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Tigers score another 'home run'

Sat, 21 Sep 2013 18:01
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Leicester extended their impressive home record to just one loss in their last 18 games, as they moved to the top of the Premiership standings.

Scores from Jordan Crane, Graham Kitchener, Blaine Scully, Dan Bowden and Thomas Waldrom saw them down Newcastle Falcons 31-6.

Leicester bounced back from their loss against Bath last week as former Falcon Toby Flood expertly pulled the strings behind the scrum as the Falcons fell apart in the final hour of the game.

* In other Saturday action Exeter Chiefs scored 17 unanswered points in a stirring second-half comeback to stun London Irish and claim a 29-23 victory at the Madjeski Stadium.

* Gloucester left it late but Billy Twelvetrees' last-gasp penalty finally kick-started their Premiership campaign as they tasted victory for the first time this season against Northampton Saints.

We look at all Saturday's action!

Leicester Tigers 31-6 Newcastle Falcons

Leicester extended their impressive home record to just one loss in their last 18 games as scores from Jordan Crane, Graham Kitchener, Blaine Scully, Dan Bowden and Thomas Waldrom downed Newcastle Falcons.

Leicester bounced back from their loss against Bath last week as former Falcon Toby Flood expertly pulled the strings behind the scrum as the Falcons fell apart in the final hour of the game.

Three tries inside the first 40 minutes effectively killed the game before the break as Leicester started like an express train against Dean Richards' newly-promoted Newcastle.

It took just six minutes for the hugely physical Jordan Crane to bustle his way over the Newcastle try-line, with the returning Flood missing his kick at goal.

And it got worse six minutes later as second-row Kitchener, returning from injury, this time touched down for Leicester, with Flood able to chalk up the extras for the Tigers.

After an opening day loss against Bath, Newcastle claimed the unlikely away-day scalp of Sale last time out and as the half wore on the Falcons started to settle.

Rory Clegg scored a penalty on 26 minutes to make the score 12-3 and then added a drop goal five minutes later after a sustained period of Newcastle pressure.

The depths of the two squads seemed evident pre-game as Leicester Tigers gave England trio Flood, Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi their first games of the new season.

And the gap in class materialised before the break as after a period of Newcastle pressure, a fantastic flowing move involving Tuilagi saw Blaine Scully score Tigers' third score of the game - again Flood missed the conversion as the home side went in 17-6 ahead at the break.

It took just 12 minutes of the second-half for Leicester Tigers to score their fourth try of the game and with it earn a precious bonus point - centre Dan Bowden finishing a flowing move that involved the impressive Kitchener.

Worse for Newcastle was a yellow card for prop Kieran Brookes, the referee David Rose spotting an infringement in the build-up to the Leicester score, while Flood kicked the extras.

Although the manner of their win was comprehensive - boss Richard Cockerill will be disappointed Leicester failed to build on their early dominance and run Newcastle ragged in the final quarter.

The departure of Tigers' playmaker Flood after an hour for Owen Williams; did little to ease disruption in the Leicester back-line as Newcastle grimly dug in but were forced to make an avalanche of tackles.

Williams turned down a shot at goal on 65 minutes and kicked for touch instead; giving Leicester a fantastic attacking platform and the home side took full advantage.

After a second line-out, bustling number eight Thomas Waldrom was able to burrow over after a period of sustained Leicester pressure, with Williams adding the extras to make the score 31-6 with ten minutes to play.

Richards will be pleased with the response from his Falcons' pack in the closing stages, a series of pick and drives in the Leicester 22 saw Newcastle get within a metre of the Tigers' line but unfortunately an error in midfield saw the visitors lose possession.

In the thick of the ensuing Leicester break, wing Adam Thompstone was harshly adjudged to have intentionally knocked the ball forward and was sin-binned, meaning the Tigers' finished with 14 men.

Bowden escaped a late sin bin for deliberately knocking the ball behind following a Newcastle kick through but Leicester managed to hold firm in the closing stage despite continued pressure.

The scorers:

For Leicester Tigers:
Tries:
Crane, Kitchener, Scully, Bowden, Waldrom
Cons: Flood 2, Williams

For Newcastle Falcons:
Pen:
Clegg
DG: Clegg

Yellow cards: Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons, 52), Adam Thompstone (Leicester Tigers, 76),

Teams:

Leicester Tigers: 15 Blaine Scully, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Thomas Waldrom, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Boris Stankovich.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Julian Salvi, 21 David Mele, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Niall Morris.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Adam Powell, 12 James Fitzpatrick, 11 Tom Catterick, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Warren Fury, 8 Chris York, 7 Will Welch (captain), 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Dominic Barrow, 4 Carlo del Fava, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Rob Vickers, 1 Franck Montanella.
Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 Gary Strain, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Sean Tomes, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Alex Crockett.

Referee: David Rose
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff and Peter Huckle
TMO: Keith Lewis

London Irish 23-29 Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs scored 17 unanswered points in a stirring second-half comeback to stun London Irish and claim a 29-23 victory at the Madjeski Stadium.

The Chiefs scored two tries in the last 15 minutes through Dean Mumm and Ben White and had three other efforts held up over the line as they secured a precious away win.

London Irish had looked favourites heading into the final quarter after tries from Nick Rouse and Marland Yarde either side of half-time, with Chiefs winger Tom James in the sin-bin for the second.

But John Yapp paid the price for repeated Irish infringements in their own 22 and was shown yellow by referee Andrew Small late on, and the Chiefs took full advantage of the man advantage to edge home.

The Exiles suffered an early blow when full-back Topsy Ojo pulled up in the warm-up and was replaced by Alex Lewington. Exeter fly-half Gareth Steenson had the first shot at goal when Irish were pinged for accidental crossing, and he made no mistake to make it nine from nine in the Premiership on five minutes.

From London Irish's first attack Exeter were penalised for not rolling away from the driving maul, but Ian Humphreys narrowly missed with his shot at goal.

The Exiles looked to make amends but Exeter winger Ian Whitten intercepted the ball and broke forward, winning a penalty from London Irish as the home side went offside. But Steenson missed - for the first time this season - on the angle and it remained 3-0.

Humphreys levelled things up at the second attempt after a period of Exeter dominance, with the visitors failing to roll away from the tackle giving the fly-half a penalty on the ten-metre line.

Almost immediately Irish committed the same offence and Steenson gave Exeter back the lead from directly in front of the posts midway through the first half.

And the Premiership's in-form goal-kicker was lining up another effort from 44 metres after Irish were penalised for diving in over the top, sending it straight through the uprights.

The Exiles thought they had scored the opening try but Halani 'Aulika was adjudged to have been held up over the line by Steenson and Irish had to settle for a five-metre scrum.

Several dangerous pick and drives later and the pressure eventually told, Exiles lock Nick Rouse plunging over the line from close range on 29 minutes. Humphreys converted from nearly in front of the posts to put the Exiles in front for the first time.

It could have been 13-10 shortly after but the normally reliable Humphreys was wayward off the tee with a penalty and the chance went begging.

Exeter had the first serious attack of the second half, driving deep into the Irish 22 with the home side pinged for pulling down the maul with Steenson opting to kick for the corner.

The Chiefs pushed hard for the line and appeared to have scored their first try of the game only for referee Andrew Small to adjudge the ball had been held up.

Irish were unable to withstand the pressure, however, and conceded a penalty at the scrum that Steenson dispatched with ease.

The home side broke upfield and Tom James saw the first yellow card of the afternoon for a tug off the ball on Marland Yarde to give Humphreys the chance to get Irish back in front, which he took with aplomb.

The Exiles almost took immediate advantage, Chiefs scrum-half Haydn Thomas passing the ball straight to Irish flanker Bryn Evans.

Thomas got back to make the tackle three metres from the Chiefs try line but London Irish had an overlap out wide and Lewington's pass put Yarde away to score.

Humphreys' touchline conversion gave the Exiles a 20-12 lead, with Exeter ringing the changes as they tried to stay in the game.

Exeter were in danger of buckling as the Irish pack turned the screw and another penalty at the set-piece gave Humphreys another shot at goal from 35m, which he slotted to put his side more than two converted scores ahead.

The Chiefs looked to have found a foothold in the game when centre Jason Shoemark burrowed his way over the whitewash but after a long delay the TMO decided he hadn't grounded the ball.

Referee Small brought play back for a penalty to Exeter and Steenson bisected the posts to bring up 1,000 points for the Chiefs.

Irish were then penalised for hands in the ruck and with momentum swinging back to the Chiefs, they opted for another line-out as they looked to build pressure.

The Exiles infringed in their own 22 again and replacement John Yapp was sent to the sin bin, with Exeter again going for the line-out.

A driving maul took them over the line with the try awarded to skipper Dean Mumm, Steenson adding the extras to reduce the deficit to one point with a little over ten minutes remaining.

Exeter broke down the left, Tom James made valuable ground and Dave Lewis was only held up by desperate defence from Yarde.

But the comeback was complete with six-and-a-half minutes to play as Exeter pushed for the line and Ben White spotted a gap and scampered over the line.

Steenson converted to make it 17 unanswered points for the Chiefs and despite Irish pressing late on, Exeter held out for their second Premiership win of the campaign.

The scorers:

For London Irish:
Tries:
Rouse, Yarde
Cons: Humphreys 2
Pens: Humphreys 3

For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries:
Mumm, White
Cons: Steenson 2
Pens: Steenson 5

Yellow cards: Tom James (Exeter Chiefs, 50), John Yapp (London Irish, 66)

Teams:

London Irish: 15 Topsy Ojo, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Andrew Fenby, 10 Ian Humphreys; 9 Tomás O'Leary (captain), 8 Ofisa Treviranus, 7 Bryn Evans, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Jebb Sinclair, 4 Nic Rouse, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 David Paice, 1 Matt Parr.
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens, 17 John Yapp, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Ian Nimmo, 20 Gerard Ellis, 21 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Darren Allinson

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Jason Shoemark, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Tom Johnson, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Ben White, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (captain), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 Tom Hayes, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Matt Jess.

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant Referees: Andy Watson & TBC
TMO: Sean Davey

Gloucester 26-24 Northampton Saints

Gloucester left it late but Billy Twelvetrees' last-gasp penalty finally kick-started their Premiership campaign as they tasted victory for the first time this season against Northampton Saints.

Heading to Gloucester Saints had won their previous two games and held a narrow two-point lead at half-time as Ben Foden's try and the boot of Stephen Myler edged the visitors in front, with Gloucester scoring a try themselves through Charlie Sharples.

The hosts burst into life straight after the restart as Twelvetrees went over only for Northampton to go back into the lead as Samu Manoa clawed his way across the tryline.

The Cherry & Whites retook the lead as Elliott Stooke celebrated a first Premiership start with a try, only for Jamie Elliott to go over with just a minute left on the clock, Myler's conversion giving the visitors a one-point lead.

However Northampton couldn't hold on and with time up Gloucester earned a penalty at the scrum and with Freddie Burns having already gone off Twelvetrees held his nerve as the Cherry & Whites avoided their worst ever start to an Premiership campaign.

The Saints arrived at Kingsholm buoyed by wins over Exeter Chiefs and Harlequins and made a fast start to this game as full-back Foden scored his first try of the season after just five minutes.

Luther Burrell started the move as he broke through and although Gloucester got men behind the ball Myler found Foden with a delightful flicked pass and the England man side-stepped a challenge to score.

Myler added the extras as Saints burst into an early 7-0 lead but this woke the home side up and after some constant pressure Burns kicked a penalty to get his side on the scoreboard.

The Gloucester fly-half then sent another three-pointer wide but he almost made up for it as his grubber kick looked to have sent Henry Trinder over, only for the centre to not gobble the ball up as he dived over the tryline.

Northampton's Sam Dickinson was sent to the bin on 20 minutes for tackling James Simpson-Daniel in the air but Gloucester couldn't quite capitalise on their man advantage, Sione Kalamafoni's poor pass missing the opportunity to send Simpson-Daniel over in the corner.

In fact the only score while Dickinson was in the bin came from the visitors as Myler stretched Northampton's lead with a penalty after Twelvetrees was pinged for not releasing.

However with half-time looming Gloucester got themselves back into the game as a flowing move from left to right saw Cook put Simpson-Daniel in at the corner, Burns missing the conversion for the home side to trail 10-8 at the break.

And Gloucester burst into life after the restart as just two minutes in a quick penalty by Kiwi scrum-half Jimmy Cowan saw Twelvetrees score, Burns adding the extras as the hosts led for the first time in the game.

Bit it didn't last long as Manoa scored three minutes later as he found himself at the bottom of a Northampton ruck, Myler converting.

Gloucester had Sharples to thank for keeping them in the game on 50 minutes as he tackled George North into touch as the Welshman looked like grabbing a try.

Burns then kicked Gloucester back into the lead on 55 minutes with a penalty, but was found wanting with his next two attempts at the posts as he send another three-pointer and a drop goal wide.

But it didn't look like it would matter as lock Stooke bundled over for a first Premiership try, owing much to the nimble feet of Simpson-Daniel.

However it looked like being in vain as with just a minute left North side stepped a number of challenge on the left wing before Elliott was sent clear to touch down under the posts, Myler's conversion giving Saints a one-point lead.

But there was more excitement to come as with 83 minutes on the clock Northampton were penalised at a scrum and centre Twelvetrees held his nerve to send the kick sailing through the uprights for Gloucester's first win of the season.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries:
Sharples, Twelvetrees, Stooke
Con: Burns
Pens: Burns 2, Twelvetrees

For Northampton Saints:
Tries:
Foden, Manoa, Elliott
Cons: Myler 3
Pen: Myler

Yellow card: Sam Dickinson (Northampton Saints, 20)

Teams:

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Matt Kvesic, 5 Elliott Stooke, 4 Tom Savage (captain), 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Will James, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Mike Tindall, 23 Jonny May.

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 James Wilson, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 George Pisi, 23 Ken Pisi.

Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton and Ashley Rowden
TMO: Graham Hughes

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