Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Tigers show their teeth to win Anglo-Welsh Cup

Figure image
Leicester Tigers produced an almighty defensive performance as they beat Exeter Chiefs 16-12 to win the Anglo-Welsh Cup for a record third time.

Tom Brady scored an intercept try and Freddie Burns kicked 11 points as Tigers swept to a 16-5 half-time lead at the Twickenham Stoop.
But they had to produce a brilliant defensive effort as Exeter threw everything at them in the second period.
Exeter gave themselves hope with a converted try three minutes from time but Tigers ran down the clock to win the first piece of silverware of the season.
Mike Williams returned to the Tigers matchday squad and joined Harry Thacker and Lachlan McCaffrey in the back row in the only change among the forwards from the team that started the semi-final win at Saracens last weekend.

Peter Betham replaced JP Pietersen on the wing in the only other change to the starting team.  There were changes among the replacements, which included club captain Tom Youngs and lock Dom Barrow alongside fly-half Owen Williams.
Tigers had to defend their 22 in the opening stages as Exeter made the early running. But good work by McCaffrey overturned possession for Jack Roberts and Betham to counterattack and take Tigers into the Exeter half in a bright start to the final.
Tigers had the first half chance when Burns invited Mike Williams to stretch his legs down the left flank. But Exeter’s defence got across to force the flanker into touch before he could make an inside pass.
Burns, kicking into a stiff breeze, landed the first points of the game after 12 minutes with a penalty from more than 40m that just had the legs to clear the crossbar.
The lead lasted four minutes, as Exeter scored the opening try of the game. James Short came off his line to collect possession in midfield, hold off Mat Tait’s tackle and then round Tom Brady to score at the right corner. It went unconverted as Exeter led 5-3.
Tigers hit back moments later with their first try. Brady picked off a Matt Jess’s pass on halfway and had the pace to hold off the Exeter defence and score his second try for Leicester. Burns landed a testing conversion to move Tigers 10-5 ahead.
The breeze worked in Leicester’s favour when Jack Maunder’s clearance from the edge of his 22 ran dead in-goal giving Leicester the scrum put-in. Exeter conceded a free-kick for early engagement before they were pinged for the same offence at the reset. Burns made no mistake with his kick to give Tigers a 13-5 lead.
It was a huge battle at the breakdown with former Tigers flanker Julian Salvi winning a penalty against McGuigan for holding on before McCaffrey responded in similar style for the Tigers to win a penalty against Dave Ewers.
Mike Williams and Balmain teamed up to bring Salvi on the Tigers 22 but they were whistled for not rolling away. However, Joe Simmonds missed a simple kick to leave Tigers 13-5 ahead.
Tigers had a scrum inside their 22 to negotiate before the break. They forced a knock-on from Ollie Atkins and Burns launched a counterattack.
Betham and Roberts combined to make 40m up the left flank. Kitto and Thacker were in support and when Thacker was felled by a high tackle from Shaun Malton the Exeter hooker was shown a yellow card. Burns made him pay further with a long-range penalty with the last kick of the half that sent Tigers in 16-5 ahead at half-time.
Exeter had a chance early in the second half to put points on the board when Mike Williams was ruled to have come it at the side of a ruck. But Joe Simmonds, from the right, was again wide with his kick.
The Chiefs claimed a try in the 45th minute wghen Sam Hill and Max Bodilly sparked a counterattack from inside their own half which finished with Maunder going over next to the posts. But play came back for a knock-on by Exeter in midfield and the score was ruled out.
Exeter, who still had their hooker in the sin bin, brought on Elvis Taione for Sam Simmonds for the scrum. And Tigers made the man advantage count by winning a penalty at the set-piece.
That penalty, and another won by Mike Williams for holding on against Jess, allowed Tigers to find a foothold in the second half after Exeter’s blistering start.
They tested the Exeter defence through Betham on the left flank and then through Brady on the opposite wing. But the Chiefs held firm and won a penalty on the floor to signal the end of the Malton’s sin-bin period.
Balmain was replaced by Greg Bateman with 29 minutes remaining.
Exeter had a huge scare when Joe Simmonds tried to let Brady’s kick run dead. But Brady had chased his kick and Simmonds dotted down a fraction in front of the Tigers man as he dived for the ball.
Tigers then produced an excellent defensive set as Exeter threatened to work their way into the Leicester 22. But Thacker felled Damian Welch and then won the penalty to ease the pressure as the tension increased around The Stoop.
Leicester had the wind at their backs in the second half but it carried a Burns kick to the corner dead in-goal to give the Chiefs the put-in on halfway.
Ewers was at the heart of everything for the Chiefs. And it was his carrying in a series of 22 phases that took them to within touching distance of the Leicester line. Tigers infringed and Exeter turned down a simple penalty and opted to scrum. It was a key moment in the game with 20 minutes remaining.
Roberts produced a big hit on Maunder as Tigers forced the knock-on but he was ruled offside. The Chiefs went for another scrum. No8 Sam Simmonds went on his own but was held up over the line.
Dom Barrow replaced Graham Kitchener before the next scrum could be set. And when the scrum was set, Exeter collapsed it and Owen Williams, on for Burns, who was off for an HIA, cleared the penalty to touch. Tigers had held out during a huge period of pressure and denied Exeter any points.
Tigers unloaded their bench with Ben White replacing Kitto, Tom Youngs on for McGuigan and Burns back on after his HIA.
Tigers continued to defend with their lives as the clock ticked into the last 10 minutes. Exeter kept sending one-out runners onto the Leicester defence and they kept being repelled through 40 phases.
Eventually the pressure told and Sam Simmonds broke the line to reach out and score under the posts. Will Hooley converted to leave Tigers four points ahead with two minutes left.
Tigers initially defended well to force the turnover. And then they kept it simple to run down the clock and secure the first piece of silverware of the season.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

EXE 5-16 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

EXE 12-16 LEI




Tom Foley

Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers

Match Stats

Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
Penalties Conceded
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Tackles Won
90/108 83%
228/264 86%
Scrums Won
6/7 14%
6/9 33%
Lineouts Won
10/10 100%
6/6 100%

Player Stats

Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
15George Worth
14Peter Betham
13Mathew Tait
12Jack Roberts
11Tom Brady1T
10Freddie Burns1C3P
1Ellis Genge
2George McGuigan
3Fraser Balmain
4Harry Wells
5Graham Kitchener
6Mike Williams
7Harry Thacker
8Lachlan McCaffrey
16Tom Youngs
17Michele Rizzo
18Greg Bateman
19Dom Barrow
21Ben White
22Owen Williams
23Matt Smith

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV


Dom Barrow
Dom Barrow
Ben White
Ben White
Owen Williams
Owen Williams

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

Lachlan Turner
Matt Jess
Sam Hill
Joe Simmonds
Jack Maunder
Carl Rimmer
Greg Holmes
Damian Welch
Dave Ewers
Julian Salvi
Sam Simmonds


Elvis Taione
Billy Keast
Jack Owlett
Sam Skinner
Tom Johnson
Haydn Thomas
Tom Hendrickson
Form Guide
Last Match
Beat London Irish 24-20
Past Meeting
Won 24-20
Last Match
Past Meeting
Last Match
Beat Gloucester Rugby 26-5
Past Meeting
Lost 20-24

Matchday Live

Exeter Chiefs12
Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers16
Leicester Tigers
Full Time