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Report | Tigers beat Italian Select visitors

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Leicester Tigers beat an Italian Select XV 33-19 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday.

Head coach Steve Borthwick named an extended squad led by Hanro Liebenberg and including Guy Porter after his release from England duties, though nine players were otherwise engaged with international squads in the first week of the autumn internationals as Tigers hosted Italian visitors for the first time since 2016.

Former Wasps fly-half Charlie Atkinson made his club debut from the bench after joining the club earlier this week.

After an early breakthrough for the visitors, Tigers took control of the scoreboard with tries from Hanro Liebenberg, Anthony Watson and Olly Cracknell to lead 21-5 at half-time.

Tom Cowan-Dickie added to the scoreline in the second half, but the visitors claimed a couple for themselves, twice closing to within single figures on the scoreboard before the replacement hooker added his second and the day’s eighth in the final minute.

Tigers, in the club’s blue change kit for this one-off fixture, kicked off following the annual Remembrance tributes as the first part of an historic Double Header with the men’s and women’s teams sharing a Mattioli Woods Welford Road matchday for the first time.

The visitors were led out by lock Giovanni Montemauri, among eight senior internationals in a squad selected from the ranks of URC clubs Benetton and Zebre as well as pathway players in the national set-up.

And the game was just 70 seconds old when they celebrated the opening score, fly-half Leonardo Marin creating space on the left for full-back Lorenzo Pani to run in.

But from the restart Tigers built pressure with a penalty in the corner and No8 Liebenberg was at the heart of the maul to level the scores. Freddie Burns added the conversion to make it 7-5.

A second penalty proved just as costly, Burns going to the corner from an almost identical position and the forwards combining with Nemani Nadolo to get on the front foot and Anthony Watson taking the pass from Burns to score to the left of the posts. Burns added his second conversion.

Olly Cracknell was involved twice as Tigers built another attack, but Harry Potter was finally taken into touch as he fed of an offload by Nadolo on the left touchline.

Cameron Henderson and then George Martin made important tackles as the Italians broke out from deep, and when Tigers got back upfield, a Nadolo charge provided the impetus and a third try followed as Liebenberg’s lineout work set up Cracknell to crash over the line. Burns completed a hat-trick of conversions to make it 21-5.

Porter was quick to chase a teasing kick in behind the Tigers defence and then showed some composure in brushing off the first tackler and kicking clear. Another promising position for the visitors was lost with a penalty at a lineout on halfway, which Burns played into the corner. Wells claimed the set-piece with a one-handed catch but Tigers were whistled a couple of phases later just short of the tryline.

When a chip ahead just evaded Matt Scott’s grasp, Potter recovered quickly to chase down centre Marco Zanon as he crossed halfway. It was Scott’s last taste of the action before being replaced by Phil Cokanasiga.

A kick from Burns down the left touchline pinned back the visitors with four minutes remaining in the opening half and then fly-half Marin won the chase back to a chip ahead by Cokanasiga just in front of his own tryline and his forwards followed up by winning a penalty in defence as the clock reached the half-time mark..

Borthwick made a number of changes at half-time, including the introduction of Atkinson at full-back and a return for Tom Cowan-Dickie in the front row, but were quickly a man down when Cameron Henderson was yellow-carded for a high tackle contesting ball in the centre of the pitch.

An Italian lineout drive almost brought a breakthrough as hooker Marco Manfredi broke off on the five-metre line, but his offload to support went forward. Although play restarted with a Tigers scrum, the short-handed pack were penalised not just at the set-piece but then at the lineout and again in defence.

Eventually the visitors got some reward when a 50-22 kick from Marin took play into the left-hand corner and from the lineout, hooker Marco Manfredi broke off the maul to dive in for the try. Marin added the conversion to take the score to 21-12.

But it stayed that way for only a moment as Potter claimed the restart and the forwards arrived to barge over, with Tom Cowan-Dickie the scorer. Jimmy Gopperth added the conversion from wide on the right.

The Italians responded almost as quickly, scrum-half Emilio Fusco supporting a break on halfway and chipping through for Giulio Bertaccini to run through and score. The conversion from Nicolo Teneggi closed the gap to nine points at 28-19.

Interplay between Sean Jansen and Eli Snyman, then Atkinson and Joe Woodward almost created a scoring chance for Tjgers, then Saumaki showed typical strength in fending off tacklers on the 22 before Tigers were given a penalty when a player was tackled off the ball with five minutes left on the clock.

They kept play in the corner until Cowan-Dickie emerged at the pile of bodies at another maul to claim the final points of an entertaining afternoon.

 

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 21-5 ITA

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 33-19 ITA

Attendance

16,891

Referee

Dan Jones

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
33

Full Time

Italian Select XV
Italian Select XV
19
Leicester Tigers
T
C
T
C
T
C
T
C
T
KOHTFT
Italian Select XV
T
T
C
T
C

Commentary

WIN FOR TIGERS

Leicester Tigers 33-19 Italian Select XV.

Tom Cowan-Dickie is at the bottom of the pile of bodies as Tigers push over for try No5. 33-19 on 79min. Conversion missed.

Conversion from Teneggi cuts the Tigers lead to 28-19 on 68min.

Quick break by the Italians, and replacement Giulio Bertaccini reads the chip ahead to score a third. 28-17.

Gopperth converts the 4th try for Tigers, 28-12 on 63min.

Straight from the restart, Harry Potter claims the catch and the forwards do the rest, Tom Cowan-Dickie making it over the line. 26-12.

Convcersion makes it 21-12 on 60min.

Italians rewarded for a good spell of pressure with their second score, hooker Marco Manfredi breaking off from a maul to dive over. 21-10.

41

Second half is under way with Tigers playing towards the Beehive Stand End. Charlie Atkinson is on, first sight of him in Tigers colours.

HALF-TIME LEAD

Tigers 21-5 Italian Select at half-time.

Tries by Liebenberg, Watson and Cracknell in an entertaining first half after the visitors opened the scoring.

Burns adds conversion for a 21-5 lead on 27min. 

Try is by Olly Cracknell from the lineout work by Liebenberg. 19-5 on 26min.

Burns adds the conversion of the Watson score, 14-5.

Pressure from the forwards and carry from Nadolo stretches the Italian defence and Anthony Watson is in to score for Tigers. 12-5.

Freddie Burns adds the conversion, 7-5 on 7min.

Hanro Liebenberg is at the back of a maul to touch down as Tigers level the scores early on. 5-5.

Breakaway from the Italians on the left and they score after just 70 seconds through full-back Lorenzo Pani. Conversion missed. 0-5

0

TODAY’S OPPOSITION

Italian Select XV: 15 Lorenzo Pani, 22 Jacopo Trulla, 13 Marco Zanon, 12 Filippo Drago, 11 Simone Gesi, 10 Leonardo Marin, 9 Nicolo Casilio; 1 Mirco Spagnolo, 2 Marco Manfredi, 3 Filippo Alongi, 4 Alessandro Ortombina, 5 Andrea Zambonin, 6 Giovanni Pettinelli (c), 7 Luca Andreani, 8 Davide Ruggeri

Replacements: 16 Lapo Frangini, 17 Luca Rizzoli, 18 Matteo Nocera, 19 Leonard Krumov, 20 Nicola Piantella, 21 Emilio Fusco, , 23 Nicolo Teneggi, 24 Giacomo Ferrari, 25 Ross Vintcent, 26 Giulio Bertaccini

0

HOW TIGERS LINE-UP

STARTING XV: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Guy Porter, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Richard Wigglesworth; 1 James Cronin, 2 Charlie Clare, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Cameron Henderson, 6 George Martin, 7 Olly Cracknell, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c)

REPLACEMENTS: Tom Cowan-Dickie, Tom Horton, Francois van Wyk, Will Hurd, Eli Snyman, Sean Jansen, Emeka Ilione; Sam Edwards, Charlie Atkinson, Jimmy Gopperth, Phil Cokanasiga, Joe Woodward, Marcus Ramage, Hosea Saumaki

0

MATCH PREVIEW | Leicester Tigers v Italian Select

Tigers welcome Italian opposition to Mattioli Woods Welford Road for the first time since 2016 this afternoon.

An Italian Select XV, drawn from players Benetton, Zebre and the national team pathway, are here for a one-off fixture during a gap in the league season as part of a first-ever Double Header which also features the women’s team fixture against Loughborough Town Ladies at 3.15pm.

Guy Porter returns to the Tigers line-up led by Hanro Liebenberg and including internationals Anthony Watson, Nemani Nadolo and Dan Cole. Charlie Atkinson is named among the replacements following his arrival at the club this week. 

Previewing the game, Tigers head of athletic performance Aled Walters said: “We are desperate to get back out on the field and we’re really happy to have this game on Saturday with some big tests to come in the Gallagher Premiership season over the next few weeks.

“This is a meaningful match, we want to get out and perform. It will be great to play at Mattioli Woods Welford Road again. The Italians have their opportunity too. It’s an international period in a World Cup year, they need as much insight into their group as possible so it will be a meaningful for those guys I am sure.”

0

WELCOME TO MATCHDAY LIVE!

Wherever you are this afternoon, you can keep up to date with the Tigers action from the fixture against an Italian Select XV with Matchday Live on the Tigers App and website at www.leicestertigers.com. Kick-off is at 1.00pm.


Team News | Tigers squad to take on Italians

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Steve Borthwick has named the matchday squad to face an Italian Select XV on Saturday (November 5) at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

The Leicester Tigers Head Coach has included 29 players in the squad to be led by Hanro Liebenberg, with Dan Cole and Richard Wigglesworth vice-captains.

In a historic afternoon for the club, the Tigers Men’s and Women’s squads will play back-to-back matches for the first time at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Guy Porter, who was released by England in midweek ahead of their opening Autumn Test against Argentina on Sunday, starts in the midfield alongside Matt Scott.

Charlie Atkinson, who joined the club earlier this week, is in line for his first game for Leicester Tigers.

Nottingham Rugby’s Marcus Ramage, who has made two appearances for Tigers in this season’s Premiership Rugby Cup, is also included among the replacements.

Julián Montoya (Argentina), Joe Heyes, Jack van Poortvliet, Freddie Steward and Ben Youngs (England), Kini Murimurivalu (Fiji), Nephi Leatigaga (Samoa), Jasper Wiese (South Africa) and Tommy Reffell (Wales) are unavailable for selection due to national team duties.

STARTING XV
15 Anthony Watson
14 Harry Potter
13 Guy Porter
12 Matt Scott
11 Nemani Nadolo
10 Freddie Burns (vc)
9 Richard Wigglesworth
1 James Cronin
2 Charlie Clare
3 Dan Cole (vc)
4 Harry Wells
5 Cameron Henderson
6 George Martin
7 Olly Cracknell
8 Hanro Liebenberg (c)

REPLACEMENTS: Tom Cowan-Dickie, Tom Horton, Francois van Wyk, Will Hurd, Eli Snyman, Sean Jansen, Emeka Ilione; Sam Edwards, Charlie Atkinson, Jimmy Gopperth, Phil Cokanasiga, Joe Woodward, Marcus Ramage, Hosea Saumaki

Italian Select XV: 15 Lorenzo Pani, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Marco Zanon, 12 Filippo Drago, 11 Simone Gesi, 10 Leonardo Marin, 9 Nicolo Casilio; 1 Mirco Spagnolo, 2 Marco Manfredi, 3 Filippo Alongi, 4 Alessandro Ortombina, 5 Andrea Zambonin, 6 Giovanni Pettinelli (c), 7 Luca Andreani, 8 Davide Ruggeri

Replacements: 16 Lapo Frangini, 17 Luca Rizzoli, 18 Matteo Nocera, 19 Leonard Krumov, 20 Nicola Piantella, 21 Emilio Fusco, 22 Jacopo Trulla, 23 Nicolo Teneggi, 24 Giacomo Ferrari, 25 Ross Vintcent, 26 Giulio Bertaccini

Form Guide
Form
LWLWW
Last Match
Beat London Irish 33-31
Past Meeting
Won 33-19
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
L----
Last Match
Lost to Leicester Tigers 19-33
Past Meeting
Lost 19-33

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers33
Leicester Tigers
Italian Select XV19
Italian Select XV
Full Time