Leicester Tigers leave it late against Bath

Peter Betham breaks away for Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers moved back into the top four of the Aviva Premiership by beating West country side Bath 21-11 at Welford Road in very wet conditions.

Leicester outscored Bath by two tries to one in the match but the Tigers scored their second seven minutes from time after Ford had edged them ahead to 14-11 in the final quarter.

The Tigers had led 11-5 at half time but allowed Bath to come back at them in the second half and levelled at 11-all.

Bath earned a losing bonus point from the match for finishing within 7 points and remain in 8th place while Leicester move up from 5th place to third overall.

Mike Ford’s men opened the scoring through Anthony Watson’s superb try but the hosts came back into the encounter and led 11-5 at the break.

Tommy Bell kicked two penalties and Telusa Veainu intercepted a stray pass to help the Tigers build a six-point buffer.

George Ford levelled matters in the second period via a pair of three-pointers, but Dan Cole’s try and a further Bell effort off the tee secured the win for the home side.

Leicester have struggled for fluency over the past couple of years but, with the addition of former New Zealand international Aaron Mauger to the coaching staff, there have been signs of improvement.

However, they found themselves 5-0 down early on against last season’s Premiership finalists.

Horacio Agulla, Niko Matawalu and Matt Banahan all combined to send England international Watson scampering across the whitewash for an early advantage.

Leicester’s fly-half responded for the hosts from the tee before Nick Auterac had his pass intercepted by Veainu and the Tongan representative raced away down the left-hand side.

It was a hammer blow for the visitors who were on the front foot and Bell’s second penalty made it an even more frustrating first period.

The West Country outfit improved after the interval and successive Ford three-pointers levelled proceedings.

Ed Slater, the Tigers’ lock, then received a yellow card as a dominant Bath maul powered towards their line, but they couldn’t take advantage.

Instead, Richard Cockerill’s men held out and Bell restored Leicester’s lead from the tee.

With eight minutes remaining new signing on his Bath debut David Denton was sin-binned for the away team, and Cole went over soon after to seal the win.

Leicester Tigers’  Mike Williams was named Aviva Premiership man of the match.

Final Score Leicester Tigers 21 (11) Bath 11 (5)


Leicester Tigers
Tries – Veainu, Cole
Pen – Bell (3)
Con – Bell
Drop –

Tries – Watson
Pen – Ford (2)
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee :JP Doyle (98th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Wayne Falla & Paul
TMO: David Grashoff.


Leicester Tigers

15 Mathew Tait (c) , 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham , 12 Matt Smith, 11 Telusa Veainu , 10 Tommy Bell, 9 Ben Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza , 2 Tom Youngs, 3 Dan Cole , 4 Ed Slater, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 6 Mike Williams, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey

Replacements : 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Matias Aguero , 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Tom Croft , 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Seremaia Bai , 23 George Catchpole


15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 George Ford, 9 Niko Matawalu, 1 Nick Auterac, 2 Ross Batty, 3 Henry Thomas, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 5 Tom Ellis, 6 Matt Garvey, 7 Francois Louw, 8 Leroy Houston

Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 David Denton, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Tom Homer

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