Toomua stars as Tigers down Quins
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Matt Toomua scored 23 points as Leicester Tigers kept alive their hopes of a 14th consecutive appearance in the semi-finals with a 33-18 win over Harlequins.
Australian international Toomua’s first-half accuracy with the boot put the Tigers ahead at the break 9-8 before he inspired the hosts in the second-half.
He scored a try of his own and the made another for Graham Kitchener as the Tigers got their season back on track with three second-half tries.
Harlequins took advantage of a knock-on inside five minutes and Aaron Morris broke clear before giving a perfectly timed pass to Alofa Alofa to score the opening try.
Toomua replied with two penalties to give the home side the lead for the first time but flyhalf Marcus Smith put Harlequins back in front 8-6 just after the half-hour.
But Smith would receive a yellow card for being offside on his own line and from the resulting penalty Toomua put the home side 9-8 ahead at the break.
Luke Wallace found space out wide to force his way over the line to help Harlequins regain the lead but it didn’t last long.
Tigers piled on the pressure deep and it was Toomua that made the break, spotting a gap in the centre of the park to go over, before adding the conversion.
And the home side had a second try minutes later as Toomua sent up a crossfield kick that bounced nicely for Sione Kalamafoni to race onto.
Second row Kitchener was the beneficiary as he rumbled over from the following phase to put Leicester ahead 23-13.
Harlequins fought back with a catch and drive for the line as Charlie Matthews ensured a tight finish, cutting the deficit to five points.
Toomua’s penalty with four minutes remaining sealed the win and there was still time for Adam Thompstone to score an intercept try from inside the Harlequins’ 22.
Flyhalf Toomua added the conversion with the final kick of the game to move Tigers up to seventh in the league.
For Leicester Tigers:
Tries:Toomua, Kitchener, Thompstone
Cons: Toomua 3
Pens: Toomua 4
Tries: Alofa, Wallace, Matthews
Yellow Card: Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 36)
Leicester Tigers: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Jonah Holmes, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Greg Bateman.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Harry Simmons, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Mathew Tait
Harlequins: 15 Aaron Morris, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Jonno Kitto, 8 James Chisholm, 7 Dave Ward (captain), 6 Luke Wallace, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 Stan South, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Lewis Boyce.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Piperm 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Sam Twomey, 20 Archie White, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 James Lang, 22 Gabriel Ibitoye
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Luke Pearce & Hamish Smales.
TMO: David Grashoff.