Leicester Tigers were beaten 54-12 by Newcastle Falcons in the final away game of the Premiership ‘A’ League season at Kingston Park on Sunday.
The Falcons, who included the experience of Ally Hogg, David Wilson, Callum Chick and former Tigers centre Maxime Mermoz, scored five tries in the opening half to lead 35-7 at the break and three more after the break, with Tigers managing only scores from Fred Tuilagi and Joe Heyes in response.
George McGuigan and Tom Brady provided the first-team experience in a Tigers line-up which also included Wales Under-20s captain Tommy Reffell, England Under-20s prop Heyes and Thom Smith, a member of the club’s Academy Under-18 League winning squad this season.
Falcons made an early breakthrough with a score from Mermoz, dotting down from close range when lock Andrew Davidson was tackled just short of the line, and two more quickly followed, from wing Adam Radwan and No8 Hogg as the lead reached 21 points with less than 15 minutes played.
Mermoz grabbed a second after 23 minutes to secure the bonus point before Tigers got on the board with Tuilagi’s try from a close-range scrum.
Tigers had limited time in the opposition 22 but when they won lineout ball from a penalty, two big scrums took the visitors up to the line and No8 Tuilagi picked up to score. George Worth added the conversion.
But Falcons bounced straight back with a try from wing Ben Stevenson, with Brett Connon adding his fifth conversion just before half-time.
Stevenson was on the scoresheet again early in the second half, with Connon making his tally six from six with the kick, before a second score for Tigers.
This time it was Heyes, who took ball out of a maul near the left touchline and ran in from 15 metres, bundling tacklers out of the way as he reached the line.
Reffell then produced a try-saving tackle on Stevenson but the Falcons kept the ball alive for Hogg to score his second of the day as Falcons reached the hour mark 49-12 in front.
A superb turnover from Harry Mahoney released the Tigers attack but Bamidele Fadahunsi was closed out just metres out from the tryline in the visitors’ final opportunity of the afternoon and there was still time for Radwan to score his second of the day, latching on to a chip to dot down in the corner.
Leicester Tigers Development XV
15 Will Foster (Loughborough Students)
14 Aaron Tait (Loughborough Students)
13 Tom Brady
12 Charlie Thacker
11 Jack Antoniou (Loughborough Students)
10 George Worth (c)
9 Will Findlay (Loughborough Students)
2 George McGuigan
3 Joe Heyes
4 Toby Hutchinson (Loughborough Students)
5 Joe Maksymiw
6 Thom Smith
7 Tommy Reffell
8 Fred Tuilagi
16 Harry Mahoney
17 Owen Hills
18 Chris Baumann
19 Sam Grahamslaw
20 Taylor Gough
21 Ben White
22 Jacob Fewtrell
23 Bamidele Fadahunsi (Loughborough Students)
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Penny, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Dominic Waldouck (c), 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Cameron Cowell; 1 Sami Mavinga, 2 Santiago Socino, 3 David Wilson, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 5 Andrew Davidson, 6 Max Davies, 7 Callum Chick, 8 Ally Hogg. Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 4 Nick Civetta, 20 Tom Marshall, 21 James Elliott, 22 Joel Matavesi, 23 Charlie Wilson.