Leicester back in top four with London Irish win

Cieran Hearn is tackled by Adam Thompstone

Leicester Tigers moved back into the top four in the Aviva Premiership standings by beating London Irish 47-20 with a bonus point at Welford Road.

Leicester had dropped to sixth place but the bonus point victory puts them back in the play off places.

The Tigers dominated the first half and had the bonus point secured by the interval as Adam Thompstone, Harry Thacker, Lachlan McCaffrey and Jono Kitto all went over for a 26-3 lead.

Irish didn’t fare much better in the second period and they conceded three more tries through Tom Croft, Jean de Villiers and Thompstone.

David Paice, Joe Trayfoot and Andrew Fenby did manage to get across the whitewash for the Exiles, but they were barely consolation scores as they remained rooted to the foot of the table.

Tom Coventry’s men have struggled on their travels and the first half at Welford Road suggested that those issues have not abated.

They were outplayed in the early exchanges and the hosts were 12-3 in front after just 16 minutes. The first score came through former player Adam Thompstone, who latched onto Mathew Tait’s pass to touch down, before Theo Brophy-Clews briefly reduced the arrears from the tee.

However, Richard Cockerill’s side were soon nine points in front as Thacker scampered over after good work from the excellent Freddie Burns.

Irish had their moments with Fenby in particular looking lively, but the basement-dwellers were being outclassed.

McCaffrey was the next to cross the whitewash when he took a neat line to charge over and provide the Tigers with a comfortable buffer.

Leicester were duly finding their fluency against the beleaguered Exiles after weeks of struggle and the hosts had the try bonus point sealed by half-time. Burns was once again the instigator, finding a gap in the visitors’ rearguard, before the pivot passed to Mike Fitzgerald and the lock did exceptionally well to off-load to Kitto, who finished the move off.

The early stages of the second half continued in the same vein with the home side controlling possession and territory. Croft rewarded that dominance as excellent hands sent the back-rower across the line before Paice responded for Irish with a close range effort.

Despite that try, the Exiles were still 25 points in arrears and Leicester weren’t about to let the embarrassment subside.

Quick-fire tries from de Villiers and Thompstone completed yet another poor afternoon for Coventry’s men, although Trayfoot and Fenby did go over for consolation scores.

Final Score Leicester Tigers 47 (26) London Irish 20 (3)

Scorers

Leicester Tigers
Tries – Thompstone (2), Thacker, McCaffrey, Kitto, Croft, de Villiers
Pen –
Con – Burns (5), Bell
Drop –

London Irish
Tries – Paice, Trayfoot, Fenby
Pen – Brophy-Clews
Con – Geraghty
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee : Ian Tempest (14th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan & Andy Watson.
TMO: David Sainsbury.

Teams

Leicester Tigers

15 Mathew Tait , 14 Adam Thompstone , 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi , 12 Jean de Villiers , 11 Telusa Veainu , 10 Freddie Burns , 9 Jono Kitto , 1 Marcos Ayerza , 2 Harry Thacker , 3 Fraser Balmain , 4 Mike Fitzgerald , 5 Dom Barrow , 6 Tom Croft , 7 Lachlan McCaffrey , 8 Ed Slater (c)

Replacements : 16 Michael van Vuuren , 17 Riccardo Brugnara , 18 Logovi’i Mulipola , 19 Mike Williams , 20 Laurence Pearce , 21 Sam Harrison , 22 Tommy Bell , 23 Vereniki Goneva

London Irish

15 Sean Maitland, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Fergus Mulchrone, 11 Andrew Fenby, 10 Theo Brophy Clews, 9 Scott Steele, 1 Tom Smallbone, 2 David Paice, 3 Halani Aulika, 4 Will Lloyd, 5 Elliott Stooke, 6 Luke Narraway (Captain), 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Ofisa Treviranus

Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Tom Court, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Jerry Sexton, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Johnny Williams

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