Leicester Tigers back in top four after Falcons win

Leicester Tigers moved back into the Aviva Premiership top four when they beat Newcastle Falcons 18-41 at Kingston Park on Sunday.

Leicester Tigers moved back in to the play-off places in the Premiership with
a handsome victory over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park, this afternoon.
Two tries from man of the match Vereniki Goneva helped Tigers on their way,
as they responded well to a strong Newcastle start.

There was a try a piece for either side in the first-half, as the Tigers went
in narrowly ahead at the break with the score at 13-14. Leicester stepped it
up in the second-half and raced clear with three more tries to give them a much
needed bonus point victory.

The Falcons started the brighter of the two sides, and were quick to put Leicester
on the back foot. Lee Smith, playing his first game since converting from league,
put the hosts inside with a long distance penalty early on.

Owen Williams briefly levelled the game at 3-3, but moments later Newcastle
capitalised on their early dominance with a try from Noah Cato. Leicester’s
defensive line looked ragged and Phil Godman converted the score to make it
10-3.

That seemed to give Tigers the wake-up call they needed and they responded
with another Williams penalty moments later. England scrum-half, Ben Youngs,
then made an excellent break only for Blaine Scally to drop a low pass when
he could have been clean through.

Leicester continued to threaten and were unfortunate not to score when Marcos
Ayerza failed to find a teammate when inside Newcastle’s five metre line. Williams
and Godman then exchanged penalties to leave the score at 13-9.

It looked as if that is the how the scores would stay going in to half-time,
that was before Goneva produced a moment of individual brilliance. He punted
the ball forward on the touchline and chased the ball down to touch down in
the corner to Leave Leicester 13-14 ahead at the interval.

Two more penalties from Williams stretched Tigers lead to 13-20 shortly after
half-time. Ten minutes later, though, Newcastle were given encouragement when
Youngs was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on. From the resulting
penalty Scott Lawson made a fantastic break to stretch over in the corner to
reduce the Falcons arrears to 18-20.

Despite being down to 14 men, Leicester should have scored just moments later.
With three men over, Pablo Matera played a sloppy forward pass and the opportunity
was gone. Tigers were to make up for it two minutes later, though, as the impressive
Goneva broke free after a strong driving maul to go over for his second try
of the afternoon to make it 18-27.

Five minutes later, replacement, Thomas Waldrom, ran through the gap in the
Newcastle backline to give Leicester huge breathing space at 18-34. The returning
Manu Tuilagi was then shown a yellow card for another deliberate knock-on.

Despite that, Leicester remained in control and Matera went over for his first
try in a Tigers shirt to give them a bonus point victory. Remarkably another
yellow card was given to Toby Flood just before the end, for another deliberate
knock-on. But the gloss couldn’t be taken off what ended as a comfortable 18-41
victory for the champions.

Final Score Newcastle Falcons 18 (13) Leicester Tigers 41 (14)

Scorers

Newcastle Falcons
Tries – Cato, Lawson
Pen -Smith, Godman
Con – Godman
Drop –

Leicester Tigers
Tries – Goneva (2), Waldrom, Matera
Pen – Williams (5)
Con – Williams (2) Flood
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee:

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