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Tigers slip to first home defeat of the season

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Leicester Tigers slipped to their first home defeat of the season and a first in the Aviva Premiership at Welford Road since September 2014 as Sale Sharks recorded a 10-3 victory on Saturday.

Josh Beaumont’s try from a close-range lineout proved the difference between the two teams in a hard-fought clash played out in atrocious conditions.
 
Freddie Burns scored Tigers’ only points with a first-half penalty to cancel out a three-pointer by opposite number Danny Cipriani.
 
But Tigers were unable to find a way through a well-drilled Sale defence as the Sharks recorded a first victory over Leicester in 12 games stretching back to September 2009, and their first at Welford Road in eight years.
 
Tigers preparations were disrupted just before kick off by the late withdrawal of Tom Youngs, who suffered a back spasm in the warm-up. His place went to Leonardo Ghiraldini on his return from injury, with Harry Thacker coming on to the bench.
 
There were changes in the backline too, with Gonzalo Camacho a late replacement on the wing for Telusa Veainu and Christian Loamanu taking his place on the bench.
 
Neil Briggs, the former Tigers hooker, was named on the bench by Sale on his return to Welford Road. Sale were captained from No8 by Beaumont after he was released by England earlier in the week.
 
Referee Tim Wigglesworth, meanwhile, became the 11th referee to take charge of 100 Premiership fixtures.
 
The game kicked off in heavy rain and a strong wind, which explained the cagey start by both sides as they kicked long in a bid to make the other team attack from deep.

Danny Cipriani was wide with the first penalty of the game from 40m out before a smart tackle by Sam Harrison halted a threatening run on the right by Sam James.
 
Tigers were unable to get a foothold in the opening 10 minutes as Sale dominated territory and possession. The visitors were awarded a second penalty as Tigers went off their feet in following up Dom Barrow’s big hit, and this time Cipriani kicked the visitors into a 3-0 lead.
 
Sale continued to enjoyed plenty of possession but were unable to force a way through, however, they were able to fall back on the boot of Cipriani to nudge them into the Leicester 22.
 
But Cipriani was not so accurate from the tee, the fly-half missed a second penalty from three attempts at the start of the second quarter after Kitchener failed to roll from a tackle.
 
Tigers were forced into another rejig after just 25 minutes when Tommy Bell was replaced by Jack Roberts. Tait moved to full-back with Roberts slotting in at centre.
 
Leicester were unable to get out of their territory and were pinged again by referee Wigglesworth, but again Cipriani was wide with his penalty.
 
It needed a smart break by Peter Betham to get Tigers threatening the Sale defence and to get the crowd involved in the game. But with the Sale ranks standing firm, Burns kicked to take Tigers up to the Sharks 22.

It proved a good decision when Cipriani took the ball back inside his 22 and kicked out on the full. Cipriani was then pinged for a deliberate knock-on as he raced out of the line, giving Burns his first kick at goal to draw Tigers level after 32 minutes.
 
There was no flow to the game, which was disrupted by the terrible conditions and was punctuated by the sound of the referee’s whistle, and very little for the crowd to get behind.

Burns pushed his second penalty attempt wide of the posts, but he judged an excellent kick to the corner moments later to try to put Sale under pressure in their own 22. But the visitors secured their ball and were able to clear to halfway.
 
There was one last penalty with which to end the half, this time for Sale close to halfway, but Cipriani’s kick landed well short in the strong wind.
 
Tigers pinned Sale in their 22 from the kick-off in the second half and won a penalty as the visitors infringed in trying to maul their way out of trouble. Burns took on the penalty from the left touchline but his kick struck the outside of the left post.
 
It was difficult to tell which way the wind was blowing but Tigers took no chances at the start of the second period, choosing to turn their opponents with kicks to the corners.
 
But it was from Chris Cusiter’s up-and-under that Tigers were pinged for obstruction giving Cipriani another kick at goal, but again he was off target.
 
Tigers introduced Tom Croft and Greg Bateman for  Ghiraldini and Crane with 22 minutes left.
 
The new arrivals were called on to defend a 5m lineout as Cipriani turned down another shot at goal to kick to the corner. It proved the correct decision. Andrei Ostrikov set up the drive and Beaumont finished from close range. Cipriani landed the touchline conversion to give Sale a 10-3 lead with 17 minutes remaining.

Tigers responded with a smart break by Matt Smith, whose final pass was knocked to the floor by Nev Edwards with Betham outside. Tigers retained possession and switched play to the other flank but Croft spilled possession under pressure and the chance went away.
 
Tigers had one last chance in the shape of a 5m lineout but Bateman’s throw was off target and the opportunity went away.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 3-3 SAL

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 3-10 SAL

Attendance

22,737

Referee

Tim Wigglesworth

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
3

Full Time

Sale Sharks
Sale Sharks
10

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks
Possession
0%
100%
Territory
0%
0%
Penalties Conceded
9
9
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
77/88 88%
115/122 94%
Scrums Won
5/5 100%
10/10 100%
Lineouts Won
11/11 0%
12/12 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Tommy Bell
14Peter Betham
13Mathew Tait
12Matt Smith
11Gonzalo Camacho
101P
9Sam Harrison
1Logovi'i Mulipola
2Leonardo Ghiraldini
3Fraser Balmain
4Dom Barrow
5Graham Kitchener
6Michael Fitzgerald
7Lachlan McCaffrey
8
16Harry Thacker
17Riccardo Brugnara
18Greg Bateman
19
20Tom Croft
21Jono Kitto
22Christian Loamanu
23Jack Roberts

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Tommy Bell
15
Tommy Bell
Peter Betham
14
Peter Betham
Gonzalo Camacho
11
Gonzalo Camacho
10
Leonardo Ghiraldini
2
Leonardo Ghiraldini
Fraser Balmain
3
Fraser Balmain
Dom Barrow
4
Dom Barrow
Lachlan McCaffrey
7
Lachlan McCaffrey
8

Subs

Riccardo Brugnara
17
Riccardo Brugnara
19
Jono Kitto
21
Jono Kitto
Christian Loamanu
22
Christian Loamanu
Jack Roberts
23
Jack Roberts

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Mike Haley
14
Will Addison
13
Sam James
12
Sam Tuitupou
11
Neville Edwards
10
9
Chris Cusiter
1
Ross Harrison
2
Tommy Taylor
3
Vadim Cobilas
4
Bryn Evans
5
Andrei Ostrikov
6
Cameron Neild
7
TJ Ioane
8
Josh Beaumont

Subs

16
Neil Briggs
17
Eifion Lewis-Roberts
18
Brian Mujati
19
Jonathan Mills
20
David Seymour
21
Peter Stringer
22
Joe Ford
23
Tom Arscott
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
6
Sale Sharks
Sale SharksSAL221129456459-353526458
Form Guide
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Lost 10-26
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WWWLL
Last Match
Lost to Exeter Chiefs 30-40
Past Meeting
Won 26-10

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers3
Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks10
Sale Sharks
Full Time