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Report | Tigers defeated by Sale in semi-final

Figure image

Leicester Tigers were defeated by eight points, 21-13, in the Gallagher Premiership semi-final against Sale Sharks on Sunday afternoon.

In a physical, tight affair, Sale crossed for two tries to Tigers one, in front of a jam-packed AJ Bell Stadium, bringing to close the season for the East Midlands club.

Tom Roebuck and Arron Reed were the try-scorers for the home side, while Harry Potter crossed for the visitors.

Sharks fly-half George Ford added eleven points from the tee, including three penalties, while Leicester's Jimmy Gopperth contributed eight points of his own with two penalty goals and a conversion.

Tigers were leading 6-0 after ten minutes thanks to back-to-back penalties from Gopperth before Roebuck crossed in the 19th minute and Ford converted from out wide to see Sale lead by a lone-point, 7-6, after 20 minutes.

A yellow card for Dan Cole just before half-time saw Leicester down a man approaching the break and, soon after half-time, Ford extended the lead to four points, 10-6, with a penalty goal in the 46th minute.

Potter's try and a conversion from Gopperth with just under half an hour to play saw Tigers back in the lead, 13-10, but a penalty from Ford tied it up approaching the hour mark.

Reed's score in the 62nd minute meant the Sharks were back in the lead by five points with little over ten minutes remaining before Ford added his final points of the match in the 69th minute to extend the lead to eight points, where it remained despite a late fightback from the visitors.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

SAL 7-6 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

SAL 21-13 LEI

Attendance

Not available

Referee

Wayne Barnes

Sale Sharks
Sale Sharks
21

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
13
Sale Sharks
T
C
P
P
T
P
KOHTFT
Leicester Tigers
P
P
T
C

Match Stats

Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers
Possession
54%
46%
Territory
47%
53%
Penalties Conceded
8
11
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
138/162 85%
146/163 90%
Scrums Won
3/3 100%
4/6 67%
Lineouts Won
16/16 100%
9/9 100%

Player Stats

Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Freddie Steward
14Anthony Watson
13Matt Scott
12Dan Kelly
11Harry Potter1T
10Jimmy Gopperth1C2P
9Ben Youngs
1Tom West
2Julian Montoya
3Dan Cole
4George Martin
5Cameron Henderson
6Hanro Liebenberg
7Tommy Reffell
8Jasper Wiese
16Charlie Clare
17James Cronin
18Joe Heyes
19Harry Wells
20Olly Cracknell
21Jack van Poortvliet
22Charlie Atkinson
23Guy Porter

Commentary

Full-Time at the AJ Bell Stadium

Leicester Tigers fall to home side Sale Sharks, after a second-half with two George Ford penalties and a second try of the game from Arron Reed.

Harry Potter had scored earlier in the half for Tigers but a comeback wasn't to be and it finishes 21-13.

Congratulations to Sale Sharks.

76

Sale clear their lines

Strong running from Guy Porter drags Tigers up the field. There's a couple more phases and a penalty is won on the 22, however a misplaced kick to touch from Atkinson sees the ball go dead. 

From the scrum, George Ford puts in a sublime clearance.

Substitution | sale sharks

Dan du Preez exits the field for a HIA and is replaced by wing Tom O'Flaherty 

Substitution | Leicester Tigers

Down to the final 10 minutes here as a change at No. 8 sees Olly Cracknell enter for Jasper Wiese.

Substitution | Leicester Tigers

Double substitution here as Cameron Henderson and Jimmy Gopperth leave the field for Harry Wells and Charlie Atkinson.

PENALTY | SALE SHARKS

George Ford slots another penalty from close to half-way, this time from the left hand side, extending the Sale lead.

SUBSTITUTION | Leicester Tigers

A switch in the midfield as Matt Scott leaves the pitch for Guy Porter.

63

TRY DISALLOWED | SALE SHARKS

Tigers win the ball back from kick-off but a knock on sees Reed steal it. 

A good 70 metres out, Reed turns on the gas and fashions a two-on-one to send Raffi Quirke over. However, the referee has adjudicated Reed passed the ball forward in the build up and we go all the way back to half-day for a Tigers scrum. 

62

CONVERSION MISSED | SALE SHARKS

Ford misses from way out wide, sending the ball just wide of the posts. 

TRY | SALE SHARKS

A kick-through into the Tigers corner leads to a line-out a couple of metres out for the home side. 

From that platform Ford sends it wide and a skidding, bouncing ball is collected well by wing Arron Reed who touches down in the left-corner.

SUBSTITUTION | Leicester Tigers

A second prop switch, this time at tighthead as Dan Cole is replaced by Joe Heyes.

PENALTY | SALE SHARKS

The Sharks quickly bite back and win a penalty just over half-way. 

Ford puts in a booming kick and levels the scores here at the AJ Bell. 

CONVERSION | JIMMY GOPPERTH

From as far left as you can get, Gopperth sends an excellent kick that bends midway to sail through the centre of the posts and extend the Tigers lead.

TRY | Harry Potter

Massive try for Leicester!

Jack van Poortvliet has come on with purpose and he's directing traffic quickly around the field, sending runners flying in. Tigers win a penalty but opt to play on and Dan Kelly sends a wicked miss pass flying over the heads of three Sharks and nestling into the arms of Potter who runs over in the corner. 

substitution | Leicester Tigers

A switch at prop for Tigers as James Cronin comes on in place of Tom West.

SUBSTITUTION | SALE SHARKS

A switch at scrum-half as Gus Warr exits the field in place of Raffi Quirke.

SUBSTITUTION | Leicester Tigers

Ben Youngs has failed his HIA assessment and will not be returning to the field, thus an official substitution has been recorded, Jack van Poortvliet entering the field.

PENALTY | SALE SHARKS

There's an instant penalty win for the visitors and Gopperth sends a superb kick to touch, just a couple of metres out. A canny move is defended well, however and Leicester are bustled into touch. 

Tigers respond with strong running from the 22 drop-out but, after a spell of kicking for possession, a patented Ford spiral bomb sees Tuilagi with a big shot on Potter and Sale win the penalty. 

Ford makes no mistake from the tee and the home side increase their lead.

THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY

Gopperth kicks a short one to the home team as this semi-final enters its second 40 minutes.

HALF-TIME

There's just one point in it as Leicester Tigers trail Sale Sharks by 7-6.

A pair of Jimmy Gopperth penalties in the first 10 minutes got the visitors off to a roaring start but Sale fought back with a well-worked try out wide. 

A typically tight, physical contest at the AJ Bell. 

39

TIGERS HOLD FIRM UNDER SHARKS PRESSURE

The home side are relentlessly trucking it up on the back of vocal support but Leicester will not be breached, constantly putting in low tackles and driving their opposition to ground.

Eventually Sale get impatient and go for the corner but Potter and Scott combine to force their opposite numbers into touch and win the ball back. 

As the half inches to a close, there's some heavy hits in the centre of the field as the whistle blows and the first 40 comes to an end. 

YELLOW CARD | DAN COLE

The home side get a penalty on half-way and kick to the corner. From there they drive but Wayne Barnes pulls back for another penalty in the same corner. 

The Sharks play their way out but there's a call off offside in the opposite corner. The home side want to run it and at first it looks like Tigers have turned it over. However Wayne Barnes reviews the footage and concludes a Dan Cole high tackle in the build up, granting Sale another opportunity from the scrum.

SUBSTITUTION | SALE SHARKS

The captain, Ben Curry, has been stretchered off and is replaced by Dan Du Preez

27

SALE DEFENCE HOLDING UP WELL

Tigers play multiple phases off of a strong line-out win from Hanro Liebenberg.

Gopperth and Martin run solid lines but it's Watson who adds a sprinkle of star-dust, another dancing run that is so close to a break on the left hand side as he hands off George Ford.

As the away side enter the 22 they're unlucky to giveaway a penalty and grant the Sharks a brief respite. 

CONVERSION | SALE SHARKS

George Ford adds the extras with an impressive kick out wide on the right as the home side take the lead for the first time.

TRY | SALE SHARKS

Sharks playing short abrasive rugby, playing several phases of crash ball through the likes of Van der Merwe, McIntyre and Tuilagi.

They set wide and a miss pass sees Tom Roebuck go over in the corner.

14

TRY DISALLOWED | SALE SHARKS

Sale win a scrum penalty and kick to touch where they set a rolling maul. 

They advance then break off but as hooker Van Der Merwe scrambles for the line he knocks on in doing so, granting a 5 metre scrum to the visitors.

11

TIGERS ADVANCING

Sharks have infringed for the fifth time this game and Gopperth takes the opportunity to claim the extra territory, sending the ball sailing to just outside the Sale 22.  

PENALTY | JIMMY GOPPERTH

A third penalty almost in as many minutes is awarded as Freddie Steward's box kick chase was obstructed. 

From almost on half-way, Gopperth launches a cannon of a shot at goal, the ball flying through to huge Tigers cheers. 

PENALTY | JIMMY GOPPERTH

In an almost identical position to the initially missed penalty Gopperth doesn't make the same mistake twice, sending an arrow of a boot flying through the posts to give Tigers the first points of the afternoon.

5

Penalty Missed | Jimmy Gopperth

From that line-out, Tigers play a couple of phases, one of which sees Anthony Watson embark on a jinking run and make metres.

The away side win a penalty wide-right but Jimmy Gopperth pulls it slightly too far left, shaving the post. 

4

Physical opening exchange

There's been some thunderous challenges thus far as Tigers enjoy the lions-share of possession. 

Sale are penalised for not rolling away and Tigers kick the first penalty of the match into touch.

4

Physical opening exchange

There's been some thunderous challenges thus far as Tigers enjoy the lions-share of possession. 

Sale are penalised for not rolling away and Tigers kick the first penalty of the match into touch.

WE'RE UNDERWAY IN THE SEMI-FINAL

A familiar face in George Ford kick's us off and the Gallagher Premiership semi-final begins.

Let's go Tigers!

-5

FIVE MINUTES TO GO

It's almost time. 

There's quite the disco atmosphere here at a packed AJ Bell Stadium as 'Freed from desire' blasts from the on-pitch speakers. 

The team look strong in the warm-up, hitting the tackle bags with ferocity in front of a huge contingent of the Tigers Family roaring them on, matching their Sale counterparts for noise despite the difference in numbers.

We hope you're ready for some knockout rugby because it's coming your way very shortly!   

-30

30 MINUTES TILL KICK OFF

Half an hour till Leicester Tigers take on Sale Sharks in the Gallagher Premiership semi-final.

The travelling fans are in full voice up north, so whether you're watching at home on BT Sport or following along here on Matchday Live, get ready to roar on the Tigers! 


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Joe Carpenter
14
Tom Roebuck
13
Robert du Preez
12
Manu Tuilagi
11
Arron Reed
10
George Ford
9
Gus Warr
1
Simon McIntyre
2
Akker van der Merwe
3
Nic Schonert
4
Jean-Luc du Preez
5
Jonny Hill
6
Tom Curry
7
Ben Curry
8
Jono Ross

Replacements

16
Ewan Ashman
17
Bevan Rodd
18
Coenie Oosthuizen
19
Josh Beaumont
20
Daniel du Preez
21
Raffi Quirke
22
Sam James
23
Tom O'Flaherty

Team News | Tigers side to play Sharks

Figure image

Richard Wigglesworth has named the Leicester Tigers matchday squad to play Sale Sharks in the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership semi-finals.

Julián Montoya will captain the team at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday afternoon and Tommy Reffell will make his 100th Leicester Tigers appearance. 

Wigglesworth has made four changes to the starting side from the Round 24 defeat to Harlequins at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

George Martin, Freddie Steward and Anthony Watson return to action, after missing the final round of the regular season, while Matt Scott is included in the midfield after coming on as a replacement last weekend.

The lone change to the starting pack is Martin’s inclusion at lock alongside Cameron Henderson in the second row.

In the backline, Scott comes in to partner Dan Kelly in the midfield, and Harry Potter is joined in the back three by Steward and Watson.

On the bench, James Cronin is in line for a return from injury. Meanwhile, Harry Wells and Guy Porter - who started last weekend’s fixture - are also included among the replacements.

STARTING XV
15 Freddie Steward [71]
14 Anthony Watson [15]
13 Matt Scott [65]
12 Dan Kelly [55]
11 Harry Potter [66]
10 Handré Pollard [14]
9 Ben Youngs [301]
1 Tom West [10]
2 Julián Montoya (c) [43]
3 Dan Cole [309]
4 George Martin [57]
5 Cameron Henderson [36]
6 Hanro Liebenberg [84]
7 Tommy Reffell [99]
8 Jasper Wiese [60]

REPLACEMENTS
16 Charlie Clare [78]
17 James Cronin [15]
18 Joe Heyes [123]
19 Harry Wells [176]
20 Olly Cracknell [24]
21 Jack van Poortvliet [65]
22 Jimmy Gopperth [17]
23 Guy Porter [58]

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
2
Sale Sharks
Sale SharksSAL201406576435141755310369
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2011185604907073669459
Form Guide
Form
LLLLL
Last Match
Lost to Gloucester Rugby 20-32
Past Meeting
Won 24-17
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLLWW
Last Match
Beat Ealing Trailfinders 29-21
Past Meeting
Lost 17-24

Matchday Live

Sale Sharks21
Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers13
Leicester Tigers
Full Time