Leicester Tigers scored seven tries in a 48-3 victory over Worcester Warriors at Sixways Stadium on Saturday in Round 5 of the Gallagher Premiership season.
An early 10-point advantage came courtesy of Harry Potter’s third try of the season and five kicked points from George Ford before Tigers claimed two more scores to reach half-time 22-3 in front thanks to Matias Moroni and Julian Montoya.
Warriors, though, fought back strongly in the opening phases of the second half as Tigers defended their line, also seeing out a yellow card without conceding any points before cutting loose again attack.
Richard Wigglesworth, Nemani Nadolo and Freddie Burns all scored their first tries of the season while Nic Dolly came off the bench to grab with fifth as the scoreboard continued to move during the final quarter.
After away wins over Gloucester and London Irish, Tigers completed the hat-trick on their early-season travels and preserve the last remaining unbeaten record in the division following Sale’s win over Harlequins on Friday evening.
Montoya and Moroni were given their first starts of the season by Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick and Marco van Staden made his first starting appearance for the club while Jasper Wiese was welcomed back from international duty for his first club game of the campaign.
British & Irish Lions wing Duhan van der Merwe and prop Rory Sutherland, who were both recruited in the summer, make their home debuts for Warriors.
Tigers took an early lead from a penalty, gained from a scrum which followed a rampaging run from van Staden. The Springbok took off from a standing start at the back of messy lineout ball and took defenders with him as he reached the opposition 22 in an early glimpse of his physicality.
A second scrum penalty on 10 minutes took play into the right-hand corner and, playing with advantage, Ford picked out Nadolo on the left wing. He caught the high ball and shifted on to Freddie Steward on his right shoulder but just failed to turn into a score as the ball bounced loose.
But play came back for a penalty again and, despite stopping the lineout drive, Worcester were caught out as Genge shifted ball back and Potter broke through two tackles to score net to the posts. Ford’s extras made it 10-0.
Warriors got off the mark with a long-range kick from fly-half billy Searle but spent the remainder of the half on the defensive as Tigers claimed two more tries and went close on a number of other occasions.
Freddie Steward, who just failed to capitalise on a fine catch and offload from Nemani Nadolo from Ford’s cross-kick, and then Moroni and Potter had all gone close to adding to the points haul as Warriors were pinned back.
But then Moroni marked his first appearance of the season with a score on the half-hour, built on the pressure among the forwards at successive lineout drives on the right and finished on the opposite side after Ford popped a perfect pass.
Just three more minutes had elapsed when Moroni’s international captain Montoya added the next try on the back of another lineout drive on the right, referee Luke Pearce giving the on-field decision and checking with the TMO before confirming the score as the lead reached 22-3.
But Tigers ended the half back near their own line but stood up to a Warriors penalty with Potter ripping ball in the tackle as they reached the break 19 points in front and chasing a fifth successive win of the season.
Tiger spent the opening 10 minutes of the second period pinned back in their own territory but after giving away a run of penalties they also stood up with a man short after a yellow card to Hanro Liebenberg before finally claiming their fourth try of the day.
For the visiting supporters it was well worth the wait as Ford chipped to the left and Nadolo took on the Warriors defence near the touchline before scooping a one-handed pass to Wigglesworth to run in.
Ford’s conversion made it 29-3 but they were denied another just moments later when Freddie Steward ran in on the right but play came back for a penalty against van Staden at the breakdown.
There was still time though to add three more tries to complete a dominant performance.
Dolly, on as a replacement, finished on the left after Nadolo had again burst through the defence, linking cleverly with Scott to set the hooker in for his fifth try of the season.
Although Burns, on for Ford, missed the conversion attempt, he was on the mark just three minutes later when Nadolo got individual reward for his own performance with a try on the left after more impressive work from Scott.
That made it 41-3 and Burns provided the final score, spotting space in behind the Warriors defence with a trademark chip and chase, just getting to the bouncing ball in time to score the seventh of the day and added the extras for good measure.
Tigers win 48-3 with seven tries at Sixways and stay top of the table after 5 rounds.
Burns lands the conversion too and the away fans are loving this finish with Tigers 48-3 ahead.
Freddie Burns. From a chip and chase, scores his first since returning to the club.
Burns adds the conversion kick from the left touchline to take Tigers into the 40s. It's 41-3.
IN THE CORNER
Nadolo scores after creating two for others.
Brilliant timing between Burns and Scott just inside the Warriros half puts Nadolo on the ball and he's in on the left for the team's sixth of the day.
Replacement Freddie Burns is off-target with the conversion but Tigers still 34-3 ahead in the last 10 minutes.
THIS ONE COUNTS
Nic Dolly claims No5 of the day and his No5 of the season.
Another powerful run from Nadolo on the left, a quick exchange of passes with Scott and the hooker is in to score.
Freddie Steward races in on the right and Tigers think they have a fifth try.
But play comes back and a penalty is given against van Staden at the breakdown. Still 29-3 in front though.
Ford chips over the conversion for a 29-3 lead.
Try scored - and a scrum penalty earned before it - with a man short.
What a score
Nemani Nadolo is picked out by Ford's crosskick and he takes on the defence out wide before offloading perfectly for Wigglesworth to run in. Bonus point score.
First changes as Wigglesworth and Heyes replace van Poortvliet and Cole.
Warriors have spent a long period near the tryline but Tigers have stood up to it all so far. This time they hold up a push for the line and have a drop-out.
Hanro Liebenberg is sin-binned after another penalty in defence.
A warning to Tigers from referee Pearce on the back of a succession of penalties in the corner. Worcester have another one just 10 metres out.
Warriors find a gap in the middle of the field and second-rower Clegg reaches the 22 before he's tackled by van Poortvliet. But the hosts have a penalty into the .
BACK FOR MORE
George Ford will kick off the second half, with Tigers 22-3 in front. No changes to the line-up.
Tries from Potter, Moroni & Montoya give Tigers a 22-3 advantage at the break at Sixways.
Half ends with Tigers penalised in the middle of the field, Worcester go down to the left corner but they meet stout defence as Potter rips ball in the tackle.
Ford adds the kick for a 22-3 lead approaching half-time following the score by Montoya.
Try given from a forward drive in the right-hand corner and Julian Montoya has his first of the season.
ON THE LINE
Matt Scott wins a penalty over the ball in the opposition 22 and Tigers go to the right-hand corner.
Snyman takes the catch and Montoya takes the ball up to the tryline. The referee wants to check with TMO but on-field decision is a try...
Superb combination between Ford and Steward takes play almost up to the tryline on the left but Warriors close the door.
OUT OF ROOM
Nadolo makes the break in centre field and Moroni is almost in on the right, but diagonal run takes him too close to touch just 5 metres short of the line and he's unable to find Potter with the flicked pass.
Ford kicks his conversion attempt from wide on the left but pushes it just past the far post. Tigers still 15-3 in front.
Try from Matias Moroni following some ferocious work from the forward pack and a superbly-timed pass from Ford.
It started on the right with a lineout drive and ends on the opposite side with a five-pointer.
Ellis Genge has physio treatment following another big carry in the middle of the pitch. He's good to go again.
Carries from Steward and Genge put Warriors on the back foot but Potter is taken into touch just out of reach of the tryline in the right-hand corner. Warriors clear only as far as the edge of their 22.
Penalty against Tigers in defence near halfway. Warriors fly-half Billy Searly strikes it well for their first points.
George Ford adds the conversion kick from in front of the posts for a 10-point lead following Potter's third try of the season.
Harry Potter bursts through tackles to claim his third try of the season.
OFF THE MARK
George Ford with the penalty after a big scrum from the Tigers, the visitors are three in front.
First sight of Marco van Staden, clears up messy ball at lineout and then runs through two defenders on his way to the opposition 22. But ball is loose at the next breakdown and it's a knock-on. Warriors scrum.
HERE WE GO
Warriors will get the game started in the sunshine of Sixways.
Tigers are in white, orange and black this afternoon.
HEADING TOWARDS KICK-OFF
The teams are going through their final preparations on the Sixways pitch.
There is big travelling support in green, white and red as we count down to kick-off.
We will bring you all the latest right here on Matchday Live.
NICE DAY FOR IT
Warriors | 15 Harri Doel, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Francois Venter (CC), 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Will Chudley; 1 Rory Sutherland, 2 Scott Baldwin (CC), 3 Christian Judge, 4 Andrew Kitchener, 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Kyle Hatherell, 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Sione Vailanu.
Replacements | 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Jay Tyack, 19 Joe Batley, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Fin Smith, 23 Oli Morris.
THE TIGERS LINE-UP
15 Freddie Steward, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matías Moroni, 13 Matt Scott, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 George Ford, 9 Jack van Poortvliet; 1 Ellis Genge (c), 2 Julián Montoya, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Eli Snyman, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Marco van Staden, 7 Jasper Wiese
Replacements: 16 Nic Dolly, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Cameron Henderson, 20 Ollie Chessum, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Kini Murimurivalu
MATCH PREVIEW | ROUND 5
Last season’s visit to Sixways ended a run of three successive defeats against Worcester Warriors at the venue, with Ellis Genge scoring both of the tries in an 18-17 Leicester Tigers victory.
Tigers have started the season with four successive wins for the first time since 2000/01.
British & Irish Lions wing Duhan van der Merwe and prop Rory Sutherland, who were both recruited in the summer, make their home debuts for Warriors as England centre Ollie Lawrence makes his 50th appearance for the club. Will Chudley makes his first start since a summer move from Bath in place of the injured Willi Heinz.
Julián Montoya – who scored twice in the home win over Worcester last February – is named in the Tigers front row after making his first appearance of the season from the bench in the win at London Irish last week and head coach Steve Borthwick also gives a first start to flanker Marco van Staden.
International duo Jasper Wiese and Matias Moroni will make their first appearances of the season.
Click here for the full preview.
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We’re LIVE from Leicester Tigers versus Worcester Warriors at Sixways today in Round 5 of the Gallagher Premiership season. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.
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