Leicester Tigers scored seven tries in a 39-0 victory at Novocastrians in Newcastle on Saturday in Round 6 of the Women’s Championship North.
In the team’s fourth away game of their debut league season, Tigers ran in six of the scores in the opening half against a team who had won four of their opening five games.
The two teams held the last unbeaten records in the league until Novos lost to defending champions Cheltenham last week, and the duo they went into Saturday’s game in first and third in the table.
The Tigers line-up showed four changes from the win over Loughborough with Sophie McMeekin and Zoe Warrington – playing against her sister – starting for the first time in the forward pack, and Abi Gordon and Lucrezia Iavarone added to the backline. There was also a debut for Scottish forward Juliet Ross from the replacements bench.
Tigers, in the blue change kit, at Sutherland Park, were on the scoreboard after 12 minutes, immediately after a yellow card in the Novos ranks for a deliberate knock-on near the tryline.
The score came from Ofure Ugiagbe, the first of a personal double on the day for the tighthead prop, making the final push from pressure built by the forwards.
Five minutes later, a tap penalty from 20 metres out saw Sam Williams and Georgia Westwood carry up to the line and when play headed left, centre Katie Childs pushed her way through a number of tacklers to score.
Childs added another couple of points to her tally when she converted a Warrington try on 25 minutes and a fourth quickly followed as Lucrezia Iavarone took possession from a Novos handling error midway inside her own half of the field and ran clear.
Ugiagbe grabbed another from a lineout drive and, after adding the extras, Childs was back on the ball with a strong run almost to the tryline, with support play moving to the right where Williams carried and found Rebecca Church in support to make the final metres and give the visitors a 34-point lead at half-time.
Scoring opportunities were more limited after the break, with Georgia Westwood running in on the left after some crisp handling in attack for the last points of the game in the 42nd minute.
When Novocastrians did threaten, playing all the way up to the posts in the closing stages, the Tigers defence stood firm, finally holding up their rivals to keep a clean sheet and register a sixth successive win.