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Tigers enjoy winning trip to Treviso

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Leicester Tigers came through their second game of the pre-season campaign with five tries in a 33-10 victory over Benetton Treviso in Italy on Friday evening.

The game came at the end of a week’s training camp hosted at Treviso’s facilities with just a fortnight to go until the start of the league season for both clubs.
Tigers travelled  to Italy with England duo Ben Youngs and Dan Cole reporting back for club duties, and welcomed new signing JP Pietersen at the end of his contract in South Africa, but all three will have to wait until the final pre-season fixture against Ospreys at Welford Road next week to get back into match action.
An extended squad included Peter Betham, named to start on the wing after sitting out the summer’s opener in Swansea last week, while Manu Tuilagi, Freddie Burns and Brendon O’Connor built up more gametime after ending last season early due to injury.
Hosts Treviso have been regular European Cup rivals in recent seasons and included prop Tiziano Pasquali who returned to Italy from Tigers this summer, though former Leicester back row Robert Barbieri was ruled out by injury.
Two tries in the opening eight minutes from scrum-half Jono Kitto gave Tigers an early platform and, despite Treviso replying with two of their own, Manu Tuilagi added the finishing touch to a third try as the visitors led 21-10 at the break.
Adam Thompstone scored to extend the advantage in the third quarter before Hamilton applied the finish for the best try of the night as Tigers again shared gametime among a squad of 28 players named for the fixture.
Tigers launched the scoring in the third minute when an attacking lineout drive sucked in defenders and Ed Slater arrived to break the defensive line and from his offload Lachlan McCaffrey put Kitto in to add the finish.
And just five minutes later, Kitto got on the end of more positive work, starting with an attack ferom Freddie Burns, to add his second. Burns added the extras for a 14-point lead.
But Treviso, encouraged by a sizeable home crowd, returned fire with two tries of their own in the next 10 minutes, both from tighthead Simone Ferrari.
Tigers were building pressure 10 metres out when Treviso lock Teofilo Paulo was yellow-carded at the side of a ruck and they immediately made use of the advantage, Burns finding Slater wide on the left and Tuilagi picked up ball superbly off his toes from McCaffrey’s pass to bundle his way over. Burns kept up his kicking record with a third conversion as Tigers led 21-10.
Tuilagi was involved in a lot of the Tigers’ best work in attack, carrying strongly and putting in a chip kick behind the defence to put the full-back under pressure with Adam Thompstone closing in.
Tuilagi was among five changes at half-time with Jack Roberts, Sam Harrison and Luke Hamilton among the replacements. Another replacement, fly-half Oli Bryant, had gone off barely 10 minutes into the second period, and it was Sam Harrison who was at 10 to create the fourth try, chipping over the defence and, as the ball bounced loosely in-goal, Thompstone got the decisive touch. George Worth kicked the conversion.

The pick of the evening’s five tries came five minutes from full-time as Hamilton completed a length-of-the-field attack in the left-hand corner. Ben White, playing on the left wing, caught a Treviso box-kick and, after Thacker and Worth linked up on halfway, Hamilton burst through the centre. He passed to his left and when White saw his passage to the corner covered by the defenders, he popped the ball inside for Hamilton to dive over.
There was still time for the home crowd to enjoy a chase for the tryline by Treviso wing Angelo Esposito when Tigers turned over ball near halfway, but the visitors scrambled back just in time to clear as the game came to a close.