Harlequins hold on to egde Leicester Tigers

Marland Yarde tries to break through Leicester's defence

A late try from winger Marlande Yarde helped Harlequins to edge Leicester Tigers 25-19 at the Twickenham Stoop in the Aviva Premiership.

The match was a tight affair throughout as Ben Botica had kicked Harlequins into an 18-16 lead as the match drew to a close.

Yarde slipped off a tackle and raced away to score Harlequins first and only try in the closing minutes. Leicester’s Freddie Burns kicked a penalty to bring the Tigers back to witihin 7 points.

As the clock ticked over the 80 minute mark Leicester were awarded a penalty and they ran the ball but Harlequins defended through almost 20 phases before the Tigers knocked on.

Former Springbok Jean de Villiers was called into the starting line up shortly before the match and played for 75 minutes while Manu Tuilagi played the full match which will be a boost for England head coach Eddie Jones who was watching in the stands.

Jones is hoping to involve Tuilagi in England’s Six Nations showdown with Wales on March 12 and will have been encouraged by the impact he made at Twickenham Stoop.

It took the 24-year-old’s power to help Leicester score their only try, rampaging forward to place Quins on the retreat until Harry Thacker arrived to touch down.

His evening was not without setback, however, after he lost the ball in the tackle in 75th minute to help Marland Yarde run in a try that sealed Quins’ victory.

Jones was sat among supporters in the stands wearing his customary black beanie hat and will discuss the player’s fitness with his club director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

He plans to select Tuilagi at inside centre, claiming he can emulate All Blacks great Ma’a Nonu, and this encounter was only the fifth time he has started in that position.

Leicester endured a torrid evening in the scrum, conceding four penalties, and also saw debutant Jean de Villiers leave the pitch late on with what appeared to be an injury to his nose.

The defeat sees them replaced by Quins in third place in the Premiership table, but a late Freddie Burns penalty at least rescued a losing bonus point.

Quins lost fly-half Nick Evans to a broken leg earlier this week, but Ben Botica proved an able deputy with 20 points.

The result moves Harlequins above Leicester and into third place in the overall Premiership standings.

Final Score Harlequins 25 (9) Leicester Tigers 19 (9)


Tries – Yarde
Pen – Botica (6)
Con – Botica
Drop –

Leicester Tigers
Tries – Thacker
Pen – Bryant (3)
Con – Burns
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee :J P Doyle (106th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank & Wayne Falla.
TMO: Sean Davey.



15. Ross Chisholm , 14. Marland Yarde , 13. Winston Stanley , 12. Harry Sloan , 11. Tim Visser , 10. Ben Botica , 9. Tito Tebaldi, 8. Nick Easter, 7. Luke Wallace , 6. Mat Luamanu , 5. Charlie Matthews , 4. James Horwill (C), 3. Adam Jones, 2. Dave Ward, 1. Mark Lambert

Replacments : 16. Joe Gray , 17. Owen Evans , 18. Kyle Sinckler , 19. George Merrick , 20. James Chisholm , 21. Sam Egerton , 22. Tim Swiel , 23. Matt Hopper

Leicester Tigers

15 Mathew Tait , 14 Peter Betham , 13 Jean de Villiers , 12 Manu Tuilagi , 11 Telusa Veainu , 10 Oli Bryant , 9 Sam Harrison , 1 Marcos Ayerza , 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini , 3 Fraser Balmain , 4 Ed Slater (c) , 5 Mike Fitzgerald , 6 Tom Croft , 7 Brendon O’Connor , 8 Laurence Pearce

Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker , 17 Riccardo Brugnara , 18 Logovi’i Mulipola , 19 Graham Kitchener , 20 Jordan Crane , 21 Jono Kitto , 22 Freddie Burns , 23 Matt Smith

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