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Match report: Tigers claim bonus-point win over Scarlets

Leicester Tigers claimed a five-try win over the Scarlets to get off the mark in Pool 4 of the Heineken Champions Cup at Welford Road on Friday evening.

The forwards provided the impetus in a 45-27 win with tries from Harry Wells, Guy Thompson and Sione Kalamafoni, and backs Manu Tuilagi and Jonny May added two more in the last quarter of an enthralling contest.

On an evening which marked the 22nd anniversary of the club’s first home game in European competition, Wells claimed a try on his 50th appearance for the club as the hosts raced into a 10-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes.

Scarlets got back into the game with a try from scrum-half Gareth Davies and levelled terms soon afterwards, but back-rower Thompson added a second for Tigers who led 15-13 at the break.

The Kalamafoni try initially provided some daylight between the teams, but Scarlets were not done and fought back to lead 27-25 with scores from Steff Evans and Davies again on the hour.

Tuilagi, though, provided a powerful finish for a bonus-point score and then May ran in try number five inside the last 10 minutes.

Both teams lost in their competition opener last weekend and, in full knowledge that points will have to be hard-earned in such a tight and competitive pool, they produced an open and entertaining contest at Welford Road.

The Scarlets, who had been beaten on their only two previous visits to the venue, included British & Irish Lions trio Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies and Ken Owens in their line-up, and there was a place for Tigers academy graduate Tom Price in the second row. Tigers brought in May and Graham Kitchener after injury and welcomed back Will Spencer after suspension. But skipper Tom Youngs was ruled out of the announced team, with Tatafu Polota-Nau stepping into the No2 shirt and Jake Kerr taking a place on the bench for his first involvement in a European tie.

George Ford took over the captaincy and led out the team before Scarlets got the game under way, playing towards the Mattioli Woods Stand end. Jonah Holmes, called up by Wales for the first time this week, made a safe catch from the kick and Tigers showed some real purpose in the opening moments, winning a penalty just inside the visitors’ half as Scarlets held on to possession on the floor.

Ford judged his place-kick to perfection to give Tigers a 3-0 lead and take his total beyond 100 points for the season.

A big carry from Polota-Nau then gave Ford a chance to probe for space wide on the left, but Jordan Olowofela just couldn’t gather cleanly.

Seconds later the young wing was even closer to the line. After Tuilagi found some space on the right, Tigers quickly spread play to the opposite flank but the Scarlets covered in defence and forced him into touch just a couple of metres short.

Scarlets failed to secure safe ball from successive lineouts and from one free-kick Ford inspired the breakthrough with a spiralling kick into the opposition 22. Kyle Eastmond won the contest to the bouncing ball and Tigers hammered at the line for a couple of phases before Wells forced his way over. Ford’s simple conversion pushed the hosts 10 points in front with eight minutes played.

Tigers were playing at a tempo in defence which made it difficult for their rivals to claim any territory and a knock-on near halfway gave Geordan Murphy’s men put-in at a scrum and the set-piece brought a penalty against Welsh loosehead Wyn Jones.

Ford, from an identical position to his opening kick, aimed for goal again but this time he was wide of the target.

A chip over the defence from Ford evaded Eastmond in their next attack, but Scarlets showed their enterprise to claim a try as Halfpenny was able to run play forward and scrum-half Davies provided the finish as he supported a break in midfield. Halfpenny added the extras to make it 10-7 on 16 minutes.

The visiting supporters were in good voice when No8 Will Boyde won a penalty at a breakdown, giving Halfpenny another kick for the posts from his own side of the halfway line. He fired just wide, though, and the score remained 10-7.

A moment later they looked like they had claimed a second try with back-rower Blade Thomson somehow sliding into the corner on a slick pitch from about five metres out. The referee, though, had a second check and ruled the ball had slid out of his grasp as Holmes tackled just fractions short of the line.

It was a big escape but also a perfect illustration of the dangers posed by an adventurous Scarlets side.

Their next attack, this time through patient build-up with the forwards, brought a penalty in front of the posts as referee Romain Poite pointed at Guy Thompson as the culprit. Halfpenny knocked the kick over to level the scores on 28 minutes.

Tigers went through nearly 20 phases of possession at the Scarlets end of the field in response, with Spencer, Wells and Dan Cole carrying, but they were then penalised at a ruck and the Welshmen were able to kick clear.

A sliced kick from scrum-half Davies almost threatened the line as he made amends by gathering possession out wide, but Wells won turnover ball on the floor and quickly turned defence into attack as Tigers scored a second try.

Quick recycling and then quick hands from Ford produced some space and Thompson won the race into the left-hand corner.

Ford was unable to add the extras but Tigers were 15-10 in front with two minutes still to play and Scarlets quickly chipped three points off the deficit when Halfpenny landed a second penalty in the final score of the half.

Ford, though, made it 18-13 with a kick from another scrum penalty at the start of the second half and the set-piece provided more Tigers ball moments later, this time referee Poite stopping the game to speak to Wyn Jones and skipper Ken Owens in the Scarlets front row.

The penalty pushed Tigers up to the opposition 22 and brought a third try, this time Kalamafoni making the final metres to the line after Tuilagi and then Polota-Nau had Scarlets going backwards. Ford’s kick made it 25-13.

Thompson’s dominant work at the next breakdown was rewarded with a penalty and took Tigers back upfield, but Tuilagi spilled ball on another attack and Halfpenny kicked clear.

A missed lineout on their own 22 put Tigers under pressure and, although the defence kept their discipline, wing Steff Evans found a gap around the ruck to score after a quick exchange of passes. Halfpenny made it a seven-point score and cut the deficit to 25-20.

May and Halfpenny contested a towering kick from Ford but knocked-on and gave Tigers another set-piece opportunity 35 metres out. Despite winning the push, Tigers turned over ball on the left and Scarlets played their way out.

The game was an hour old when confusion in the Tigers defence  cost a third try when Gareth Davies fielded loose ball and suddenly found himself in space with Blade Thomson in support and back-rower ran in. Halfpenny’s kick put the visitors in front at 25-27 and gave their large support more cause for celebration. They could not have known at that stage that it would be their final points of the evening.

An error from Jonathan Davies in his 22 gave Tigers an opportunity from a scrum put-in and Tuilagi made it count when he showed brute strength to reach for the line on the left after Thompson had been first to threaten a score near the posts.

The try guaranteed a try bonus point and Ford’s conversion from the left touchline made it 32-27.

Kitchener replaced Spencer and claimed the restart kick before Ford punted a penalty down to the Scarlets 22. From the set-piece, Tuilagi arrived on a line and took four defenders with him before Thompson once more attacked the tryline. Eventually, Holmes got over the tryline but Jonathan Davies looked like he’d got underneath the full-back to deny a try.

After consulting with the TMO, referee Poite confirmed no try had been scored but brought play back for a penalty and Ford took Tigers eight points in front at 35-27 on 69 minutes with the kick.

Hooker Jake Kerr made his European debut on 70 minutes, with Tommy Reffell also on in the back row, and Scarlets were again in trouble with the referee after being whistled at a lineout. Ford made them pay with a 60-metre kick downfield and the Scarlets were penned in as Tuilagi forced his way forwards again and the power of the forwards combined with quick passing in the backs for May to run in his sixth try of the season. Ford added the conversion to put Tigers more than two scores in front at 42-27.

Matt Toomua, on at centre, relieved the pressure from the restart by kicking up to halfway and then Tigers won a breakdown penalty for Ford to make it 45-27 with the final scoring of the evening.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 15-13 SCA

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 45-27 SCA

Attendance

18,832

Referee

Romain Poite

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Scarlets
Possession
53%
47%
Territory
60%
40%
Penalties Conceded
7
9
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
135/153 88%
165/184 90%
Scrums Won
6/6 100%
3/3 100%
Lineouts Won
9/10 90%
9/9 100%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Scarlets
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Jonah Holmes
14Jonny May1T
13Manu Tuilagi1T
12Kyle Eastmond
11Jordan Olowofela
10George Ford4C4P
9Ben Youngs
1Greg Bateman
2Tatafu Polota-Nau
3Dan Cole
4Harry Wells1T
5Will Spencer
6Mike Williams
7Guy Thompson1T
8Sione Kalamafoni1T
16Jake Kerr
17Facundo Gigena
18Joe Heyes
19Graham Kitchener
20Tommy Reffell
21Sam Harrison
22Matt Toomua
23Adam Thompstone
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
45

Full Time

Scarlets
Scarlets
27
Leicester Tigers
P
T
C
T
P
T
C
T
C
P
T
C
P
KOHTFT
Scarlets
T
C
P
P
T
C
T
C

Commentary

80

THank You

Tickets sold for tonight;s game was 18,842, thank you for your support. 

What a game

The referee blows the whistle and players drop to the floor, what a game and the final score is 45-27 to Tigers from the boot of George Ford and five tries from Harry Wells, Guy Thompson, Sione Kalamafoni, Manu Tuilagi and Jonny May. 

80

Running the Ball

Scarlets look to run the ball from the scrum and work all the way into Tigers 22 but the ball goes loose and that's the game. 

78

Man of the Match

The announcer has the joy of announcing today's Heineken man of the match to the crowd is Manu Tuilagi. 

78

Loose Ball

There's some loose ball on Scarlets 10 metre line and Scarlets get the scrum again in front of the home dugouts as scrum coach Boris watches on. 

78

Kicking Game

Tigers are penalised for offside at the lineout and both teams kick but neither find touch and it is some running rugby from both sides as Scarlets look to break from their half. 

76

Huge Kick

Ford has another huge kick as Scarlets kick the restart, Ford gets the ball out for a Scarlets lineout on their 22. 

Tigers Penalty

Tigers extend the lead with a penalty scored by George Ford to make the score 45-27 after 76 minutes. 

75

Tigers Defence

Tigers show a huge defence from the lineout pushing Scarlets back and Tommy Reffell is quickest over the ball to win a penalty for Tigers, Ford points to the posts. 

Tigers Replacements

Change of props as Facundo Gigena and Joe Heyes replace Greg Bateman 

73

Restart and Lineout

Scarlets with the restart and Tigers kick straight to touch for a Scarlets lineout on half-way. 

Tigers Conversion

Tigers get the conversion through George Ford to extend the lead to 42-27 after 73 minutes. 

Tigers Try

Tigers ship the ball from one wing to the other and Matt Toomua finds Jonny May who sidesteps his way over the line for the try. 

71

Tigers Attack

Tigers go quick at the lineout looking to attack Scarlets, Manu with another big run and Tigers go wide with the ball but Jonny May is brought down short of the 5 metre line. Tigers recycle and go again. 

69

Messy Restart

There's a messy restart as the ball bounces and is knocked into touch by Scarlets for Tigers lineout. Tigers get the ball but win a penalty for Scarlets pulling down the maul. Ford kicks for the lineout on Scarlets 22. 

Tigers Replacement

Sam Harrison joins the game to replace Ben Youngs. 

Tigers Penalty

George Ford adds the penalty to extend Tigers lead to 35-27 after 68 minutes. 

67

No Try

The referee says no try but we go back for a Tigers penalty and Ford points to the posts. 

Tigers Replacements

Jake Kerr and Tommy Reffell replace Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sione Kalamafoni. 

67

Tigers Attack

Jonah looks to have scored, Tigers get the ball from the lineout and a huge break from Manu but he gets tackled in Scarlets 22, the ball is recycled and Jonah looks to have broken over but the referee is checking if the ball was held up. 

66

Tigers Lineout

Tigers get the ball at the lineout and a penalty as the referee deems Scarlets offside, Ford kicks for the lineout in Scarlets 22. 

66

More Tigers Ball

There was a kick left to bounce and the ball hits a Scarlets player on the way into touch to give Tigers the lineout. 

Tigers Replacement

Graham Kitchener makes his way on to the pitch to replace Will Spencer. 

Tigers Conversion

George Ford adds the conversion to make it 32-27 after 64 minutes. 

Tigers Try

Tigers work the ball from the scrum and get it wide before Manu Tuilagi drives his way over line for a try. 

63

Tigers Fight Back

Tigers look to hit back straight from the restart but there's a forward pass from Scarlets to give Tigers a scrum in their 22. 

Tigers Replacement

Matt Toomua is on to replace Kyle Eastmond. 

Scarlets Conversion

Scarlets add the conversion through Leigh Halfpenny to take the lead 25-27 after 60 minutes. 

Scarlets Try

A kick from the Tigers ruck gives Scarlets the ball in broken play and they run the ball, passing between defenders to score. 

58

Reset Scrum

There's some reset scrums and Scarlets chip ahead for the winger to chase into TIgers 22, the ball is collected by Jonny May who passes to Jonah and he makes a break out of the Tigers 22. 

57

Breathless Stuff

Everyone at Welford Road not just the players can catch their breath - the game has been run end-to-end for some exciting rugby but we can hardly keep up. After so much passing rugby there's a loose ball on half-way and Scarlets get the scrum. 

54

Tigers Ball

Hectic at the restart with both teams testing each other with kicks but Tigers come out best forcing a knock-on from Scarlets with a chip ahead kick to give Tigers the scrum between Scarlets 10 metre line and their 22. 

Scarlets Conversion

Scarlets close the gap with the conversion to make it 25-20 after 53 minutes. 

Scarlets Try

Scarlets create phases and get the ball up to Tigers 5 metre line and the scrum-half creates a gap for Stef Evans to get through and get the try. 

51

End-to-end

Tigers look to attack from the lineout but Scarlets win the ball in contact and a chip ahead gets them into the Tigers half. Scarlets win a loose ball at the lineout and work to attack in Tigers 22. 

48

Thompson Steals

From the kick-off Tigers kick to the touch for a Scarlets lineout but as they run the ball Thompson is over the ball and wins the turnover. Ford kicks for the lineout in Scarlets half. 

Tigers Conversion

George Ford adds the conversion to extend Tigers lead to 25-13 after 47 minutes. 

Tigers Try

Tigers work the phases on the Scarlets line before Sione Kalamfoni breaks his way through the defence and brings the ball down for the try. 

46

Tigers Tigers Tigers

The chants ring out at Welford Road as TIgers run the ball from the lineout, Manu makes a break into Scarlets 22 and keeps going, only brought down at the Scarlets 5 metre line and Tigers go to quickly recycle the ball. 

45

Quick Word

The referee speaks to Scarlets after successive penalties at the scrum before Ford kicks for a Tigers lineout in Scarlets half. 

45

Loose Ball

Some running rugby from the kick-off with both teams trying the chip ahead kick, Scarlets win a scrum as the ball is loose in front of the home dugouts but Tigers win the penalty

Tigers Penalty

George Ford adds the first points in the second-half with a penalty to make it 18-13 after 43 minutes. 

42

Reset Scrum

Tigers with the ball but there's a few resets scrums as the referee isn't happy but Tigers win the penalty and Ford points to the posts. 

40

Early Advantage

Tigers get the advantage early in the second-half, Scarlets kick the ball back to Tigers, Jonah returns the kick but the Tigers win the ball at the breakdown and win a scrum. 

Second-half

Tigers with the ball and George Ford to get things under away again here at Welford Road. 

40

Teams are back out

Both teams are back out on the pitch for the second-half with no team changes. 

Half-time

Tigers lead the Scarlets 15-13 at half-time here at Welford Road.  

40

Half-time

Tigers kick the restart but Scarlets collect the ball and kick the ball into touch to end the first-half. 

Scarlets Penalty

Scarlets add the penalty through Leigh Halfpenny to make it 15-13 after 39 minutes. 

38

Hectic Restart

Scarlets with the restart but quickly get the ball back from Tigers, they look to run it back and win a penalty on Tigers 10 metre line, they point to the posts. 

37

Missed Conversion

George Ford looks to add the conversion but the ball drifts wide to make it 15-10 after 37 minutes. 

Tigers Try

Tigers work the ball to one wing but work the defence and bring it back to the wing and who else but Guy Thompson still in space on the wing collects the ball and runs it in, in the corner. 

35

What a run

Guy Thompson gets the ball in space and runs from the half-way into Scarlets 22 but is brought down. Tigers look to recycle quick ball and go wide. 

34

Loose Ball

Both teams chip ahead but there  is a loose ball and Scarlets look to go wide but Tigers win the ball and run the ball back into Scarlets half. 

33

Scarlets Lineout

Another lineout on the 22 but for Scarlets and the opposite side of the pitch, Scarlets go to ground and chip ahead but Jonny May collects the ball. 

31

Tigers Attack

Tigers build phases from the lineout and work into Scarlets 22 with some big carries but are penalised at the breakdown. Scarlets kick for the lineout. 

29

Tigers Restart

Tigers with the restart, Scarlets clear to touch to give Tigers the lineout on Scarlets 10 metre line. 

Scarlets Penalty

Scarlets level the scores through a Leigh Halfpenny penalty to make it 10-10 after 28 minutes. 

27

Defensive penalty

Scarlets work the ball into Tigers 22 and give away a penalty in front the posts, Halfpenny to take the kick. 

27

Scarlets Lineout

Tigers look to defend Scarlets from the lineout as they run the ball, there's a scream for a turnover for Tigers but Scarlets retain the ball with some big tackles going in from the Tigers defence. 

24

Tigers Scrum

Tigers look good in the scrum pushing Scarlets back, Sione Kalamafoni runs from the scrum before the ball is passed back to Ford to clear. Scarlets lineout near the 10 metre line.

23

No Try

TMO calls back the referee and the balls is deemed to have been knocked on over the line, Tigers scrum. 

23

Scarlets Ball

Scarlets run the ball back at Tigers and look to get the ball wide from the restart and they look to have scored in the corner but the TMO calls them back to check it. 

22

Missed Penalty

Leigh Halfpenny with the penalty attempt but the ball goes wide to keep the score at 10-7 and Tigers have the restart. 

20

Scarlets Ball

Tigers look to build phases into Scarlets half but are penalised at the breakdown for penalty to Scarlets and Halfpenny points to the posts. 

20

Scarlets Lineout

Scarlets get the lineout and work the ball wide where they chip but Jonah Holmes collects and runs the ball back into their half. 

19

Tigers Scrum

Tigers look to run the ball from the scrum and work the ball into Scarlets 22, there is some loose ball on the floor so Ford kicks ahead and the ball goes into touch inside the Scarlets 22. 

18

Busy Restart

Tigers with the restart but is some end-to-end rugby, both teams with chip ahead kicks and turnover ball but Scarlets knock on and give Tigers a scrum just inside Scarlets half. 

Scarlets Conversion

Leigh Halfpenny adds the conversion for Scarlets to make it 10-7 after 16 minutes. 

Scarlets Try

Scarlets work the ball into space and their scrum-half Gareth Davies slides over for the try. 

13

Scarlets hit back

Scarlets look to hit back from the restart, Tigers chip back the ball and Scarlets run the ball up  into TIgers half. 

12

Missed Penalty

George Ford looks to add the penalty but the ball goes just wide of the posts, Scarlets to kick out from the 22. 

11

First Scrum

Tigers with the ball at the first scrum of the game and Tigers win a penalty, Ford points to the posts for his second penalty attempt. 

10

Restart Ball

Scarlets with the restart and Tigers kick ahead looking for territory, Scarlets have the ball looking to attack the Tigers half but the ball is lost forward in contact and Tigers win a scrum. 

Tigers Conversion

George Ford adds the extras to give Tigers a 10-0 lead after 8 minutes. 

Tigers Try

Tigers work the ball and Harry Wells on his 50th appearance dots the ball down between the posts. 

7

Tigers look dangerous

Tigers win a free kick at the lineout and Ford chips ahead with Kyle Eastmond jumping highest to win the ball. Tigers now build phases up to Scarlets tryline looking for the try. 

6

Tigers disrupting

Tigers continue to disrupt the Scarlets lineout and the ball is loose, Scarlets dive on but are pushed into touch for a Tigers lineout. 

5

Scarlets good defence

Scarlets collect the lineout ball and chip ahead, Tigers look to run it back but are penalised at the breakdown, Scarlets kick for the lineout. 

4

Tigers Continue

Tigers work the ball up to the Scarlets tryline and go wide but Jordan Olowofela is pushed into touch on the opposite wing to give Scarlets the lineout on their 5 metre line. 

3

Tigers Ball

Tigers win the ball and the lineout and the crowd cheers them on as the ball goes wide and Jordan Olowofela runs the ball up the wing but is brought down inside the Scarlets 22. 

3

Tigers Chase

Scarlets with the restart, Tigers kick ahead with Jonny May pushing back and Tigers run the ball wide but the ball is lost into touch on the opposite wing giving Scarlets the lineout on their 10 metre line. 

Tigers Penalty

George Ford adds the first points of the game and the first for Tigers with a penalty to give Tigers a 3-0 lead. 

0

Early Exchanges

Tigers get the best of the early exchanges, a chip into the Scarlets half from the kick-off is collected but Tigers win a penalty and George Ford points to the posts. 

Here we go

It is Scarlets to kick things off tonight at Welford Road. 

0

Here comes Tigers

Followed closely by Tigers led by tonight's captain George Ford as we get ready for kick-off. 

0

Scarlets run out first

There is a good noise from the crowd for Scarlets as they make their way on to the pitch for kick-off. 

0

Warm-ups have finished

The teams make their way into the changing rooms as we are minutes away from kick-off. 

0

Whilst we wait

As there is 15 to go until kick-off why not check out our recent story on Welford Road's memorable European matches, which can be found by clicking here

0

Welcome to Welford Road

We're here under the lights for our first home fixture in the European Champions Cup this season as we host Welsh side Scarlets. 


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Leigh Halfpenny
14
Ioan Nicholas
13
Jonathan Davies
12
Hadleigh Parkes
11
Steff Evans
10
Dan Jones
9
Gareth Davies
1
Wyn Jones
2
Ken Owens
3
Samson Lee
4
Tom Price
5
David Bulbring
6
Blade Thomson
7
Josh Macleod
8
Will Boyde

Subs

16
Ryan Elias
17
Phil Price
18
Werner Kruger
19
Josh Helps
20
Uzair Cassiem
21
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
22
Steffan Hughes
23
Paul Asquith

Team news: Tigers versus Scarlets

Jonny May and Will Spencer return to the Leicester Tigers team for Friday’s Heineken Champions Cup game against the Scarlets at Welford Road (7.45pm).

England international wing May, who has five tries already this season, is back after a shoulder injury and lock Spencer is in his first game back after suspension.

Harry Wells makes his 50th appearance for the club and joins Spencer at lock, with Mike Williams reverting to a role in the back row alongside Guy Thompson and Sione Kalamafoni this week. Brendon O’Connor and David Denton are both ruled out by injury.

Jonah Holmes, called up to the Wales squad for the first time this week, continues at full-back and Jordan Olowofela is named on the wing after making his European debut against Ulster last Saturday.

Graham Kitchener returns to the matchday squad for the Round 2 fixture in Pool 4 and there is also a place among the replacements for Argentina international prop Facundo Gigena.

Match tickets are still available for Friday. Book in person at Welford Road, phone the ticket office on 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online at leicestertigers.com

Leicester Tigers (v Scarlets, Welford Road, Friday 7.45pm)

15 Jonah Holmes
14 Jonny May
13 Manu Tuilagi         
12 Kyle Eastmond     
11 Jordan Olowofela
10 George Ford         
9 Ben Youngs
1 Greg Bateman
2 Tom Youngs (c)      
3 Dan Cole     
4 Harry Wells
5 Will Spencer
6 Mike Williams
7 Guy Thompson
8 Sione Kalamafoni   

Replacements

16 Tatafu Polota-Nau
17 Facundo Gigena   
18 Joe Heyes
19 Graham Kitchener
20 Tommy Reffell
21 Sam Harrison
22 Matt Toomua        
23 Adam Thompstone

Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Ioan Nicholas, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (c), 3 Samson Lee, 4 Tom Price, 5 David Bulbring, 6 Blade Thomson, 7 Joshua Macleod, 8 Will Boyde
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Phil Price, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Joshua Helps, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Steff Hughes, 23 Paul Asquith

Champions Cup preview: Tigers versus Scarlets

Leicester Tigers are back on home ground this evening on the 22nd anniversary of the club’s first home game in European competition.

After opening their first European campaign with an away win over Leinster in the 1996/97 season, Tigers then recorded a big win over Scottish Borders on October 19, 1996 with Rory Underwood, John Liley and Eric Miller among the tryscorers. There is a full recap from that game in Friday's 100-page match programme, available around the stadium.

Tigers and Scarlets were both beaten in Pool 4 last week in the opening round of this season’s Heineken Champions Cup, giving their meeting in Round 2 even greater importance this evening.

The teams meet for a sixth time in European Cup history, with Tigers winning four of the previous encounters, including semi-finals in 2001 and 2007. Scarlets will be making only their third visit to Welford Road since the formation of regional rugby in Wales.

Welford Road hosts its 71st fixture in Europe’s elite tournament, making it the most-used venue in the tournament. Leicester's overall record in Europe at the stadium is played 70, won 58, drawn two, lost 10. Click here for some Welford Road memories in European rugby.

Geordan Murphy, a four-time finalist as a Tigers player and now in charge of team affairs as interim head coach, said: “We were really disappointed, obviously, last week after starting the game so well, and this is another massive game.

“We know what the Scarlets can do, their outside backs are very dangerous and they like to get the ball wide to give those players opportunities. They have a competitive pack as well. You can’t give them a lot of ball in your half of the field.”

In team news announced ahead of the game, Tigers include Jonny May and Graham Kitchener after injury and bring back Will Spencer after suspension. British & Irish Lions trio Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies and Ken Owens start for Scarlets who have also called up Tigers academy graduate Tom Price as a replacement for the injured international lock Jake Ball.

French official Romain Poite is the match referee after taking charge of defending champions Leinster against Wasps in Round 1.

Tigers will wear the club’s traditional red, white and green colours in all six pool fixtures in the Champions Cup this season.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm and there is live coverage on BT Sport.

If you are not attending the game or are unable to watch on TV, you can keep up to date with all of the action using the Matchday Live service on the Tigers website, mobile website and official app. Or follow the club’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Match tickets will be available ahead of kick-off. Book in person at Welford Road, phone the ticket office on 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or online at leicestertigers.com

Late change for Tigers line-up

Leicester Tigers have been forced into a team change ahead of kick-off in this evening’s Heineken Champions Cup match against the Scarlets at Welford Road.

Club captain Tom Youngs is ruled out by illness and is replaced in the front row by Tatafu Polota-Nau, making his first start of the season in red, white and green. Former Scotland Under-20 cap Jake Kerr comes into the squad as a replacement and will wear the No16 shirt.

George Ford will lead the team as captain.

Leicester Tigers (v Scarlets, Welford Road, Friday 7.45pm)

15 Jonah Holmes
14 Jonny May
13 Manu Tuilagi         
12 Kyle Eastmond     
11 Jordan Olowofela
10 George Ford (c)    
9 Ben Youngs
1 Greg Bateman
2 Tatafu Polota-Nau  
3 Dan Cole     
4 Harry Wells
5 Will Spencer
6 Mike Williams
7 Guy Thompson
8 Sione Kalamafoni   

Replacements

16 Jake Kerr  
17 Facundo Gigena   
18 Joe Heyes
19 Graham Kitchener
20 Tommy Reffell
21 Sam Harrison
22 Matt Toomua        
23 Adam Thompstone

Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Ioan Nicholas, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (c), 3 Samson Lee, 4 Tom Price, 5 David Bulbring, 6 Blade Thomson, 7 Joshua Macleod, 8 Will Boyde
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Phil Price, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Joshua Helps, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Steff Hughes, 23 Paul Asquith

 

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Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI410392121-291115206
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Scarlets
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Leicester Tigers are back on home ground this evening on the 22nd anniversary of the club’s first home game in European competition.

After opening their first European campaign with an away win over Leinster in the 1996/97 season, Tigers then recorded a big win over Scottish Borders on October 19, 1996 with Rory Underwood, John Liley and Eric Miller among the tryscorers.

Tigers and Scarlets were both beaten in Pool 4 last week in the opening round of this season’s Heineken Champions Cup, giving their meeting in Round 2 even greater importance this evening.

The teams meet for a sixth time in European Cup history, with Tigers winning four of the previous encounters, including semi-finals in 2001 and 2007. Scarlets will be making only their third visit to Welford Road since the formation of regional rugby in Wales.

Welford Road hosts its 71st fixture in Europe’s elite tournament, making it the most-used venue in the tournament. Leicester's overall record in Europe at the stadium is played 70, won 58, drawn two, lost 10.

Geordan Murphy, a four-time finalist as a Tigers player and now in charge of team affairs as interim head coach, said: “We were really disappointed, obviously, last week after starting the game so well, and this is another massive game.

“We know what the Scarlets can do, their outside backs are very dangerous and they like to get the ball wide to give those players opportunities. They have a competitive pack as well. You can’t give them a lot of ball in your half of the field.”

In team news announced ahead of the game, Tigers include Jonny May and Graham Kitchener after injury and bring back Will Spencer after suspension. British & Irish Lions trio Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies and Ken Owens start for Scarlets who have also called up Tigers academy graduate Tom Price as a replacement for the injured international lock Jake Ball.

French official Romain Poite is the match referee after taking charge of defending champions Leinster against Wasps in Round 1.

Tigers will wear the club’s traditional red, white and green colours in all six pool fixtures in the Champions Cup this season.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm and there is live coverage on BT Sport.

Form Guide
Leicester Tigers
Form
LLLLL
Last Match
Lost to Racing 11-34
Past Meeting
Won 45-27
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Scarlets
Form
LLLLL
Last Match
Lost to Ulster 15-30
Past Meeting
Lost 27-45