The Leicester Tigers campaign in the Premiership Sevens came to a close with defeat to Worcester Warriors in the Plate semi-finals at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.
Both sides were beaten in their pool fixtures on Friday evening, Tigers losing to Saracens and Newcastle Falcons, and therefore went into subsidiary tournament looking for a first win of the tournament.
Michael Mellet gave Warriors the lead with just over a minute played and he added a second three minutes later after Tigers had been denied a potential score for Fionn Higgins when the referee brought play back for a forward pass less than five metres from the tryline.
Academy graduate Thom Smith made an eye-watering hit in the build-up to the second Warriors score but they managed to keep the ball alive for Mellet to run in on the left.
Sam Aspland-Robinson got Tigers on the board as he latched on to a pass from Mike Adlard just before half-time, but George Worth put his conversion attempt wide of the post as Warriors led 14-5.
Joss Linney, a Sevens specialist, provided the decisive score halfway through the second period, creating space with some good footwork on the right and running in to make it 19-5 and then Nick David finished some patient work in attack to put the result beyond doubt.
There was still time for Adlard to make the most of some space on the left to score and then to add his fifth try of the tournament right on the final whistle as Tigers cut the gap to 26-15.
In the other Plate semi-final, Gloucester scored a last-gasp clinching try to beat Bristol 24-19.
Leicester Tigers squad:
1 Henri Lavin, 2 Tommy Reffell, 3 Thom Smith, 4 Taylor Gough, 5 Harry Simmons (c), 6 Fionn Higgins, 7 Charlie Thacker (Matthew Cooke on Saturday), 8 Mike Adlard, 9 Sam Aspland-Robinson, 10 Jonah Holmes, 11 George Worth, 12 Phil Woodhead