Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Tigers book semi-final place with Warriors win

Figure image
Leicester Tigers booked their place in the Premiership Rugby semi-finals for the 12th successive season with a 31-17 bonus-point victory over Worcester Warriors.

Tigers scored four tries at Welford Road to secure guarantee a top four finish in the Aviva Premiership with one round still to play.
 
Tigers, who were made to fight for every inch by the Warriors, scored the opening try through Vereniki Goneva’s interception on halfway.
 
Opeti Fonua scored his first Tigers’ try and Telusa Veainu scored one of the tries of the season as Tigers turned around 21-17 ahead.
 
The bonus-point was secured in the second-half through Will Evans’s first try in Leicester colours while Owen Williams enjoyed a 100 per cent kicking record.
 
Club captain Ed Slater returned to the starting XV, taking his place at blindside flanker. Italy international hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini returned to action after a shoulder injury suffered during the Six Nations.
 
Owen Williams came in at fly-half after Freddie Burns suffered an ankle injury in the Champions Cup semi-final against Racing 92. Manu Tuilagi was sidelined after tweaking medial ligaments in his knee against Racing, Mathew Tait moved into the midfield, with Telusa Veainu taking over at full-back and Adam Thompstone claiming a place on the wing.
 
Centre Andy Symons, who was part of the Tigers squad
 
Worcester served notice of the danger their back three pose when Bryce Heem collected a lovely offload out of the tackle by Ryan Mills to set Cooper Vuna on a run down the left.
 
The tackle area was a huge battle in the opening moments, with Worcester contesting every breakdown on Tigers ball. And that tactic was rewarded with the game’s first penalty that Mills knocked over from halfway to give the visitors a ninth-minute lead.
 
Tigers were gifted their opening score five minutes later. There seemed little danger when Chris Pennell picked up possession just inside his own half but he failed to spot Goneva lurking with intent and the winger picked off the pass for a free run to the line. Williams added the extras to put Leicester 7-3 ahead.
 
Worcester made an instant response to regain the lead. Francois Hougaard pounced on loose ball in midfield and found Heem on the right flank to scorch a line to the corner. Tom Heathcote converted to give Worcester a 10-7 lead.
 
Despite the flurry of scores, the game was stop-start, not helped by running repairs for a number of the Worcester pack. But when Tigers were able to find their flow they crossed for a second try. Tigers tested the Worcester defence around the fringes before Fonua forced his way over from 7m to score by the posts. Williams landed the conversion to put Tigers 14-10 ahead.
 
Worcester continued to pose a threat through their scrum-half Hougaard taking the ball right to the line and looking to pop passes for his runners. One such move put Mills through a gap on the Leicester 22 but was pulled back for a forward pass.
 
But when Worcester returned to the Tigers 22 three minutes they did cross for their second try. The Tigers defence was tested to the full by the Warriors, who drove around the fringes and with a penalty advantage, added width for Symons to beat last-man Goneva and score next to the posts.
 
Tigers responded with a sensational score for Veainu before half-time. Williams’s broke a tackle and offloaded to Goneva to open up the defence but there was still plenty to do for Veainu when he received possession 30m out. He held off Symons, danced past Carl Kirwan and GJ Van Velze before racing past Pennell to dive in at the corner. Williams landed the touchline conversion to give Tigers a 21-17 lead at half-time.
 
Will Evans came on for Fonua at half-time, and the two teams returned to heavy rain.
 
Warriors flew out of the traps at the start of the second period and threatened another try from the restart. However, Sam Betty took his eye off the ball and knocked-on into the deadball area as Tigers flew up in defence.
 
Sam Harrison was replaced by Ben Youngs after a huge clash of heads with Symons. Symons also came off, replaced by Dean Hammond.
 
Evans’s first involvement was to burst onto Lachlan McCaffrey’s pass and break 40m up to the Warriors 22. Williams’s angled kick was intended for Thompstone but the ball skidded off the surface and out for a lineout 10m from the Worcester line.
 
Tigers brought on a new front row after 50 minutes, Dan Cole, Greg Bateman and Ellis Genge replacing Fraser Balmain, Ghiraldini and Marcos Ayerza.
 
But Cole was whistled by referee Garner for not rolling away after making a tackle but Heathcote struck the left-hand post with his kick as Tigers retained their four-point lead.
 
Tigers get the better of a spell of tactical kicking when Hougaard put one out on the full to give them a lineout on the Worcester 22. Tigers almost took full advantage, playing patient, tight rugby before unleashing Veainu in the wide channel, but the full-back was unable to gather Betham’s pass with Worcester stretched.
 
The new Tigers front three had Worcester under huge pressure at the scrum and won the penalty, which Williams put in the corner. Kitchener secured the lineout and then, with Thompstone joining in, Evans controlled the ball at the back of the maul and finished for his try in Leicester colours. It brought the try bonus point and converted by Williams gave Tigers a 28-17 lead.
 
Tom Croft replaced Slater before the restart.
 
Williams put Tigers two scores ahead with a penalty from the left following another dominant scrum.
 
Pennell made a sparkling break from his own 22 to Leicester’s where Ryan Lamb, the former Leicester fly-half now on as a replacement, tried to force an overlap but could only fizz his pass into touch.
 
Lamb looked certain to score a consolation for the Warriors but instead of running towards the corner took the contact from Williams. Worcester retained possession but knocked-on 5m out under some huge Tigers tackles as Leicester prevented their visitors scoring a single point during the second period.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 21-17 WOR

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 31-17 WOR

Attendance

21,682

Referee

Greg Garner

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
31

Full Time

Worcester Warriors
Worcester Warriors
17

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors
Possession
67%
33%
Territory
0%
0%
Penalties Conceded
6
8
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
116/134 87%
80/99 81%
Scrums Won
13/13 100%
4/5 80%
Lineouts Won
11/11 0%
12/12 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Telusa Veainu1T
14Adam Thompstone
13Peter Betham
12Mathew Tait
11Vereniki Goneva1T
10Owen Williams4C1P
9Sam Harrison
1Marcos Ayerza
2Leonardo Ghiraldini
3Fraser Balmain
4Dom Barrow
5Graham Kitchener
6Ed Slater
7Lachlan McCaffrey
8Opeti Fonua1T
16Greg Bateman
17Ellis Genge
18Dan Cole
19Tom Croft
20Will Evans1T
21Ben Youngs
22Tommy Bell
23Matt Smith

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Peter Betham
13
Peter Betham
Vereniki Goneva
11
Vereniki Goneva
Owen Williams
10
Owen Williams
Marcos Ayerza
1
Marcos Ayerza
Leonardo Ghiraldini
2
Leonardo Ghiraldini
Fraser Balmain
3
Fraser Balmain
Dom Barrow
4
Dom Barrow
Ed Slater
6
Ed Slater
Lachlan McCaffrey
7
Lachlan McCaffrey
Opeti Fonua
8
Opeti Fonua

Subs

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Chris Pennell
14
Bryce Heem
13
Andy Symons
12
Ryan Mills
11
Cooper Vuna
10
Tom Heathcote
9
Francois Hougaard
1
Val Rapava-Ruskin
2
Niall Annett
3
Nic Schonert
4
Tevita Cavubati
5
6
Phil Dowson
7
Carl Kirwan
8
GJ van Velze

Subs

16
Jaba Bregvadze
17
Naama Leleimalefaga
18
19
Donncha O'Callaghan
20
Sam Betty
21
Luke Baldwin
22
Ryan Lamb
23
Dean Hammond
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
10
Worcester Warriors
Worcester WarriorsWOR227015420597-17747742535
Form Guide
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Won 18-17
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LLLLD
Last Match
Draw with Gloucester Rugby null-null
Past Meeting
Lost 17-18

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers31
Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors17
Worcester Warriors
Full Time