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Tigers maintain winning run in LV= Cup

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Leicester Tigers made it two wins from two rounds in the LV= Cup with a bonus-point victory over Sale Sharks at Welford Road on Sunday.

Following last Saturday’s win at London Irish, Tigers overturned a 13-3 half-time deficit to win 29-13 against the Sharks.
 
The visitors claimed the only try of the first half, with lock Michael Paterson touching down from a catch-and-drive, while fly-half Nick McLeod kicked two penalties and the conversion for a 13-3 advantage.
 
But Tigers took control in the second period with two quickfire tries from Benjamin, combined with scores from the industrious Harry Thacker and Matt Smith, gaining a bonus point in front of a 17,000-strong crowd.
 
There was more good news for Tigers as international prop Dan Cole was called into the squad for the first time since January on his recovery from surgery on a neck injury, while Samoan prop Aniseko Sio was included in the matchday squad for the first time.
 
Benjamin, Freddie Burns, Adam Thompstone and captain Sam Harrison provided experience in the Tigers backline while a young forward pack included a first start for Academy lock Joe Maksymiw and No8 Ed Milne. Rhys Williams was a late call-up on the bench in place of centre Jack Roberts.
 
McLeod gave Sharks a sixth-minute lead when Tigers were penalised at a scrum on their own 10-metre line. But Burns made no mistake with an instant opportunity to reply when Tigers gained a penalty at the restart inside the Sale 22 to level the scores at 3-3.
 
With the Tigers defence presenting a strong line across the field, Sharks used McLeod to kick in behind but Tommy Bell returned with interest with his first three kicks.
 
An offside in midfield, though, gave McLeod a second chance to go for goal and he put them back into the lead at 6-3.
 
The more experienced Sharks forward pack gained good advantage at a driving maul from halfway and, when Tigers were whistled again, McLeod took on the kick from wide on the left, only to strike it well wide.
 
With Tigers still defending their 22, the task was made more difficult on 23 minutes when Matt Smith was yellow-carded at a ruck.
 
Sale kept up the pressure with successive penalties into the left-hand corner and the tactic paid dividends when lock Paterson took control at the drive for the line and scored. McLeod’s conversion stretched the lead to 10 points.
 
A low kick from inside his own half by Oli Bryant gained some vital front-foot ball for Tigers as Thompstone and Smith closed down full-back Mike Haley as Tigers gained rare territory. But, after taking the attack to the left, they were penalised at the breakdown and Sharks were able to clear again.
 
The half ended with Tigers back in the Sharks 22, with Tiziano Pasquali and Ed Milne carrying strongly, but they were unable to turn the pressure into points, with Sale leading 13-3 at half-time.
 
The home side earned their reward for a bright start to the second period with a try for Harry Thacker, switching to the back row after the withdrawal of Wells just before the break.
 
Burns made the break 15 metres out and offloaded for Thacker on his shoulder and, after controlling at the second attempt, he dotted down under the posts. The conversion from Burns narrowed the gap to three points.
 
Thompstone was within inches of a quickfire second as Tigers piled forward but he lost control just short of the line as the Sharks defence scrambled across.
 
The home crowd then welcomed back Cole and his impact was instant with two big scrums from the Tigers eight and two carries for the tighthead.
 
A big push against the head on the Sale five-metre line earned Tigers the next put-in and, when they were then awarded a penalty, Miles Benjamin took the tap and Smith stretched out to score and take the lead for the first time. Burns added the extras as Tigers took a 17-13 advantage with less than half an hour remaining.
 
Burns had a chance to turn the screw again with a long-range penalty moments later but nudged it just wide.
 
Brisk work from replacement Charlie Thacker provided another penalty near halfway and this time Burns prodded it into the left-hand corner, but this time Sharks stole ball to clear.
 
Tigers were given an added impetus when Sharks full-back Haley was sin-binned after challenging Bell for a high ball and Benjamin made them pay with an excellent solo score for the team’s third of the day.
 
Quick ball to the right brought Benjamin into possession and after beating the first defender he forced his way over for his second of the season and stretch the lead to 22-13.
 
And just two minutes later Benjamin did it again, this time good hands from Burns and Smith putting him away to score in the opposite corner. Burns added the conversion to stretch the lead to three scores.
 
 

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 3-13 SAL

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 29-13 SAL

Attendance

17,739

Referee

Darren Gamage

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
29

Full Time

Sale Sharks
Sale Sharks
13

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks
Possession
55%
45%
Territory
63%
37%
Penalties Conceded
8
8
Yellow Cards
1
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
94/105 90%
131/141 93%
Scrums Won
7/9 78%
9/10 90%
Lineouts Won
11/11 0%
10/10 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Tommy Bell
14Adam Thompstone
13Matt Smith1T
12Oliver Bryant
11Miles Benjamin2T
103C1P
9Sam Harrison
1Tom Bristow
2Harry Thacker1T
3Tiziano Pasquali
4Joe Maksymiw
5
6Harry Wells
7
8Ed Milne
16Jake Farnworth
17Riccardo Brugnara
18Dan Cole
19Aniseko Sio
20Stone Priestley-Nangle
21David Mele
22
23Charlie Thacker

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Tommy Bell
15
Tommy Bell
Oliver Bryant
12
Oliver Bryant
Miles Benjamin
11
Miles Benjamin
10
Tom Bristow
1
Tom Bristow
Tiziano Pasquali
3
Tiziano Pasquali
5
7
Ed Milne
8
Ed Milne

Subs

Jake Farnworth
16
Jake Farnworth
Riccardo Brugnara
17
Riccardo Brugnara
Aniseko Sio
19
Aniseko Sio
Stone Priestley-Nangle
20
Stone Priestley-Nangle
David Mele
21
David Mele
22

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Mike Haley
14
Tom Arscott
13
12
Sam James
11
Phil MacKenzie
10
Nick MacLeod
9
Nathan Fowles
1
Eifion Lewis-Roberts
2
Marc Jones
3
Ross Harrison
4
Andrei Ostrikov
5
Michael Paterson
6
Dan Braid
7
David Seymour
8
Josh Beaumont

Subs

16
Cameron Neild
17
Darren Fearn
18
James Flynn
19
Magnus Lund
20
Andrew Hughes
21
Chris Cusiter
22
Joe Ford
23
Charlie Ingall
Form Guide
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Lost 10-26
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WWWLL
Last Match
Lost to Exeter Chiefs 30-40
Past Meeting
Won 26-10

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers29
Leicester Tigers
Sale Sharks13
Sale Sharks
Full Time