Leicester Tigers suffered a second successive defeat in the Premiership Rugby Cup on Saturday when Worcester Warriors claimed a 31-12 victory at Welford Road.
Following defeat at Saracens in Round 1, Tigers retained a mix of youth and experience in the matchday squad but conceded five tries to a Warriors side who made it three wins in a row on Leicester turf.
A minute’s silence in respect of thee tragic events at Leicester City last week was observed before the game got under way in autumnal sunshine.
But it was an unhappy opening half for Tigers who conceded four tries before the half-hour mark against a strong Warriors side who had put 35 points on Sale Sharks in the opening round last weekend.
After Ted Hill opened the scoring in just the third minute, there were further tries from Duncan Weir, Francois Hougaard and Bryce Heem for the visitors without Tigers getting on the scoreboard.
Almost an hour had been played before Tigers made a breakthrough with a try from Gareth Owen, but Heem quickly added his second for a Warriors side who looked incisive in attack throughout.
Tommy Reffell ran in his first score for the club with 15 minutes left to play, but Tigers had left themselves too much to do with the slow start.
Warriors have already won at Welford Road this season, thwarting a Tigers second-half fightback to take the points in a 44-37 victory in the Gallagher Premiership during September.
A squad including 12 graduates of the Tigers academy was led on to the field by Matt Smith in his 220th first-team appearance ng Will Evans who makes his first appearance of the season.
The game was less than four minutes old when Hill scored for a third time this season at Welford Road, timing his run perfectly to latch on to Warriors possession and run in unopposed to the right of the posts.
The young back-rower had scored twice in the dramatic league win on the same turf earlier in the same season and gave the visitors just the start they would have wanted as they hunted a third successive win in Leicester.
Duncan Weir added the conversion and four minutes later knocked over another to double the score after he had run in for try number two.
The start of the game was almost an exact copy of the earlier Premiership meeting, and Tigers quickly had a mountain to climb with half of the team still not having touched the ball.
Some continuity in possession finally gave Tigers some impetus, only for Warriors to interfere with the ball along the backline, though the referee gave a knock-on rather than anything more serious.
But Warriors almost sniffed out a third try before the quarter-hour mark when the kicked along the left touchline, only for Jonah Holmes to win the race for the ball on his own goalline.
On 15 minutes they did have the score, Francois Hougaard running in the last 35 metres of a length-of-the field break after Holmes had initially forced them back to their own tryline. Fly-half Weir fell short with the conversion but Warriors still led by 19 points.
Tigers, with Mapapalangi and Evans looking to get on the ball, made four or five trips to the Warriors 22 but were closed out or were guilty of losing possession cheaply, including from a attacking lineout after playing a penalty down the left touchline.
Warriors were defending strongly on the floor too, with flanker Sam Lewis winning a penalty at the breakdown after a strong lineout drive from the Tigers pack.
The fingertips of Jake Kerr brought a dangerous break from Chris Pennell to an end, with the covering defence forcing Bryce Heem into touch as the full-back offloaded the ball, with hooker Kerr still hanging on to his shirt tail.
The referee pulled up Warriors for obstruction in midfield as they launched another counter-attack and Tigers used Joe Heyes and Mapapalangi to punch holes in the defensive line before the visitors won turnover ball.
It was costly too as they raced out on the right and Heem ran in to score their bonus-point try with the crowd calling for a forward pass back on halfway. With no TMO in the Cup tie, referee Hamish Smales had to make the decision himself before Weir made it 0-26 with the conversion.
Skipper Matt Smith was replaced on the half-hour by Joe Ford as Tigers had to reshuffle the backline, with Hardwick and Gareth Owen operating at centre.
But there was no change to flow of the game, with Warriors looking to attack at pace, though the home crowd did make their feelings known when referee Smales called a forward pass against the Warriors on their own 10-metre line, the ironic applause rippling around Welford Road.
The half closed though with Tigers penalised at the breakdown and Weir pushed play into the left-hand corner to set up an attacking lineout. The throw was not straight, though, and Tigers elected to go for a scrum in the last play. After the strike from Kerr, Tuilagi got the ball of the field with Warriors 26-0 in front.
Evans got through 44 minutes in his game of the season before Tommy Reffell was given a run at openside.
Warriors lost lock Anton Bresler on 49 minutes for a no-arms tackle on Sam Harrison, but when Tigers set up a lineout drive from the penalty, they were pushed into touch.
They set to again but this time the drive for the tryline ended in a knock-on and a heated exchange which ended with prop Heyes being yellow-carded for throwing a punch.
Tigers, though, remained close to the Warriors tryline, drawing another couple of penalties but not finding a decisive gap.
Warriors continued to infringe at their defensive lineouts until lock Darren Barry was sent to the sin-bin, but Tigers missed the next set-piece and the visitors were finally able to kick clear.
This time, though, Tigers returned and clinched a first score from Gareth Owen.
After Hardwick had picked his way up towards the line, Owen picked up a dived over. Hardwick’s kick screwed across the posts with the score at 5-26.
But Heem held off the Tigers defence in the corner to score his second before Ford put Reffell on a run through to his first senior try around the 65-minute mark. Hardwick added the kick to make it 12-31.
Former Tigers centre Andrew Forsyth, who came through the academy and made 24 first-team appearances before moving on to Yorkshire Carnegie and Sale Sharks, made a re-appearance in club colours as a late replacement for Owen, but neither side was able to create another scoring opportunity in the closing stages as Warriors celebrated a Welford Road hat-trick.
A penalty against Tuilagi kept Tigers close to their own tryline as the clock ticked into the final minute and they finished the game there, penned back by four more whistles from the referee in defence of the line.
The ball goes into touch and the referee calls the end of the match with the final score at 12-31.
Worcester win another penalty but it is overturned by the referees and Tigers kick for a lineout on the 22 but the ball goes loose and into touch.
And another Lineout
Worcester drive to the line from the lineout but it looks held up and Tigers are penalised again, we have another lineout for Worcester.
Tigers look to hold out the Worcester driving maul again but there is another penalty given and Worcester go for another lineout.
Tigers look to hold out the Worcester driving maul but are penalised by the referee and they go for another lineout.
Tigers build phases but Worcester win a penalty and kick for the corner.
Tigers go to work
Tigers look to run the ball out of our 22 and a run on the far wing gets Tigers outside our 22 and on the way to half-way but the Worcester looks strong and holds us in place.
End to End
From one scrum on the 22 we now have another scrum but our 22. Worcester look to run the ball and go wide but the ball is loose and the referee blows for a knock-on, Tigers ball at the scrum.
Tigers win a penalty at the scrum and kick for the lineout but the ball is loose and Worcester win a scrum on their 22.
Worcester win their throw in at the lineout but throw forward in the mid field to give Tigers a scrum on the half-way.
More reset scrums
There's a number of reset scrums, Worcester get a free kick for Tigers early engagement but Worcester opt to scrum again. Worcester win a penalty and kick to touch for the lineout
Gareth Owen is replaced by Andrew Forsyth.
It's a messy lineout and Worcester win the ball but Tigers get a turnover and run the ball back at Worcester nearly into their 22 but there is forward pass. Worcester have the scrum.
Tigers with a big scrum and we win a penalty, kicking for the lineout on our 10 metre line.
Tigers on the Defence
Tigers defence is tested from the restart as Worcester look to run the ball quick and wide, working both sides of the pitch but as they get into the 22 the ball is knocked-on at the ruck to give Tigers a scrum.
Tigers add the conversion through Tom Hardwick to make it 12-31 after 66 minutes.
Ben White makes his way on to the pitch as he replaces Sam Harrison.
What a pass! Tigers build the phases and Joe Ford puts Tommy Reffell into open space and he runs in to score.
Front Foot Ball
Tigers run the ball from the restart with some great running from a number of players and we get up to the Worcester 22.
Worcester hit the post with the conversion so it remains 5-31.
Worcester get the ball out wide as they build phases into Tigers half and Bryce Heem is able to hold off the defenders to run into the corner to score.
The rugby is being played between each teams 22 from the restart, Tigers win a penalty at the scrum but Worcester win the lineout and both teams look to run the ball at each other.
Tom Hardwick is unable to make the conversion as the ball goes wide of the posts so the score remains 5-26 after 58 minutes.
Tigers get the ball wide and up to the 5 metre line before Gareth Owen picks and goes from the ruck to dart over and score Tigers first try of the match.
Tigers Go Again
Tigers with the ball from the lineout and a quick run from Jake Kerr gets Tigers on the front foot before the ball is passed out wide.
Tigers go for another lineout but the ball is loose, Worcester kick to touch but it is only up to the 22.
Worcester are shown another yellow and it is Darren Barry.
Tigers win the ball at the lineout and create the driving maul but Worcester collapse and we get another penalty. We opt for another lineout.
Tigers with the ball and a number of phases from the lineout but Worcester holds us out. The referee awards Tigers a penalty for Worcester not releasing in the tackle and we go for another lineout.
Tigers Keep Going
Worcester get the lineout but Tigers win a loose ball and run it into the Worcester 22, there's a chip ahead that Worcester collect but the referee calls us back for a Tigers penalty. We kick to the corner for the lineout.
Tigers Joe Heyes is shown a yellow card after the scuffle in the corner and it's a penalty to Worcester.
Tigers with the ball and a penalty at the lineout takes Tigers into the corner and it looks like they've scored but there's a scuffle and the referee is checking with his touch judge.
Worcester lock Anton Bresler is shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle and is sent to the sin-bin.
Worcester with the phases from the lineout but Tigers intercept the ball and Fred Tuilagi runs the ball back through the Worcester defence. Tigers work the ball up towards the half-way before Tigers win a penalty.
There are a number of resets scrums before the ball is out and chipped ahead but the referee calls back for a Worcester penalty and Weir kicks to touch for a lineout outside Tigers 22.
Tigers with the ball at the lineout and look to get the ball out wide but the referee calls us back for a forward pass to give Worcester the scrum.
Tigers get the ball at the lineout and Tigers make a break through the Worcester defence before getting the ball wide. Gareth Owen kicks ahead and Pennell collects the ball but kicks the ball straight into touch.
Both sides are running the ball early in the second-half as both sides look to gain some territory but Worcester win a penalty and kick for the lineout in the Tigers 22.
Tigers and Joe Ford kick-off the second-half here at Welford Road.
Tigers kick to touch to end the first-half and it is Worcester with the lead as the score is 0-26.
Tigers get the ball from the scrum and clear to touch to end the half.
Worcester get the ball back from the lineout as the referee penalised them for the throw not being straight and Tigers opt for the scrum.
Side to Side
Worcester with phases and working the ball from one side of the pitch to the other, Tigers look to have a turnover but the referee calls Tigers off their feet for a Worcester penalty and they kick to the corner.
Tigers are penalised at the scrum for collapsing and Worcester kick to touch for a lineout in Tigers half.
Tigers get a free kick at the scrum and Fred Tuilagi taps and goes quick, running the ball wide into space but there is some loose ball and some messy kicking from both sides before there is a knock-on from Tigers to give Worcester the scrum.
Tigers win a penalty as Worcester look to run the ball as they throw a forward pass and Tigers have the scrum.
Tigers clear the ball from the lineout but it doesn't find touch and Worcester look to go quick and run the ball wide, Tom Hardwick looks for an intercept but knocks-on for a Worcester scrum.
Worcester get the ball out wide from the lineout and make a break up the wing but Tigers defence works to cover and push Worcester into touch.
Worcester win a penalty at the scrum and kick for the lineout outside the Tigers 22.
It's scrappy from the restart but Tigers have a lineout on the half-way, creating a driving maul and working into the Worcester half but the referee calls a knock-on and Worcester have a scrum just inside their half.
Tigers make an early replacement as Joe Ford replaces Matt Smith.
Worcester add the conversion through David Weir to make it 0-26 after 28 minutes.
Worcester turnover the ball and pass it wide where there is space on the wing to run it back into Tigers half and Bryce Heem gets the ball and runs it in to score.
Tigers Go Quick
Tigers win the lineout and kick to clear but Worcester are penalised with the ball for obstruction and Tigers go quick with the ball. Sam Harrison running through the defence and getting Tigers on the front foot before the ball is out wide and into the Worcester 22.
Worcester look to build phases and work through the Tigers defence but it holds and Worcester are pushed into touch inside the Tigers 22 for a Tigers lineout.
Tigers look to build phases from the lineout and work the ball further in the Worcester half but are penalised at the breakdown as Worcester look for the turnover. Weir kicks the ball into for a lineout on Tigers 10 metre line.
Tigers drive the ball at the lineout and as Fred Tuilagi breaks away is driven up the field but the ball is held up in the breakdown, the referee calls them back for a penalty at the lineout and Tigers kick for a lineout in the Worcester half.
22 to 22
Worcester with the ball out the scrum kick to touch to give Tigers a lineout on our 22.
There are a number of resets at the scrum before the referee gives Worcester a free kick for Tigers engaging early but they opt to scrum again.
Tigers create the driving maul at the lineout but the ball is loose and the referee calls for a knock-on and a Worcester scrum on their 22.
The play is hectic from the restart with both teams looking to run the ball, there's some phases up into the Worcester half and Tigers win a penalty at the breakdown, kicking to touch for the lineout on the Worcester 22.
Weir pushes the conversion wide from the touchline so the score is 0-19 after 15 minutes.
Worcester use quick hands to run the ball up the pitch and the ball is passed to Francois Hougaard on the wing who runs it in to score in the corner.
Tigers chip ahead and Jonah Holmes works hard to chase it down and tackle the Worcester defender in the Worcester 22 but Worcester keep the ball and look to run it out of their 22.
Tigers clear their lines at the lineout and clear to touch but Tigers make a steal at the lineout to get the ball back and push the attack up into the Worcester half.
Tigers with the ball from the scrum but there is an intercept from Worcester who take advantage of the loose play run the ball into Tigers half and chip ahead, the ball going into touch in the corner.
Tigers build the phases from the scrum and work the ball into the Worcester half but there is a loose ball and Worcester knock-on for another Tigers scrum.
End to End
Both teams try to the run the ball from the restart with some good lines and a break from Fred Tuilagi. An intercepted pass gives Worcester the ball but there is a knock-on and Tigers have the scrum on half-way.
Duncan Weir with the full seven points as he adds the conversion to make it 0-14 after 7 minutes.
Worcester with the first scrum of the match and they go quick with the ball getting out to the wing and quick feet gets the ball up into Tigers 22 and an offload to Duncan Weir who runs in to score under the posts.
Worcester kick to touch from the penalty but the ball stays in field, Tigers run the ball back but there is a loose ball and a knock-on to give Worcester the first scrum of the game.
What a break
Tigers with the ball after the kick-off and Tom Hardwick show's his quick feet with a break through the Worcester defence but Worcester win a penalty at the breakdown.
David Weir adds the conversion for Worcester to make it 0-7 after 3 minutes.
Worcester with a few phases from the lineout and Ted Hill finds the gap to score the first try of the afternoon.
It is Worcester with the early advantage, Tigers clear for a lineout but Worcester capitalise on the possession and win a penalty. Weir kicks to the corner for a lineout.
Here We Go
It is Worcester and David Weir who kick things off this afternoon at Welford Road.
Both teams have made their way onto the pitch and take their place in front of the dugouts as we hold a minute silence to remember Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Leicester City chairman who tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash last weekend.
Greg gives his view
Both team have finished the warm-ups and have headed back into the changing rooms as we are minutes away from kick-off.
View from the Coach
Hello and Welcome
To Welford Road and the first ever Premiership Cup tie as we host Worcester Warriors.