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Match report: Tigers edged out at home

Leicester Tigers’ run of Aviva Premiership victories ended with a 27-31 defeat at home to Worcester Warriors at Welford Road on Saturday.

Two tries in the opening seven minutes gave the visitors a 12-0 lead before Tigers had even been in the opposition half of the field and the home side never quite made up lost ground as Worcester won at Welford Road for the first time.

Scores from Mike Fitzgerald and skipper Sam Harrison gave Tigers a foothold but they still trailed 17-19 at half-time after a third score from the visitors.

And in the second half, the Warriors claimed two more scores against one from Gareth Owen on the way to the win.

Tigers had made it six Aviva Premiership wins in a row with a bonus-point triumph against Sale Sharks in Round 8 to build their best sequence in the tournament since the 2013/14 season, while Warriors enjoyed a big win over Northampton Saints to climb off the foot of the league table.

Tigers recalled Harry Thacker and Pat Cilliers into the front row, with Brendon O’Connor starting at openside, but were forced into a late change when Dom Barrow failed a fitness cfheck. Mike Fitzgerald stepped up to the starting line-up, as he did in the win over Sale in Round 8, with Harry Wells called into the matchday squad.

Telusa Veainu, who scored the club’s try of the Season in the corresponding fixture last season, started at full-back in his 50th appearance for the club.

Warriors, who climbed off the foot of the table with a first win of the season in Round 8, unsurprisingly retained the same starting line-up from that victory over Northampton Saints.

Worcester made their first visit to Welford Road back in 1895 in the Midland Counties Cup but the teams have met on only 27 occasions in more than a century.

Warriors were first on the board, after just four minutes, with flanker Alafoti Faosiliva the man on the ball as they drove over from a five-metre lineout. Chris Pennell, though, was wide with the conversion from the right touchline.

By that stage, Tigers had already called prop Kyle Traynor into the action from the bench after a knock to Pat Cilliers,

And they barely had time to regroup before Worcester, without a win in their history at Welford Road, had stretched the lead to 12-0 when Josh Adams collected a chip in behind the Tigers defence to score. Pennell this time provided the conversion.

Cilliers returned after 16 minutes with Tigers still in their own territory and Tigers had to wait another five minutes for a breakthrough.

It came after some physical defence from Worcester with Tigers building phase after phase of possession and eventually it was Fitzgerald, wide on the left, who stepped into to score. Ford put the kick over to bring Tigers back within a score at 7-12.

Ford had the kicking tee back on moments later when Warriors were whistled at a lineout and struck the kick firmly through the posts to make it 10-12 approaching the half-hour mark.

Tigers, though, had to weather another storm as Warriors sniffed an opportunity from an attacking scrum and, after Gareth Owen had made a fingertip tackle, the forwards blocked out their opposition and then gained scrum put-in when Worcester knocked –on just five metres out.

Warriors then grabbed a third try just before half-time when Adams sliced through the Tigers defenders to score to the right of the posts. Many of the home crowd felt the scoring pass had gone forward but the referee signalled the score and Pennell added the conversion with a drop-kick to make it 10-19.

Warriors, in turn, felt they were harshly penalised on the edge of their 22 for not releasing in the tackle with the clock already up to 40 minutes. But Tgers went to the corner and earned a second penalty when David Denton collapsed the driving maul.   

This time, Tigers made sure aftrer Kitchener caught the lineout and Thacker took control at the maul, before Sam Harrison was credited with the final touch over the tryline. Ford’s conversion cut the gap to two points at half-time.

Will Evans replaced Brendon O’Connor in the Tigers back row at the start of the second half, but it was Warriors who claimed the breakthrough score, hooker Jack Singleton getting on the end of a sweeping move initiated by Bryce Heem to claim the bonus-point try on the right. Pennell added the conversion to lead by nine.

A chance for a response was lost when Tigers were unable to claim clean lineout ball from a penalty into the Warriors 22 but Denton was then whistled at another throw-in and Tigers went back to the left-hand corner. Safe ball was secured this time but, after Telusa Veainu and Evans had been held out on the opposite flank, Tigers spilled ball at the next phase.

Warriors should have been able to clear from the scrum but with a big shove from the home side and Harrison snapping at No8 Denton, ball was spilled and Tigers got the put-in at the next set-piece.

The position looked promising but ended with Heem claiming ball behind his own line and the crowd growing frustrated after Owen had been tackled heavily in midfield. Referee Greg Macdonald, having checked with the TMO, restarted play with a drop-out f0or the visitors.

Tigers attacked again with a penalty down the right touchline but again lost possession as play opened up.

The penalty count was starting to mount up, and prop Nick Schonert was yellow-carded for the next offence near his own tryline as Tigers maintained the pressure but still looked for a decisive break.

A Ford penalty kick brought it back to 20-26 with 15 minutes remaining on the clock as the game continued in Warriors territory.

The game, though, slipped further from Tigers’ grasp when Worcester were finally able to get upfield and centre Ryan Mills wriggled free to score on the left. Pennell’s conversion attempt hit the outside of the left-hand post but Warriors were still 11 points in front.

Tigers were quickly back on the attack and Owen scored for a second successive week, picking up ball just inside the 22 and breaking away to score. Ford added the conversion with the lock just short of 79 minutes.

The ball was back ibn Tigers hands from the restart but Warriors continued to bite into their tackles until being penalised at a breakdown and then marched back for chat to the referee.

The home crowd willed Tigers towards the tryline once more but, after an initial drive from a lineout on the right, the match closed with Tigers taking play into touch on the opposite flank as Warriors celebrated an historic victory.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 17-19 WOR

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 27-31 WOR

Attendance

20,112

Referee

Greg Macdonald

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors
Possession
62%
38%
Territory
62%
38%
Penalties Conceded
1
16
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
132/158 84%
221/240 92%
Scrums Won
4/4 100%
7/7 100%
Lineouts Won
19/21 90%
11/12 92%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Telusa Veainu
14Nick Malouf
13Matt Smith
12Gareth Owen1T
11Adam Thompstone
10Joe Ford3C2P
9Sam Harrison1T
1Greg Bateman
2Harry Thacker
3Patrick Cilliers
4Michael Fitzgerald1T
5Graham Kitchener
6Mike Williams
7Brendon O'Connor
8Valentino Mapapalangi
16George McGuigan
17Kyle Traynor
18Chris Baumann
19Harry Wells
20Will Evans
21Ben White
22Tom Hardwick
23Mathew Tait
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
27

Full Time

Worcester Warriors
Worcester Warriors
31
Leicester Tigers
T
C
P
T
C
P
T
C
KOHTFT
Worcester Warriors
T
T
C
T
C
T
C
T

Commentary

80

ENGLAND V SAMOA

Watch the full game, as live, now in the Final Whistle Bar in the Holland & Barrett Stand at Welford Road. 

80

Next match

Tigers are back at Welford Road on Sunday, December 17 when Munster Rugby are the visitors in Europe's Champions Cup. Match tickets are on sale now.

80

Aviva Premiership top four

The losing bonus point takes Tigers back into the Aviva Premiership top four.

80

Spire Man of the Match

Tigers fans have voted Sam Harrison their Spire Man of the Match. Thank you for voting.

Final whistle

Tigers again set up the lineout but with bodies everywhere they have to go wide, but Thompstone cannot control the ball and Warriors claim the win.

80

What a kick!

Ford sends the penalty right into the corner. This is the last chance.

Ford converts

Ford lands a simple conversion. Worcester run down the clock before getting us going again. Tigers have to go from deep with 60 seconds left.

is the comeback on?

Gareth Owen has given Tigers hope with his second try in as many games. He span out of a bundle of bodies and over from 10m.

76

Lost forward

... but Tigers make a mistake again, as they lose the ball in contact and Worcester clear. Time is running out.

75

Another lineout chance

Ford's kicking out of hand has been superb. he finds touch 5m out and Tigers have the lineout ...

Try for Worcester

Tigers have it all to do now. Worcester keep patient, keep possession and eventually Ryan Mills spins out of a tackle to score their fifth try. It goes uncconverted.

Raft of replacements

George McGuigan, Mat Tait and Harry Wells replace Harry Thacker, Matt Smith and Mike Fitzgerald.

Points on the board

Worcester are pinged for a deliberate knock-on in their 22. Many expected another card, but it didn't follow. Instead, Ford kicks the penalty to bring Tigers within seven points.

Sin bin for Warriors

Finally, after repeated infringements, Nick Schonert receives a team yellow card for pulling down the maul.

62

Another Tigers penalty

Yet another penalty against the Warriors, this time for accidental offside. And again Ford is on the money with his kick.

60

Tigers have possession

Tigers are hammering away and have a penalty on their 22. Now 10m further forward after some chat from the Warriors ...

60

Chance goes away

Tigers give themselves the platform at the lineout, but when it goes wide Veainu takes his eye off the ball as the tackle comes in and knocks on.

58

No offence

Welford Road fans unhappy as the officials rule there is no offence. But Tigers now have a penalty for Hougaard kicking the ball out of a ruck. Ford to the corner again. Will the pressure tell?

58

Is that a no-arms tackle?

Referee Greg Macdonald consults his TMO over a tackle by Jackson Willison on Gareth Owens.

57

Knock-on against Worcester

A huge scrum by Tigers and Hougaard knocks on at the base. Put-in Leicester 5m out as Tiiggeerrss rings round Welford Road.

56

Knock-on

Tigers do brilliantly to stretch the Worcester defence but Cilliers takes his eye off the ball and knocks on as Tigers look threatening.

55

Another lineout chance

A third Worcester penalty in three minutes and Ford again finds touch deep in the Warriors 22.

53

Lineout chance

Ford has found touch 10m out with a penalty, but Tigers cannot secure the ball and Hougaard clears to the Worcester 10m line.

Pennell converts

Pennell adds the extras from out wide and Worcester lead 26-17.

Bonus point for Worcester

Heem's brilliant run from deep opened up the Tigers defence. Pennell was in support and his offload found Jack Singleton to score at the corner.

44

Handling errors

Worcester are looking a real threat with ball in hand. However, a mistake by Heem, who knocks on with Tigers stretched, brings the attack to an end.

42

Strong Warriors start

A similar pattern at the start of the second half to that of the first, with Warriors enjoying plenty of possession. Adam Thompstone eventually forces Heem into touch 18m out on the Leicester left.

First change for Tigers

Tigers have replaced Brendon O'Connor with Will Evans during the break.

40

We're off again at Welford Road

Our visitors from Worcester are first out, followed by the Tigers. Joe Ford will get the second-half going attacking the Mattioli Woods Stand end.

That's the first half

After a slow start, a very slow start, in which Worcester raced into a 12-0 lead, Tigers have rallied with tries for Mike Fitzgerald and Sam Harrison. Tigers trail 19-17.

Ford converts

Joe Ford, with the last kick of the half, adds the extras. Tigers trail 19-17.

Try time!!

Relief all around Welford Road as Tigers make the lineout drive pay. Kitchener set it up, Harrison controlled from the base and the skipper added the finish.

40

Penalty advantage

Tigers have the advantage after Worcester pull down the maul. Same again from Tigers. Thacker to throw in ...

40

Penalty to Tigers

Tigers have a penalty with time up on the clock. Ford is going to the corner ...

Pennell converts

Full-back Pennell extends the Worcester lead with the conversion. They lead 19-10 with half-time approaching.

Worcester stretch their lead

Adams races on to Hougarrd's inside pass, skips past Veainu and goes over for his second try and Worcester's third of the game.

31

Tigers stand firm

Tigers have to defend their line, with Worcester throwing everything at them. They stand firm and force the mistake from Warriors scrum-half Francois Hougaard, who throws a forward pass.

29

Worcester threat

The Worcester backline are a constant threat. Again they make space in the outside channels but Adams' kick behind goes into touch. Tigers make a mess of their lineout and Worcester have the scrum, 12m out.

Lovely strike

Ford strikes a clean penalty straight through the middle. Tigers have hauled themselves back into this game, but are still 12-10 down.

26

Penalty Tigers

At the resulting lineout, Will Spencer played Kitchener without the ball. Ford has a penalty to cut the deficit to two points.

25

Tigers growing into the game

Lovely hands from Ford, Gareth Owen and Graham Kitchener finds Telusa Veainu on the left flank, where he makes 15m before being tackled into touch.

22

More on the try

Tigers secured their ball at the lineout and then showed plenty of patience, going through the phases, before Fitzgerald found the gap for his fifth try for the club.

Ford converts

Joe Ford adds the extras to complete the scoring. Come on Tigers!

Try time for the Tigers!

Their first period of possession and pressure brings Tigers their first try. And it's Mike Fitzgerald who steps off his left foot and barges over from close range.

18

Tigers cannot get going

Tigers are really struggling to get a foothold in the game. But good work on the floor by Brendon O'Connor wins the holding-on penalty. Lineout to Tigers on the 22.

16

Cilliers returns

Cilliers is back on the field, with Traynor returning to the bench. Welford Road is all a bit stunned by the opening minutes.

9

Good work by Thacker

Tigers have yet to show in this game, but Harry Thacker wins a holding-on penalty for Ford to find touch on the Worcester 22.

Pennell converts

Chris Pennell lands a simple conversion to complete the seven-point score.

Worcester have a second

A flowing counterattack from the Warriors ends with their second try. Josh Adams collects the ball from Jono Lance's angled kick to score behind the posts.

Worcester open the scoring

The Warriors drive over for the first try. Lock Will Spencer set up the drive from a 5m lineout and it was Alafoti Faosiliva who finished. The try goes unconverted.

4

HIA

Prop Pat Cilliers has gone off for a HIA with Kyle Traynor coming on. Looks like Greg Bateman will pack down at tighthead for the time being.

3

Warriors possession

Worcester are enjoying all of the possession in the opening stages but are being repelled by solid Tigers defence on their 22 before Bryce Heem's kick is run into touch by Harrison 5m from his line.

1

Early scrum

Worcester have the put in at the first scrum of the game on the Tigers 22 ...

0

We're off

Worcester get us going, with Tigers attacking the Robin Hood Stand in the first period.

0

Here come the Tigers

The Tigers, led by Sam Harrison, run through the home support on the famous Crumbie Terrace to take their places.

0

Here come the visitors

Worcester are first out, led by Donncha O'Callaghan ...

0

Weather update

It's a bright, chilly afternoon at Welford Road. Temperatures of around 4C with a cold wind blowing down the ground.

0

Warm-ups completed

The teams are back in the changing rooms for a final few words before kick-off.

0

TEAMS ARE IN

A late change has been made by Matt O'Connor for this afternoon's Round 9 Aviva Premiership clash.

Mike Fitzgerald has been promoted from the bench in place of Dom Barrow, who was named to start and captain the side yesterday afternoon.

In Barrow's absence, Sam Harrison will lead the side and Harry Wells comes in to the Matchday 23 on the bench.

The side is as named otherwise, including Telusa Veainu at fullback who today plays his 50th match for the #tigersfamily!

0

WELCOME TO WELFORD ROAD

Here we are once again, just six days after a bonus-point victory over Sale to welcome Worcester to our historic home! 

Welcome to all fans, home or away, on this sunny but 'fresh' afternoon at Welford Road.


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Chris Pennell
14
Bryce Heem
13
Jackson Willison
12
Ryan Mills
11
Josh Adams
10
Jono Lance
9
Francois Hougaard
1
Ethan Waller
2
Jack Singleton
3
Nic Schonert
4
Donncha O'Callaghan
5
Will Spencer
6
Alafoti Faosiliva
7
Sam Lewis
8
Gerrit-Jan van Velze

Subs

16
Kurt Haupt
17
Ryan Bower
18
Gareth Milasinovich
19
20
David Denton
21
Michael Dowsett
22
Sam Olver
23
Dean Hammond

Team news: Tigers versus Warriors

Pat Cilliers returns at prop for the home game against Worcester Warriors
Pat Cilliers returns at prop for the home game against Worcester Warriors

Harry Thacker and Pat Cilliers return to the Leicester Tigers front row for Saturday’s home game against Worcester Warriors in Round 9 of the Aviva Premiership season.

After a bonus-point win over Sale Sharks last Sunday, Tigers bring Cilliers back into the team at tighthead prop, with Thacker taking over from Tom Youngs at hooker.

There are recalls, too, for Dom Barrow at lock after missing out due to illness last week and for Brendon O’Connor who swaps places with Will Evans who is among the replacements this week.

Telusa Veainu makes his 50th appearance for the club while Barrow is named as captain after reaching the same landmark in his last league appearance, at Newcastle last month. 

Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “The composure and relentless attitude to keep playing and keep working hard against Sale last week was very good and we know it’ll take another big effort across the board this weekend.

“Worcester had a good win over Saints last week, they were very good at the set-piece and they’ve got some key players back.

“In this international period, it is really important for guys to make a massive contribution and we’ve been pretty good on that so far.”

Mathew Tait returns to the matchday squad after recovering from an ankle injury and Ben White returns to the 23 after sitting out the match against the Sharks.

Tickets for Saturday are still available at the Tigers ticket office. Book in person, by phoning 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online at www.leicestertigers.com

Leicester Tigers (v Worcester Warriors, home, Saturday 3.00pm)

15 Telusa Veainu       

14 Nick Malouf

13 Matt Smith

12 Gareth Owen

11 Adam Thompstone

10 Joe Ford

9 Sam Harrison

1 Greg Bateman

2 Harry Thacker

3 Pat Cilliers   

4 Dom Barrow (c)

5 Graham Kitchener

6 Mike Williams

7 Brendon O’Connor

8 Valentino Mapapalangi       

Replacements

16 George McGuigan

17 Kyle Traynor         

18 Chris Baumann     

19 Mike Fitzgerald

20 Will Evans

21 Ben White

22 Tom Hardwick

23 Mathew Tait           

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Francois Hougaard; 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Jack Singleton, 3 Nick Schonert, 4 Donncha O‘Callaghan (c), 5 Will Spencer, 6 Alafoti Faosiliva, 7 Sam Lewis, 8 GJ van Velze

Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Ryan Bower, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Christian Scotland-Williamson, 20 David Denton, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Sam Olver, 23 Dean Hammond

Big match preview: Tigers versus Warriors

Graham Kitchener in action against former club Worcester in last year's meeting at Welford Road
Graham Kitchener in action against former club Worcester in last year's meeting at Welford Road

Leicester Tigers host a second successive home game in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday when Worcester Warriors are the visitors.

Tigers made it six Aviva Premiership wins in a row with a bonus-point triumph against Sale Sharks in Round 8 last weekend to build their best sequence in the tournament since the 2013/14 season, while Warriors enjoyed a big win over Northampton Saints to climb off the foot of the league table.

Worcester made their first visit to Welford Road back in 1895 in the Midland Counties Cup but the teams have met on only 27 occasions in more than a century.

After victories last weekend, both sets of coaches keep changes to a minimum in their squads, with Tigers recalling Harry Thacker, Pat Cilliers, Dom Barrow and Brendon O’Connor to the starting line-up. Telusa Veainu makes his 50th appearance for the club.

The visitors retain the starting line-up from last weekend, including influential South Africa international Francois Hougaard at scrum-half and will be led by former Ireland international lock Donncha O’Callaghan, a player who knows what it takes to win as a visitor at Welford Road as the scorer of a try for Munster in the opening round of the European Cup back in October 2006. Tigers academy graduate Ryan Bower, a former pupil at John Cleveland College in Hinckley, is among the front-row replacements.

Tigers centre Gareth Owen, who scored his first try for the club in the win over Sale, says the hosts expect to meet a fired-up Warriors team on the back of that win over Saints.

“They’re a good team,” said Owen. “They’ve had a bit of a tough run but they’re going to come here with their tails up.

“Hopefully we can replicate that second-half performance against Sale and nullify anything they offer.

“The Welford Road crowd is like a 16th man, it’s such a help. The atmosphere is pretty incredible.”

Referee for Saturday is Greg Macdonald in charge of his fourth Premiership fixture.

Match tickets are on general sale now. Book in person at the club store in Highcross Shopping Centre in advance or at Welford Road, or phone the ticket office on 0116 319 8888 (option 2)(open 9.00am-5.00pm Monday-Saturday). Or use the link below to book online.

Click here for our full matchday guide.

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
5
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2213095374726561555663
11
Worcester Warriors
Worcester WarriorsWOR227015432601-16954745336

Leicester Tigers host a second successive home game in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday when Worcester Warriors are the visitors.

Tigers made it six Aviva Premiership wins in a row with a bonus-point triumph against Sale Sharks in Round 8 last weekend to build their best sequence in the tournament since the 2013/14 season, while Warriors enjoyed a big win over Northampton Saints to climb off the foot of the league table.

Worcester made their first visit to Welford Road back in 1895 in the Midland Counties Cup but the teams have met on only 27 occasions in more than a century.

After victories last weekend, both sets of coaches keep changes to a minimum in their squads, with Tigers recalling Harry Thacker, Pat Cilliers, Dom Barrow and Brendon O’Connor to the starting line-up. Telusa Veainu makes his 50th appearance for the club.

The visitors retain the starting line-up from last weekend, including influential South Africa international Francois Hougaard at scrum-half and will be led by former Ireland international lock Donncha O’Callaghan, a player who knows what it takes to win as a visitor at Welford Road as the scorer of a try for Munster in the opening round of the European Cup back in October 2006. Tigers academy graduate Ryan Bower, a former pupil at John Cleveland College in Hinckley, is among the front-row replacements.

Tigers centre Gareth Owen, who scored his first try for the club in the win over Sale, says the hosts expect to meet a fired-up Warriors team on the back of that win over Saints.

“They’re a good team,” said Owen. “They’ve had a bit of a tough run but they’re going to come here with their tails up.

“Hopefully we can replicate that second-half performance against Sale and nullify anything they offer.

“The Welford Road crowd is like a 16th man, it’s such a help. The atmosphere is pretty incredible.”

Referee for Saturday is Greg Macdonald in charge of his fourth Premiership fixture.

Form Guide
Leicester Tigers
Form
LLLLL
Last Match
Lost to Racing 11-34
Past Meeting
Lost 12-31
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Worcester Warriors
Form
WLLWL
Last Match
Lost to Gloucester 16-36
Past Meeting
Won 31-12

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers27
Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors31
Worcester Warriors
Full Time