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Leicester Tigers had to come from behind but secured a 29-13 Anglo Welsh LV Cup victory over Sale Sharks at Welford Road on Sunday.
Leicester’s 16 point victory keeps them unbeaten in the Anglo Welsh cup and sees them on top of Pool Three.
Tigers produced an astonishing second-half fightback to come from 13-3 behind at half-time to score 26 unanswered points, including four tries, after the interval.
It was a day of good news as England prop Dan Cole made a successful return from surgery on a neck injury to take the field in the second half.
The visitors claimed the only try of the first half, with lock Michael Paterson touching down from a catch-and-drive, while fly-half Nick McLeod kicked two penalties and the conversion for a 13-3 advantage.
But Tigers took control in the second period with two quickfire tries from Miles Benjamin, combined with scores from the industrious Harry Thacker and Matt Smith, gaining a bonus point in front of a 17,000-strong crowd.
Final Score Leicester Tigers 29 (3) Sale Sharks 13 (13)
Tries – Thacker, Smith, Benjamin (2)
Pen – Burns
Con – Burns (3)
Tries – Paterson
Pen – MacLeod (2)
Con – MacLeod
Referee: Darren Gamage (England)
Assistant referees: Ross Campbell (England), Gordon Goodliffe (England)
Television match official: David Grashoff (England)
Timekeeper: Mike Hamlin (England)
Assessor: Steve Leyshon (England)
15 Tommy Bell, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Oli Bryant, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Sam Harrison (c), 8 Ed Milne, 7 Charlie Beckett, 6 Harry Wells, 5 Sebastian De Chaves, 4 Joe Maksymiw, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Tom Bristow.
Replacements: 16 Jake Farnworth, 17 Riccardo Brugnara, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Aniseko Sio, 20 Stone Priestley-Nangle, 21 David Mele, 22 Rhys Williams, 23 Charlie Thacker.
15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Andy Forsyth, 12 Sam James, 11 Phil MacKenzie, 10 Nick McLeod, 9 Nathan Fowles, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (capt), 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Andrei Ostrikov, 3 Ross Harrison, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Darren Fearn, 18 James Flynn, 19 Magnus Lund, 20 Andy Hughes, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Charlie Ingall.
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