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Late penalty secures Development XV win

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George Worth kept his nerve to land a penalty with the last kick of the game and give Leicester Tigers Development XV a 31-29 victory over Newcastle Falcons on Monday evening.

The first Aviva Premiership A League action of the season at Welford Road saw Tigers make it two wins from two in the Northern Conference after their victory at Wasps last week.
The Development XV scored first-half tries through captain Harry Thacker, Harry Wells and Fred Tuilagi to lead 19-0 at the break.
But Newcastle rallied in the second period, taking advantage of Tigers’ youthful bench to score five tries in an entertaining game.
The Falcons final try five minutes from time looked to have tipped the balance in the visitors’ favour before Worth’s decisive intervention with the final kick.
Logovi'i Mulipola made his first start of the season, packing down alongside Greg Bateman and Fraser Balmain in the front row. Harry Thacker captained the side from openside.
In the backs, there was a second start in the Development XV for winger Tom Brady. He was joined in the back line by Adam Thompstone, Matt Smith and Jono Kitto.
The front row had 205 first-team appearances between them for the Tigers, and that experience was evident with a huge push at the first scrum. Tigers chose to play, though, but concerted pressure came to an end when Tuilagi spilled possession in the Falcons 22.
The visitors had the first chance to put points on the board with a penalty from distance but Craig Willis was short with his kick.
Tigers opted for a scrum when presented with a penalty in front of the posts. However, Kitto’s angled run off the set-piece was well stopped before Worth saw his kick through blocked and Falcons cleared.
Worth, playing at fly-half, pushed a difficult drop goal attempt wide as he tried to turn early possession and territory into points.
Eventually the pressure told and Thacker broke a tackle to score at the left corner. Worth landed the touchline conversion for a 7-0 lead after 15 minutes.
A barrelling run by Bateman had Tigers back on the front foot and quick hands found Brady on the right where he was forced into touch 5m out. Tigers made a mess of the lineout and Wells crashed through to score the second try.
Tigers had their third try in the 22nd minute. A lineout drive had the Falcons defence under pressure before being dragged down just short, but Tigers kept the ball alive for Tuilagi to score at the left corner. Worth’s extras put Leicester 19-0 ahead.
Newcastle tested the Tigers maul defence at a series of penalty lineouts, but the hosts eventually forced the turnover and Worth found touch on the 22.
The lineout drive was a good attacking weapon for Newcastle and it almost paid dividends when Craig Willis sniped down the side of a maul but he spilled possession under a heavy tackle as he reached for the line.
Tigers made a triple substitution at the break, Sam Grahamslaw, Ben White and Sam Yawayawa replaced Bateman, Kitto and Thompstone respectively. It meant a shuffle in the pack with Thacker going to hooker and Grahamslaw into the back row.
Pressure at the start of the second period earned Tigers a penalty in front of the posts and Worth opted to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Falcons got their lineout drive working again to put Tigers under pressure on their own line. And with the maul splintering, Joe Sproston reached out to score. Unconverted it left Tigers 22-5 ahead.
Michele Rizzo and Harry Mahoney replaced Mulipola and Tuilagi before the restart.
Worth added another penalty to move Tigers 25-5 up as the clock ticked into the final quarter.
Play swung back to the opposite end where winger Zach Kibirige won the race to a kick into the in-goal area for Newcastle’s second try. Willis added the extras before Worth landed his third penalty straight after the restart to leave Leicester 28-12 ahead.

Willis made the most of a slip in the Tigers defence to angle a run into the right-hand corner to score a third try for the Falcons.
The visitors scored their bonus-point try with eight minutes remaining, Kibirige again winning the foot race to dot down in-goal. Willis added the touchline conversion to cut Leicester’s lead to 28-24.
Falcons took the lead moments later through a brilliant solo try for Adam Radwan. The replacement took possession in his own half tight to the right touchline and found a line past last-man Harry Simmons and over at the right corner. It gave Newcastle a one-point lead heading into the closing stages.
A penalty advantage gave Balmain the chance to barrel his way into the heart of the Falcons defence. With nothing coming of the position, play was pulled back but Worth was wide with a testing penalty with three minutes remaining.
But there was one last opportunity to come. Wells was pulled down at a lineout on the Falcons 22 and Worth kept his nerve to bang over the match-winning kick.