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Report | Tigers back to winning ways against Warriors

Figure image

Leicester Tigers claimed a bonus-point 36-16 victory over Worcester Warriors at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday.

A first-half penalty try and scores from Hosea Saumaki and Freddie Burns provided a 22-6 advantage at half-time and Hanro Liebenberg added the bonus-point score for the top-of-the-table Tigers.

But an interception try for Warriors, who had to cope for a period with 13 men after two yellow cards to front-row forwards earlier on, kept them in the game during a scrappy second period.

After consecutive league defeats by Wasps and Sale Sharks, the five-point return was assured when Tommy Reffell ran in his first try of the season, though Tigers closed the afternoon with 13 men after Olly Robinson and Saumaki were sin-binned in the final stages.

Liebenberg led the team out in the Gallagher Premiership Round 15 encounter in his first starting appearance since the Round 11 win over Harlequins, though Tigers were without five players with England on the opening weekend of the Six Nations.

The outcome was a fifth successive win in meetings with Worcester who were unable to add to their two previous victories at the venue.

Tigers got the game started and immediately got on the attack as Liebenberg took ball down the right, but his offload was adjudged forward.

Warriors made good territory on their left, with scrum-half Gareth Simpson free in possession until Gorge Martin made an important tackle.

A swirling and strengthening wind challenged the tams, but Tigers took the possession route to an opening score on nine minutes, keeping ball in hand for Saumaki to break a tackle on the left touchline and run in for his sixth try of the season – and first in the Gallagher Premiership.

Strong defensive work from Julian Montoya and Dan Cole, then Liebenberg and Dan Kelly repelled Warriors carriers just beyond halfway, but a breakdown penalty gave the visitors an opportunity to play to their set-piece on the touchline in front of the North Stand until Calum Green stole the lineout.

Second-rower Justin Clegg took down Freddie Burns as he reached the Warriors 22, with support from Liebenberg, but then the defenders won turnover ball and Tigers had Cole and Burns to thank as they closed down wing Alex Hearle in the corner.

Play continued until referee Luke Pearce came back for a penalty in a central position and Billy Searle kicked the points.

Warriors had no legal response to a Tigers maul which took play 10 metres upfield from halfway and, when Cole was brought to ground, the referee blew and Burns kicked in off the post to make it 8-3.

Jasper Wiese, picking up at the back of a messy scrum, levered three attempted tackles out of the way as Tigers gained another penalty and this time, they went to the left-hand corner.

The initial platform set up some nice interplay along the backline and, although Tigers were kept out four times almost on the tryline, they kept playing until Burns arrived to score under the posts. He added the extras for a 15-3 lead.

Moments later, Wiese linked with Kelly in attack and Warriors were caught offside just short of the tryline.

The lineout drive ended with a penalty and yellow card for prop Christian Judge, and he was joined by fellow front-rower Niall Annett in the sin bin as play stayed in the corner and the referee awarded a penalty try when the next drive reached the chalk.

Tigers led 22-3 on 32 minutes, but Searle quickly added a penalty for Warriors from the edge of the 22.

Warriors had to call for two temporary front-rowers for the first scrum of the second half before getting back to their full 15 at the end of the sin-bin period, while Tigers sent on Reffell to join the back row in place of Wiese.

A penalty against a Montoya high tackle gave Searle the chance to add the first points of the half, but Warriors were then pegged back as they collapsed a maul in their own 22. Referee Pearce spoke to skipper Ted Hill after another penalty near the line, and when Tigers set up the drive again, Liebenberg reached over the line for the bonus-point score.

Burns, kicking into the wind, added the conversion from wide on the right as Tigers led 29-9.

Play remained in the Worcester 22 as Bryce Hegarty picked his way through broken field, and Warriors received a second warning as penalties built up on their defence.

But, despite being pushed back to their own line, they got a breakaway score as wing Alex Hearle picked off a long pass from Burns to run 90 metres for the score. Searle added a conversion to take the score to 29-16.

Steve Borthwick replaced his front row on the hour, with Jack van Poortvliet also joining the action at scrum-half.

A break from Nephi Leatigaga on halfway, which ended with Potter diving over tryline, initially brought a fifth score, but the TMO brought the referee’s attention to replays of a forward pass and play restarted  with a Warriors scrum.

Two carries from Porter got Tigers moving forward again on the left and some quick set-piece ball had Warriors pushed back, but they then forced a handling error just 10 metres out in front of the posts.

A lineout drive again got Tigers forward but, when it ended with Saumaki diving in on the left, the referee had already signalled an advantage to the visitors and play came back for a defensive penalty.

Tigers did get a fifth try, though, when Porter’s midfield break found Reffell in support and he had the pace to run in on the right. Burns added the kick to make it 36-16 with two minutes left on the clock.

Robinson’s home debut lasted barely 90 seconds as he was yellow-carded in defence and Saumaki immediately followed for a deliberate knock-on with the clock already at zero.

But the 13 remaining men stood up to one last attack and brought the game to an end with a penalty award virtually on their own line.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 22-6 WOR

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 36-16 WOR




Luke Pearce

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers

Full Time

Worcester Warriors
Worcester Warriors
Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors
Penalties Conceded
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Tackles Won
159/179 89%
109/143 76%
Scrums Won
5/5 100%
6/6 100%
Lineouts Won
18/18 100%
4/6 67%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors
Leicester Tigers
15Bryce Hegarty
14Harry Potter
13Guy Porter
12Dan Kelly
11Hosea Saumaki1T
10Freddie Burns1T3C1P
9Richard Wigglesworth
1James Whitcombe
2Julian Montoya
3Dan Cole
4Harry Wells
5Calum Green
6George Martin
7Hanro Liebenberg1T
8Jasper Wiese
16Charlie Clare
17Nephi Leatigaga
18Joe Heyes
19Eli Snyman
20Tommy Reffell1T
21Olly Robinson
22Jack van Poortvliet
23Matt Scott



Full-time, it's a bonus-point win for Tigers, 36-16, with scores from Saumaki, Burns, Penalty Try, Liebenberg and Reffell in front of an 18,403 crowd.


The 13 men of Tigers stand up in defence and win a penalty award on their own line to bring the game to a close.

Hosea Saumaki yellow-carded in defence. Tigers down to 13 men.

Olly Robinson sin-binned on his home debut.

Burns adds the conversion and Tigers are 36-16 ahead.

76min | Tommy Reffell runs in for try No5, latching on to a break from Porter to score from 25 metres. Tigers lead 34-16.


Tigers denied try No5 when TMO replays show forward pass in the build-up, to Harry Potter's disappointment.

Searle converts the Worcester try, makes it 29-16 to Tigers.

Runaway interception try for Worcester wing Alex Hearle.

Freddie Burns adds the conversion for the Liebenberg try and Tigers lead 29-9.


Hanro Liebenberg reaches out from a ruck to score the bonus-point try on 51min.

Penalty for a high tackle and Searle kicks for Worcster to make it 22-9 on 47min


We are back under way at the start of the second half on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon with Tigers leading Warriors 22-6.


Tigers lead 22-6 with a penalty try to go with scores from Saumaki and Burns.


Tigers lead 22-6 with a penalty try to go with scores from Saumaki and Burns.

38min | Searle kicks a penalty for Warriors, but Tigers lead 22-6.

Warriors lose hooker Niall Annett to yellow card, joining fellow front-rower Judge in the bin as referee awards the Penalty Try. 


Tigers keep play in the corner, with Montoya steering the drive towards the line. He is stopped illegally and referee Pearce signals a penalty try to make the score 22-3 on 33min.

Warriors prop Judge is sin-binned after entry at side of a maul on his own tryline.

Burns converts his own try to make it 15-3 to Tigers on 27min.


27min | Patience in attack from Tigers ends with nice interplay in front of the posts and Freddie Burns is in for the try.

Penalty from Freddie Burns, in off the post, makes it 8-3 on 23min.

19min | First points for Warriors with a penalty from Billy Searle. 5-3.


Burns off target with conversion attempt from Saumaki's score but Tigers 5-0 ahead on 10min.


9min | Try for HOSEA SAUMAKI, breaking a tackle on the left touchline and running in to score.


KICK-OFF | Tigers v Warriors

We are under way, as Freddie Burns kicks off. Tigers are playing left to right as we look at it from the dugouts in the Breedon Stand, attacking the Mattioli Woods Stand end.  



The weather forecast this afternoon is windy, little bit of rain in the air too.



Worcester Warriors: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Alex Hearle, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Gareth Simpson, 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Niall Annett, 3 Christian Judge, 4 Joe Batley, 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Kyle Hatherell, 7 Ted Hill (c), 8 Matt Kvesic.

Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Jay Tyack, 19 Tom Dodd, 20 Sione Vailanu, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Tom Howe, 23 Harri Doel.



There are no changes to the team announced on Friday, with Steve Borthwick opting for a 6/2 split on the bench.

STARTING XV [with Tigers appearances]

15 Bryce Hegarty [7], 14 Harry Potter [27], 13 Guy Porter [31], 12 Dan Kelly [34], 11 Hosea Saumaki [7], 10 Freddie Burns [87], 9 Richard Wigglesworth (vc) [25]; 1 James Whitcombe [12], 2 Julián Montoya [16], 3 Dan Cole [279], 4 Harry Wells [141], 5 Calum Green [76], 6 George Martin [29], 7 Hanro Liebenberg (c) [44], 8 Jasper Wiese [29]


16 Charlie Clare [39], 17 Nephi Leatigaga [56], 18 Joe Heyes [87], 19 Eli Snyman [9], 20 Tommy Reffell [63], 21 Olly Robinson [1], 22 Jack van Poortvliet [35], 23 Matt Scott [37]


MATCH PREVIEW | Tigers v Warriors

Leicester Tigers kick off a spell of two home games in six days when Worcester Warriors are the visitors to Mattioli Woods Welford Road this afternoon.

Tigers have lost their last two league games and have not lost three in succession in the competition since last May. They are also unbeaten at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in any competition since Round 21 last season.

Hanro Liebenberg, in his first starting appearance since the Round 11 win over Harlequins, captains Tigers.

Worcester have slipped to three successive defeats in Gallagher Premiership rugby since beating Wasps at Sixways in December.

Back-rower Matt Kvesic makes his 100th appearance for the visitors who are now under the guidance of Steve Diamond.

Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland are on Calcutta Cup duty with Scotland, while Tigers are without five players with England this weekend.

Luke Pearce is today’s referee, in his 122nd Premiership game in the middle.



We’re LIVE from Mattioli Woods Welford Road as Leicester Tigers host Worcester Warriors in Round 15 of the Gallagher Premiership season. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

If you are unable to join us at the game, you can keep up to date with all of the action right here with our Matchday Live service on the Tigers App and website.

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

Jamie Shillcock
Perry Humphreys
Francois Venter
Alex Hearle
Billy Searle
Gareth Simpson
Ethan Waller
Niall Annett
Christian Judge
Joe Batley
Kyle Hatherell
Ted Hill
Matt Kvesic


Isaac Miller
Kai Owen
Jay Tyack
Thomas Dodd
Sione Vailanu
Will Chudley
Tom Howe
Harri Doel

Preview | Tigers host Warriors in Premiership

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Leicester Tigers kick off a spell of two home games in six days when Worcester Warriors are the visitors to Mattioli Woods Welford Road this afternoon (Saturday).

The teams meet in Round 15 of the Gallagher Premiership season, with Tigers at home again under Friday Night Lights next week against Northampton Saints.

Top-of-the-table Tigers have lost their last two league games and have not lost three in succession in the competition since last May.

Hanro Liebenberg, in his first starting appearance since the Round 11 win over Harlequins, will captain the Tigers team after returning to action from the bench at Sale Sharks last Sunday.

Head coach Steve Borthwick welcomes back Joe Heyes after the prop was released by England this week, though Ollie Chessum, George Ford, Ellis Genge, Freddie Steward and Ben Youngs have been retained for the Six Nations opener against Scotland.

Worcester have slipped to three successive defeats in Gallagher Premiership rugby since beating Wasps at Sixways in December but won their most recent away game 36-26 at Italian outfit Zebre in the European Challenge Cup.

Their last win over Tigers was at Sixways in October 2019, with the last four meetings all going in Leicester’s favour.

Back-rower Matt Kvesic will become the 32nd player in the professional era to reach the landmark of 100 appearances for Warriors, following current team-mates Graham Kitchener, Niall Annett and Ethan Waller who have also reached the century mark in the past 11 months.

Now under the guidance of Steve Diamond, there is a return at full-back for Jamie Shillcock after recovering from a hip injury, allowing Billy Searle’s switch to fly-half.

Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland are on Calcutta Cup duty with Scotland.

Luke Pearce is today’s referee, in his 122nd Premiership game in the middle.

Check out the Matchday Guide for all your need to know before you get to the stadium and look out for the match report and full reaction on website and social media after the game. 

Round 15 in full

Friday: Gloucester Rugby v London Irish

Saturday: Bristol Bears v Newcastle Falcons (2.00pm), Exeter Chiefs v Wasps (2.30pm), Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors (3.00pm), Saracens v Bath Rugby (3.00pm)

Sunday: Harlequins v Sale Sharks (1.00pm)

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI242004726452274885211394
Worcester Warriors
Worcester WarriorsWOR246117451814-363621217235
Form Guide
Last Match
Lost to Sale Sharks 13-21
Past Meeting
Won 36-16
Last Match
Past Meeting
Last Match
Lost to Exeter Chiefs 0-28
Past Meeting
Lost 16-36

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers36
Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors16
Worcester Warriors
Full Time