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Match report | Tigers beaten by the Exiles

Leicester Tigers suffered a 22-9 defeat at London Irish in Round 2 of the Gallagher Premiership season on Sunday.

Hosting their first-ever game at the new Brentford Community Stadium, Irish led 13-3 at half-time, claiming the only try of the opening period after Zack Henry put his name into the history books with the first points at the venue from an early penalty.

Two penalties early in the second half from replacement Joaquin Diaz Bonilla brought the gap back to four points and gave Tigers fresh hope of taking some reward from the afternoon.

But two kicks from Paddy Jackson dragged Irish clear again in the closing quarter and the Ireland international landed the final blow with another three-pointer with the clock on 80 minutes to leave Tigers empty-handed from the trip south.

Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick includes Matt Scott, Jordan Taufua and Nephi Leatigaga in the matchday squad for the first time this season while giving a first start to Cyle Brink in the back row.

Irish were forced into a late change when Seán O'Brien dropped out with a calf strain to be replaced by Jack Cooke in the No6 jersey and it was Tigers, wearing the new blue change kit for the first time, who got the game under way against the background of multi-coloured empty seats in the twilight of a late afternoon kick-off.

The opening six minutes saw four penalties apportioned equally before Henry had the honour of producing the first points at the stadium with a kick from 40 metres.

But the lead lasted just a couple of minutes before Jackson replied from the tee.

Kobus Van Wyk, who would last only 30 minutes before being replaced by Guy Porter, and Freddie Steward both showed their strength in the air and Brink, on his first start, won turnover ball to allow Henry to kick in behind the Irish defence.

Jackson missed a second shot at the posts but, with play still in the Tigers half, loose ball in midfield allowed Blair Cowan to find space in attack for Irish and, when they chipped play down the left wing towards Ollie Hassell-Collins, van Wyk was penalised and sin-binned for slapping the ball into touch.

They dropped ball at the lineout but the Exiles quickly won another penalty and this time Jackson kicked to give the hosts a 6-3 lead on 17 minutes.

Irish looked to turn the Tigers’ short-handed defence as much as possible with kicks into the corners, but Steward showed quick wits to mop up and kick 50 metres upfield from a tight angle.

Brink thought he’d grabbed a second turnover on the floor as Irish played out from a scrum, but referee Karl Dickson thought differently and penalised the South African.

Keeping possession despite strong defence from Tigers, Irish made the breakthrough as Billy Meakes found space to put in fellow centre Curtis Rona to score and Jackson’s conversion made it 13-3 on the half-hour.

Jasper Wiese and Tom Youngs carried strongly as Tigers looked to make inroads upfield, but a turnover had the visitors tracking back until Jackson missed a 30-metre penalty.

The opening half ended with Hanro Liebenberg picking off opposition lineout ball and Porter chasing his own clearing kick all the way up to the Irish tryline before Tom Homer closed out the danger with the hosts 13-3 in front.

Jordan Taufua and Bonilla joined the Tigers line-up for the start of the second half, with Brink and Henry giving way, but a mistake in attack allowed Irish to take play up the other end of the field before Wiese and Taufua combined to win a penalty on the floor.

Taufua and Wiese were in the thick of it at the other end too when Tigers got forward on the ball and, despite losing ball on the floor in the shadow of the posts, won it back with Matt Scott’s work gaining a penalty which Bonilla converted to make it 13-6.

Nephi Leatigaga joined the Tigers front row and got on the ball as Steward and Liebenberg attacked on the left. With the forwards pressuring the line, Tigers gained a penalty and Bonilla added another three points to close the gap to 13-9 with less than half an hour to play.

Full-back Steward made another good catch under pressure and then gained penalty reward as Irish attacked were whistled at the tackle area.

A no-arms tackle brought another penalty in Tigers’ favour, though Harry Potter was a whisker away from making best use of the advantage as Scott’s crossfield almost found the wing.

Penalties started to mount up against the Exiles as the whistle went again at a scrum, but stolen lineout stopped a Tigers attack and Porter had to act smartly to pick up ball back in his own 22 for Wigglesworth to kick clear.

And it was Irish who made best use of their own penalty awards, with Jackson kicking twice from the 10-metre line to push their lead to 10 points at 19-9 with 10 minutes to play.

They had their visitors scrambling back too with a break on the right wing, and Scott was pushed back over his own tryline as he picked off the final pass.

Strong work in upsetting the five-metre set-piece allowed Wiese to get Tigers moving forward and Wigglesworth hammered clear but the visitors were unable to establish a position to create one final chance to take something from the game and ended it back on their own line as Jackson added the final kick.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LON 13-3 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LON 22-9 LEI

Attendance

Not available

Referee

Karl Dickson

London Irish
London Irish
22

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
9
London Irish
P
P
T
C
P
P
P
KOHTFT
Leicester Tigers
P
P
P

Match Stats

London Irish
Leicester Tigers
Possession
50%
50%
Territory
50%
50%
Penalties Conceded
11
13
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
130/144 90%
116/130 89%
Scrums Won
4/4 100%
5/6 83%
Lineouts Won
8/11 73%
9/12 75%

Player Stats

London Irish
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Freddie Steward
14Jacobus Van Wyk
13Jaco Taute
12Matt Scott
11Harry Potter
10Zack Henry1P
9Richard Wigglesworth
1Ryan Bower
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Harry Wells
5Calum Green
6Hanro Liebenberg
7Cyle Brink
8Jasper Wiese
16Charlie Clare
17Nephi Leatigaga
18Joe Heyes
19Tommy Reffell
20
21Ben White
22Joaquin Diaz Bonilla2P
23Guy Porter

Commentary

THANKS FOR TUNING IN

Not the result we wanted from the club's first trip to the Brentford Community Stadium.

Thanks for your support from home and tuning in for all the latest updates - here on Matchday Live. 

FULL-TIME | IRISH 22-9 TIGERS

Irish have come out in top with the final scores London Irish 22-9 Tigers. 

JACKSON ADDS AT THE FINAL WHISTLE

Paddy Jackson is able to kick a penalty in the closing moments, which see out the game. 

78

IRISH STEAL THE LINE-OUT

George Nott beats Harry Wells to the ball in the line-out and Irish can keep the ball in the closing minutes.

Tigers force the turnover and Ben White looks to move things forward. Possession switches again and its back with Irish, who kick clear 

Steward stumbles with the high ball and Irish sneak some more yards.

WHITE FOR WIGGLESWORTH

Ben White replaces Richard Wigglesworth at 9 for Tigers. 

76

TIGERS COUNTER-RUCK

Tigers force the error from the scrum and win the turnover deep in their half. Wigglesworth clears and Tigers gain the yards. Irish retain possession and Steward calls the mark from a Paddy Jackson kick. 

74

NO TRY FOR IRISH

The ball is back in play following a false restart and the scrum sees the ball squeeze out to Irish, who break. Homer makes yards down the line, but Matt Scott is there to intercept.

But the ball is rpped from Taute who falls over his own tryline following momentum from the Irish pressure. 

It goes to TMO, and no try is given. We'll have the scrum. 

JACKSON EXTENDS LEAD FOR IRISH

Paddy Jackson hits it through the posts as Irish lead 19 points to Tigers 9 with just 10 minutes to go. 

70

BREAK IN PLAY

There's a break in play as both packs go forwards and back following the rolling maul. 

Paddy Jackson picks up the ball from the restarting penalty and opts to kick. Irish look to extend their lead. 

68

TIGERS FORCING OPPORTUNITIES

Tigers come back strong following the penalty kick from Jackson and are seeing a lot of the ball in hand. Porter with some great feet, finds Potter but its a huge defensive effort from Irish to force Tigers into touch. 

JACKSON KICKS FROM THE TEE

Paddy Jackson is able to ease the pressure on Irish following some heavy Tigers pressure since the restart. 

A penalty sees Irish lead Tigers 16-9.

63

POSSESSION STAYS IN IRISH HALF

Tigers remain in the Irish half, but are nearly caught as Porter has to sweep up with the going from end to end. 

Tigers win the turnover, and Wigglesworth kicks clear finding touch. Tigers unfortunate to go back a few phases there. 

61

TIGERS CLOSING GAP ON HOUR MARK

With just over an hour gone, and Tigers scrum dominance has put them in good stead in the second half.

As it does again and Jaco Taute brings it away, a Bonilla chip sees advantage come back for Tigers and the play moves back for Bonilla to find touch for the line-out. 

TIGERS REPLACE FRONT ROW

Bower, Youngs and Cole have all made way for Leatigaga, Clare and Heyes. 

58

TIGERS ON THE CHARGE

Tigers show their size in the scrum and the ball falls for Wigglesworth to sweep up, he find Steward whose pass is nicked by the finger tips and the ref calls the knock-on.

We'll have a scrum and Tigers win the penalty. 

55

TIGERS ADVANTAGE

A no-arms tackle sees Tigers have the advantage and the play is switched across the pitch and Potter almost sweeps up the ball out on the left flank.

The ball is kicked back between the two teams as Steward chases his only kick.

 

BONILLA KICKS AGAIN 13-9

Bonilla makes no mistake from the tee and the early changes have made a difference as Tigers reduce Irish's leads further. 

51

BALL REMAINS WITH TIGERS

Some strong forward play is as close as Tigers have come to going over for the try. 

Its results in a penalty and Bonilla will kick to the posts, as Tigers look to build on a strong start to the second half. 

50

SCRUM OFF

The scrums keep coming as both packs try out their new front rows following a handful of replacements. 

Tigers win the penalty, but it doesn't find touch. Wiese comes forward following the kick back and Taufua charges throw but can't break the line. 

Freddie Steward finds Liebenberg down the left flank and Tigers are now just five yards out. Wiese picks up and carries further but Irish are holding strong. 

BONILLA CLOSES GAP FOR TIGERS

It's Bonilla to kick for Tigers from the right...and its successful as Tigers narrow the gap. Irish 13-6 Tigers. 

46

TIGERS PRESSURE PAYS OFF

Tigers win the penalty from the line-out but aren't finished as they move the ball across the backline, with huge carries from Wiese and Liebenberg. 

The penalty finally comes with Matt Scott doing the business on the floor. 

44

TIGERS BACK AND FORTH

A fast start to the second half but some misplaced passes see the play exchange hands before Irish kick for touch.

They make some yards following a kick from Jackson and move forward down Tigers left flank.

Taufua sees an opportunity and wins the penalty pouncing on the loose ball. 

TAUFUA AND BONILLA JOIN THE PLAY

Jordan Taufua and Joaquin Diaz Bonilla join the action ahead of the start of the second half. 

HALF-TIME | IRISH 13-3 TIGERS

The first 40 minutes comes to a close with Irish on top at the break. 

39

IRISH SURVIVE PRESSURE

Some strong phase play from Tigers comes to nothing as Tigers give away another penalty for not rolling away at the breakdown.

Irish breath for a moment and Karl Dickson blows the half-time whistle. 

38

TIGERS LOOK TO FINISH HALF ON TOP

Tigers look to re-organise themselves as Irish keep the pressure as we head towards the end of the first half, 

The midfield have not seen much of the ball, but Wigglesworth looks to change that as he finds Henry before finding the wing Potter. Jaco Taute comes forward and fast hands find Jasper Wiese. A huge hit in the breakdown from Dan Cole keeps the ball moving for Tigers. 

VAN WYK MAKES WAY FOR PORTER

Kobus Van Wyk has made way for Guy Porter as the South African pulls up with a groin injury. 

34

IRISH MISS PENALTY KICK

Paddy Jackson misses another attempt at the posts again as Tigers No. 8 Jasper Wiese is punished for a penalty 

JACKSON ADDS THE EXTRAS

Paddy Jackson adds the extras from the left hand side as Irish extend their lead to 13 points to 3. 

RONA GOES OVER FOR IRISH

Curtis Rona is the man who scores for Irish in their new stadium following some great offloading from the Exiles. 

28

IRISH PRESSURE

London Irish move the ball though the midfield and release Ben Loader on the wing, but Tigers defence hold strong 15 metres out.

Irish are moving through the phases, but Tigers are a man down as Wigglesworth looks injured and Irish find the gap out wide. 

Irish are in for the first try of the game. 

27

THIRD TIME LUCKY WITH THE SCRUM

Both packs guilty of making mistakes in the scrum that Karl Dickson spots but the ball pops out for Irish and Meehan takes the ball away with speed, finding Meakes but Cycle Brink gives away the penalty for a side-entry. 

25

TIGERS MAUL ALMOST PULLED OFF

Tom Youngs nearly managed to sneak around the corner of the Tigers maul but Irish were smart to it, and force the penalty as the ball is unplayable. 

A breather for both teams following a fast opening 25. 

24

IRISH TURN TIGERS

Some nice handy work from Meehan and Jackson finds the hands off Meakes who kicks and turns Tigers defence with a deep line-out for Tigers.

Tom Youngs throws it in, but the maul is held up. Wigglesworth kicks clear but Irish come back and Irish are finding some space across the pitch against Tigers 14 men. 

20

TIGERS GAINING YARDS AGAIN

Wigglesworth's boot finds yardage for Tigers after an exchange of posession between both teams. Steward takes the high ball back from the Exiles and the midfield have some ball in hand.

Wigglesworth again kicks a high ball, but Irish come back and win the turnover. 

IRISH AHEAD

Paddy Jackson kicks the points for Irish as they take the lead for the first time in the game. 

15

TENSIONS HIGH

Both teams flare up as frustration boils over in the Tigers ranks, as Tigers concede the penalty at the scrum. 

Paddy Jackson will look to kick to the posts...

KOBUS IS SHOWN A YELLOW

Tigers wing Kobus Van Wyke is shown a yellow following a clearance deep in Tigers half. Irish get the line out, but it comes to nothing. 

13

IRISH MISS CHANCE TO TAKE THE LEAD

Paddy Jackson misses the kick which was ambitious, but the scores remain level. 

12

LEIBENBERG OFFSIDE

Hanro Leibenberg is caught offside following a kick from Wigglesworth as Irish try to come back and Jackson looks to kick at the posts. 

11

TIGERS GAINING YARDS

Tigers keep up the pressure at the breakdown and win the turnover following work from the Tigers pack. But it's turned over again and Ben Meehan keeps things ticking over for Irish. 

10

SCRUM TIME

The first scrum of the games follows the knock-on from the restart and Tigers pack will be hungry to gain yards in the first encounter between the two teams.

Wigglesworth tries to take it out the back, but is put under pressure and forced out for the line-out. 

 

 

IRISH HIT BACK WITH THREE OF THEIR OWN

Paddy Jackson levels the scores following a poor bit of possession from Tigers. A sloppy pass from Henry allows possession to change hands and are punished. 

HENRY KICKS THREE POINTS

Zack Henry takes advantage of the penalty and Tigers lead 0-3. 

6

TIGERS CLEAR THEIR LINES

Tigers manage to clear their lines and have some breathing space as Kobus Van Wyke catches a high ball and Tigers break down the left flank.

Early pressure at the breakdown forces a Tigers penalty and Zack Henry has a chance from the tee about 40 yards out. 

4

KEEPING THE BALL MOVING

Irish keeping the ball alive following a change of penalties, as Tigers defend the line 10 metres out. 

2

TIGERS LINE OUT

Zack Henry finds touch following a penalty in the early seconds from Irish. Tom Youngs throws in but it's a wayward throw and the Exiles steal it back. 

And win the penalty. 

WE'RE OFF IN ROUND 2

Zack Henry gets underway at the Brentford Community Stadium kicking deep into the Irish half 

0

We're five from KO

Five minutes to go until kick-off.

Both teams have finished the warm-ups and make their way in for those final words.

0

Leicester line-up

Leicester Tigers welcome Matt Scott, Jordan Taufua and Nephi Leatigaga back to the matchday squad for Sunday’s trip to face London Irish in Round 2 of the Gallagher Premiership season.

Ryan Bower and Cyle Brink join the forward pack after appearances as replacements a week ago.

0

First steps...

As a ‘first step’ in the new season, Steve Borthwick says the Leicester Tigers performance last Saturday against Gloucester provided a combination of pleasure with a win, satisfaction in improvement and hunger to keep building in all areas going forward.

Earlier in the week, he was quoted: “This is one step, a positive step, and now we have to make sure we work exceptionally hard to improve our performance for next week.”

0

Ready for Round 2 | KO 30 mins away

Welcome to the Brentford Community Stadium for Leicester Tigers Round 2 Gallagher Premiership fixture against London Irish. 

The stadium becomes the 32nd different venue that Tigers have played at in Premiership Rugby history

We’ll be bringing you all the latest in the build-up to kick-off as well as real-time commentary throughout the match.


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
14
Ben Loader
13
Curtis Rona
12
11
Ollie Hassell-Collins
10
Paddy Jackson
9
1
Allan Dell
2
Agustin Creevy
3
4
George Nott
5
Andrei Mahu
6
Jack Cooke
7
Blair Cowan
8
Matt Rogerson

Subs

16
Motu Matu'u
17
Harry Elrington
18
Oli Hoskins
19
Chunya Munga
20
Steve Mafi
21
Nick Phipps
22
Theo Brophy-Clews
23
Tom Parton

Match preview | Tigers travel to Exiles' new home

Tigers wing David Williams challenges for high ball in the most recent meeting with London Irish
Tigers wing David Williams challenges for high ball in the most recent meeting with London Irish

Leicester Tigers break new ground on Sunday as the first rugby visitors to Brentford Community Stadium, new home of hosts London Irish.

The Exiles left the Madejski Stadium in Reading during last season and ended the campaign as tenants at Twickenham Stoop before moving to the new home they share with Brentford FC.

The stadium becomes the 39th venue to host a Premiership Rugby fixture and the 32nd for a Tigers fixture in the competition.

“Sunday is a momentous day for the club,” said Declan Kidney, Irish director of rugby. “The squad, the staff and the coaches are all delighted and proud to be involved in this stadium move.

“We are a club with a 122-year history, so to be a part of the move is a real honour. It is now up to us to put in a performance on the pitch to remember the occasion by.”

Kidney includes former Tigers forward Steve Mafi among the replacements in his matchday squad for the Tonga international’s first appearance since before the 2019/20 season suspension back in March.

Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick includes Matt Scott, Jordan Taufua and Nephi Leatigaga in the matchday squad for the first time this season and gives a first start to Cyle Brink in the back row.

Irish lost 11-10 at Worcester Warriors in Round 1 with scrum-half Nick Phipps claiming their try and fly-half Paddy Jackson kicking the remaining points.

Tigers got the season off to a winning start against Gloucester but have not won successive Premiership matches since October 2018. The team’s last away win in the Gallagher Premiership was at Newcastle in April 2019.

Leicester have lost only one of their last eight meetings of the teams – at Madejski Stadium in November last year.

Match referee in Round 2 is Karl Dickson, in charge of his 33rd Premiership game.

Tigers will wear the club’s new blue change kit for the first time on Sunday.

There is live coverage on BT Sport 2 with kick-off at 4.15pm. Or you can keep in touch with all of the action using the Matchday Live service on the Tigers app and on the club’s social media channels.

Team news | Tigers versus London Irish this Sunday

Leicester Tigers welcome Matt Scott, Jordan Taufua and Nephi Leatigaga back to the matchday squad for Sunday’s trip to face London Irish in Round 2 of the Gallagher Premiership season.

Scotland international centre Scott returns to the backline after missing the Round 1 win over Gloucester Rugby as one of three changes to the starting line-up.

Ryan Bower and Cyle Brink join the forward pack after appearances as replacements a week ago.

Head coach Steve Borthwick brings Leatigaga and Taufua into the matchday squad for their first appearances of the season as Tigers travel south as the first visitors to face Irish at the new Brentford Community Stadium.

Scott joins Jaco Taute in midfield, with the back three of Freddie Steward, Kobus van Wyk and Harry Potter retaining their places. Zack Henry and Richard Wigglesworth continue as the half-back pairing.

Tom Youngs and Dan Cole accompany Bower in the front row, with Calum Green and Harry Wells continuing at lock, forming a front five of players who all graduated through the Tigers academy ranks.

Back-rower Brink makes his first starting appearance for the club, playing alongside Hanro Liebenberg and Jasper Wiese.

Leatigaga, Charlie Clare and Joe Heyes are the front-row replacements, with Tommy Reffell and Taufua providing the other cover among the forwards. Ben White, Joaquín Díaz Bonilla and Guy Porter are the backs on the bench.

Head coach Borthwick said: “London Irish are a good side with a very experienced coaching team and I’m sure they’ll want to start well in their new stadium. We take your lessons from every game and our focus is on what we need to do to improve each week.”

Leicester Tigers (v London Irish, away, Sunday 4.15pm)

15 Freddie Steward

14 Kobus van Wyk

13 Jaco Taute

12 Matt Scott

11 Harry Potter

10 Zack Henry

9 Richard Wigglesworth

1 Ryan Bower

2 Tom Youngs (c)

3 Dan Cole

4 Harry Wells

5 Calum Green

6 Hanro Liebenberg

7 Cyle Brink

8 Jasper Wiese

Replacements

16 Charlie Clare

17 Nephi Leatigaga

18 Joe Heyes

19 Tommy Reffell

20 Jordan Taufua

21 Ben White

22 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla

23 Guy Porter

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben Meehan, 1 Allan Dell, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Sekope Kepu, 4 George Nott, 5 Andrei Mahu, 6 Seán O’Brien, 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Matt Rogerson (c)

Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Chunya Munga, 20 Steve Mafi, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Theo Brophy Clews, 23 Tom Parton

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
6
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2211011478492-1451625354
9
London Irish
London IrishLON226214439531-9253689548
Form Guide
Form
LLLLD
Last Match
Draw with Bristol Bears null-null
Past Meeting
Lost 32-33
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Won 33-32

Matchday Live

London Irish22
London Irish
Leicester Tigers9
Leicester Tigers
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