Youngs keeps Tigers' play-off hopes alive

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 21:20
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PREMIERSHIP SATURDAY WRAP: Ben Youngs inspired Leicester Tigers to a dominant bonus-point 30-3 victory over Newcastle Falcons at Welford Road.

The win further boost their chances of a top-four finish in the Premiership Rugby.

*In other Saturday action, Worcester Warriors pulled off a surprise 25-19 victory at Sixways to put a major dent in Bath Rugby’s Premiership Rugby play-offs hopes.

*While, Billy Twelvetrees’ late try and a wonderful display by Tom Marshall settled a see-saw game as Gloucester Rugby recorded a 39-30 win against Sale Sharks.

We look at Saturday's matches!

Worcester Warriors 25-19 Bath Rugby

Bath named an unchanged team from the side that beat the Tigers at Twickenham in The Clash and had the better of the first half, looking the more dangerous with the ball in hand.

Meanwhile, Worcester’s creativity – and better share of territory – was too often negated by their sloppy handling errors.

The hosts started the better before Bath finally settled, with fullback Anthony Watson denied in the frantic opening exchanges.

Bath flyhalf George Ford broke the deadlock with an early penalty that was soon cancelled out by Ryan Mills.

However, just before the half-time whistle, Bath took control, a missed tackle in midfield laying the foundation for Matt Banahan to crash over for a record 51st career try in blue and white.

But with the whistle hovering at referee Luke Pearce’s lips, Worcester reduced the arrears and swung the momentum back towards them – which they capitalised on after the restart.

Flyhalf Mills was again the architect, sizing up a long-range penalty from ten metres inside his own half and then threading the posts with a powerful strike.

Ford stretched Bath’s lead with his second penalty after the restart but then Worcester made their presence felt, their composure finally holding at the decisive moments.

The scorers:

For Worcester:
Tries
: Adams, Olivier, Spencer
Cons: Mills 2
Pens: Mills 2

For Bath:
Try
: Banahan
Con: Ford
Pens: Ford 4

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Marco Mama, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Chris Vui, 5 Will Spencer, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan (captain), 3 Biyi Alo, 2 Joe Taufete’e, 1 Ryan Bower
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Dewald Potgieter, 20 Alafoti Faosiliva, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Wynand Olivier

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Elliott Stooke, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 Kane Palma-Newport, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Nathan Catt
Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Beno Obano, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 David Denton, 20 Zach Mercer, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Tom Homer

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald, Ross Campbell,
TMO: Geoff Warren

Leicester Tigers 30-3 Newcastle Falcons

After a cagey opening period, Tigers ran in four tries against a Newcastle side who were made to pay for the sin-binning of David Wilson minutes into the second half.

The home side seized the initiative and opened up daylight between the sides after Ellis Genge’s try gave them a 11-3 half-time lead.

Second half efforts from Youngs, Telusa Veainu and a further Genge score ensured the hosts came away from Welford Road victorious.

Tigers had the better of the opening exchanges, and Freddie Burns kicked them into the lead early on with a simple penalty in front of the posts after Newcastle were penalised at the ruck.

Falcons levelled matters midway through the first period, Joel Hodgson slotting over after a Tigers offside.

And the visitors could have taken the lead, were it not for Youngs’ tremendous try-saving tackle on Vereniki Goneva after the Fijian broke down the right, and the home side mounted a stout defence of their line to push the Falcons back.

This resistance was rewarded, with Burns kicking another simple penalty to re-establish the Tigers’ advantage, before Genge dotted down in added time, Burns missing the conversion.

Wilson was shown the yellow card minutes into the second period after the referee deemed he repeatedly collapsed the scrum.

And good work by Youngs moments later allowed Veainu to cross in the right corner to extend the home side’s advantage. Burns added the extra points with an impressive conversion from out wide.

Falcons were dealt a hammer blow while still down to 14 men, when Genge dotted down for the second time in the afternoon following fine work from both Ben and Tom Youngs, and Dan Cole. Burns added the extras to make it 25-3.

It seemed a long way back for a spirited Falcons side, who applied heavy pressure on the Leicester backline as they looked for a route back into the contest.

However, the Tigers’ defence held firm, and Ben Youngs capped a fine individual display with the try of the game nine minutes from time.

Quick-thinking from Youngs saw the scrum-half take a penalty near halfway and dashed across the line after a tremendous turn of pace.

Leicester’s win was extra significant after Worcester Warriors upset the apple cart to defeat Bath Rugby at Sixways Stadium.

Leicester and Bath were level at the start of play, but the Tigers now have a four-point lead over their counterparts.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries
: Genge 2, Veainu, B Youngs
Cons: Burns 2
Pens: Burns 2

For Newcastle:
Pen:
Hodgson

Yellow Card: Wilson (Newcastle, 45)

Leicester Tigers:15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Jack Roberts, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs (captain), 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Greg Bateman, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Mike Fitzgerald, 20 Harry Thacker, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Mathew Tait

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Marcus Watson, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Michael Young, 8 Nili Latu, 7 Will Welch (captain), 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Evan Olmstead, 4 Calum Green, 3 David Wilson, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Will Witty, 20 Callum Chick, 21 Sam Egerton, 22 Craig Willis, 23 Zach Kibirige

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Steve Lee, Tim Wigglesworth
TMO: David Sainsbury

Gloucester Rugby 39-30 Sale Sharks

Marshall had got Gloucester off to a storming start but their advantage was soon eradicated by Sam James and Mike Phillips, only for Richard Hibbard and the kicking of Billy Burns to make sure Kingsholm spent the half-time break happy.

Another quickfire double for Sharks – through Kieran Longbottom and Byron McGuigan – stunned the Cherry & Whites, but they kept their composure to rescue the game.

Henry Trinder scored before Marshall’s bonus-point try ten minutes before time, and the fullback then turned provider for Twelvetrees to finish the game off.

Marshall had got Gloucester off to a storming start but their advantage was soon eradicated by Sam James and Mike Phillips, only for Richard Hibbard and the kicking of Billy Burns to make sure Kingsholm spent the half-time break happy.

Another quickfire double for Sharks – through Kieran Longbottom and Byron McGuigan – stunned the Cherry & Whites, but they kept their composure to rescue the game.

Henry Trinder scored before Marshall’s bonus-point try ten minutes before time, and the full-back then turned provider for Twelvetrees to finish the game off.

Teenager Ben Curry tracked down a grubber and finished off his good work by offloading to Phillips, who needed no second invitation.

AJ MacGinty made one conversion of two but Burns was off target with a relatively simple penalty attempt to keep Sale five points in front at the end of the first quarter.

To their credit, Gloucester re-established themselves, with Marshall, Charlie Sharples and Jeremy Thrush all helping to put Sale on the backfoot.

And after sustained pressure in the corner, Hibbard finally got Gloucester over at the back fo a driving maul. Burns’ missed conversion kept the score level at 12-12.

But the flyhalf had the last word of the first half as his penalty, after Sale were pinged on the floor, nudged Gloucester ahead.

Sale responded immediately when the teams re-emerged as MacGinty sniped through a gap and prop Longbottom completed his fly-half’s good work.

Sale’s tries again came in twos, as McGuigan grabbed Sale’s bonus-point try after Josh Beaumont had made hay down the wing. By the 48th minute, Sale were nine points ahead.

The impressive Curry was proving a menace at the breakdown as Gloucester struggled to recover from another frenetic period of Sale play.

But it was game on at the end of the third quarter – Trinder getting the all-important breakthrough after a good Gloucester spell, and Burns converted to chop down the deficit to two points.

Sale were winning the battle at the breakdown, however, and another infringement saw MacGinty give them three points more breathing space from the tee.

The tide turned in Gloucester’s favour when Ross Harrison was sin-binned for stopping replacement scrumhalf Ben Vellacott taking a quick tap penalty.

And after Gloucester kicked to the corner, the TMO ruled out a Ben Morgan try, only for Marshall to complete the job and his double moments later – Burns nudged Gloucester ahead with the extras.

The hosts were finally out of sight in the 75th minute and unsurprisingly Marshall was at the move’s heart, his break allowing Vellacott to find Twelvetrees and wrap up the win.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries:
Marshall 2, Hibbard, Trinder, Twelvetrees
Cons: Burns 4
Pens: Burns 2

For Sale:
Tries: 
James, Phillips, Longbottom, McGuigan
Cons: MacGinty 2
Pens: MacGinty 2

Yellow Card: Harrison (Sale Sharks, 64)

Gloucester: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Cullum Braley, 8 Freddie Clarke, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Jeremy Thrush (captain), 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Josh Hohneck.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22. Billy Twelvetrees, 23 David Halaifonua

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Byron McGuigan, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Josh Beaumont (captain), 7 Ben Curry, 6 Cameron Neild, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Tom Curry, 17 James Flynn, 18 Kieran Longbottom, 19 George Nott, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 James Mitchell, 22 Sam Bedlow, 23 Josh Charnley

Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant referees: Adam Leal, Peter Allan
TMO: Rowan Kitt

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Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 22 17 1 4 84
Exeter Chiefs 22 15 3 4 84
Saracens 22 16 1 5 77
Leicester Tigers 22 14 0 8 66
Bath 22 12 0 10 59
Harlequins 22 11 0 11 52
Northampton Saints 22 10 0 12 52
Newcastle Falcons 22 10 0 12 49
Gloucester 22 7 2 13 46
Sale Sharks 22 7 1 14 40
Worcester Warriors 22 5 2 15 33
Bristol 22 3 0 19 20