Leicester Tigers have qualified for the quarter-finals of the main Premiership Rugby 7s Cup competition after finishing second in their pool on the opening day of action on Friday evening.
Mixed fortunes against Wasps and Bath Rugby in Pool B sets up a rematch against the men in black and gold in the quarter-final of the main Cup competition at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.
The young Tigers squad kicked off their 7s campaign against Wasps, who had already beaten Bath in the first of the pool’s fixtures earlier in the evening.
Wasps speedster Zach Kibirige was first over the line for the men from Coventry, though Tigers hit back through their own lightning wing in the form of Joe Browning just moments later.
But Wasps’ 7s experience showed – having reached the final of this competition in the last three years – and added scores through former Tigers Academy players Paolo Odogwu and Jacob Umaga to pin the final score at 48 points to five.
Bath Rugby were the opponents in the second match, and Tigers took the game by the neck from the off.
The visitors, in their new fluoro-red alternate kit, claimed an early lineout through Henri Lavin, who batted the ball back for guest player Toby Smith to score the first try of the match.
Lavin then made the break for a second try, galloping in from the halfway line to dot down under the posts, before Browning blasted past for a third score, this time on the left, not long after.
With two Johnny McPhillips conversions, that put the scores at 19-0 with five minutes gone, although Bath bit back just before the break through a converted Ollie Fox try.
The men in blue, black and white capitalised on that momentum early in the second half, with two more scores – and one more conversion – making it all-square at 19 points apiece with only a couple of minutes remaining.
But Tigers broke up the field through Freddie Steward, who got on the end of some daring passes just a few phases later to score the bonus-point try, and a full-time score of 24 points to 19.
Tigers’ quarter-final is the first of the matches from Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday, with kick-off scheduled for 2.30pm. Live coverage is provided by BT Sport.