the extras as Tigers led 20-3 eight minutes before the break.
 
Parling, the Spire Man-of-the-Match, stole Sale lineout ball on the Leicester 22 to spark a counterattack that almost brought a third try. Bai broke 40m in to the Sale half, Goneva then slipped a tackle but spilled possession as he was stopped by last-man Haley.
 
Sale finished the half on the attack, probing the Leicester defence with a series of phases on the edge of the 22. But they were unable to find a way through and eventually conceded a holding on penalty to signal half-time.
 
The visitors showed plenty of intent at the start of the second period with two minutes of possession but were unable to get past their own 10m line.
 
It took a mistake by Tigers to allow them out of their half as Dan Braid swooped on a knock-on in midfield. The Sale captain offloaded towards the supporting Chris Cusiter, who was tackled without the ball by Bai for which the Fijian received a yellow card.
 
Sale went for the corner and had Tigers under pressure with the lineout but Harrison somehow stole possession when a try seemed likely.
 
Sale maintained the pressure with a scrum and created an overlap on the right for Arscott. The wing rode Tait’s tackle, got his feet off the ground as he was taken into touch and dabbed the ball down in one movement for a brilliant score. Referee Garner consulted his television match official before the try which went unconverted.
 
Sale enjoyed the bulk of possession and territory in the third quarter and threatened again through a 5m lineout. Tigers stood tall and forced the knock-on to ease the pressure.
 
A strong Tigers scrum drew a penalty on the Sale 10m line and Burns moved Leicester more than two scores ahead with his kick. It gave Tigers a 23-8 lead with 20 minutes remaining.
 
At the restart, Burns’ huge clearance 10m from his own line went dead in-goal at the other end giving Sale the put-in at a threatening scrum. Cusiter broke off the back of the scrum but Burns ripped possession from the scrum-half, set up the ruck and Bai found touch.
 
Where Tigers had been a huge threat with ball in hand during the first half so they were called on to defend for large periods of the second, typified by the work of Parling and Crane in holding up Arscott in a choke tackle on the Leicester 22.
 
Tigers had one last chance to attack the Sale defence in the shape of a 5m scrum. And they made it pay, Bai picking a lovely line on to Burns’ pass and through a couple of attempted tackles to score next to the posts.
 
It left Tigers with 90 seconds in which to find a bonus-point try. Michele Rizzo, the replacement prop, had Welford Road on its feet with a show and go from his own line up to halfway. Harry Thacker, another replacement front-rower, made further ground but Tigers were unable to maintain the momentum, eventually knocking on with time up as they tried to force the play to bring the game to an end.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 20-3 SAL

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 28-8 SAL

Attendance

21,896

Referee

Greg Garner

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks
Possession
75%
25%
Territory
0%
0%
Penalties Conceded
12
16
Yellow Cards
1
2
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
92/103 89%
155/178 87%
Scrums Won
7/7 100%
5/7 71%
Lineouts Won
14/14 0%
15/15 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15
14
13
12Seremaia Bai1T
11
102C3P
9
1Marcos Ayerza
2Neil Briggs
3Logovi'i Mulipola
4
5Geoff Parling
6Laurence Pearce1T
7Jamie Gibson
8
16Harry Thacker
17Michele Rizzo
18Fraser Balmain
19Sebastian De Chaves
20Jack Whetton
21David Mele
22Tommy Bell
23Christian Loamanu
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
28

Full Time

Sale Sharks
Sale Sharks
8

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

14
13
Seremaia Bai
12
Seremaia Bai
10
Marcos Ayerza
1
Marcos Ayerza
Neil Briggs
2
Neil Briggs
4
Geoff Parling
5
Geoff Parling
Laurence Pearce
6
Laurence Pearce
Jamie Gibson
7
Jamie Gibson
8

Subs

Fraser Balmain
18
Fraser Balmain
Sebastian De Chaves
19
Sebastian De Chaves
Jack Whetton
20
Jack Whetton
David Mele
21
David Mele
Tommy Bell
22
Tommy Bell
Christian Loamanu
23
Christian Loamanu

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Mike Haley
14
Tom Arscott
13
12
Sam Tuitupou
11
10
Nick MacLeod
9
Chris Cusiter
1
2
Marc Jones
3
Vadim Cobilas
4
Jonathan Mills
5
Nathan Hines
6
Dan Braid
7
Magnus Lund
8
Josh Beaumont

Subs

16
Tommy Taylor
17
18
Ross Harrison
19
Mark Easter
20
21
Will Cliff
22
23
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2215164534213237394268
7
Sale Sharks
Sale SharksSAL22110114974821562546454
Form Guide
Form
WDWDD
Last Match
Draw with Bayonne null-null
Past Meeting
Lost 31-40
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LWLWW
Last Match
Beat Worcester Warriors 20-13
Past Meeting
Won 40-31

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers28
Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks8
Sale Sharks
Full Time