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Fixture Type: Aviva Premiership
Match Date: Sat 22 Dec 2012
Kick Off: 15:00
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referee: Ashley Rowden
Assistant Referee: Peter Huckle
The match was a lot closer than the result suggests and had a couple of decisions gone the Exiles way, it could have been a much different story.
Quick thinking saw the visitors take the lead on 13 minutes. The Tigers were awarded the penalty for an Irish player holding the ball on the ground. Rather than putting the ball in the corner, Flood saw winger, Niall Morris in acres of space and kicked the ball straight to the winger who beat two defenders and finished well. Flood added the extras to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Leicester crossed for their second try nine minutes before the break. After two dominate scrums five metres out from the Exiles line, referee Pearce had no choice but to go under the posts for the try. Flood added a second conversion to make it 14-0.
Ian Humphreys kicked a penalty goal a minute from the break to cut the deficit to 11 points at half time.
The Exiles came flying out of the blocks in the second half and really took the contest to Leicester. For their dominance, Irish were rewarded with two successful penalty goals to make it 14-9 to Leicester with just 15 minutes left.
However, Leicester turned the ball over on half way with nine minutes left and hacked on over the Irish try line. Niall Morris would have scored had Jamie Gibson not tackled him early without the ball. The result; a second penalty try for the visitors to seal the victory.
Niall Morris dotted down a second try with the last play of the game to make the final score London Irish 9 Leicester Tigers 31. Irish head to Twickenham next Saturday to take on the reigning Aviva Premiership Champions in the Big Game 5.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 0-7, 0-14, 3-14, 6-14, 9-14, 9-17, 9-24, 9-31
Scorers: Leicester Tigers: Tries: Morris (13, 79); Penalty try (31, 73); Conversions: Flood (3); Penalties: Flood (67) London Irish: Penalties: Humphreys (38, 48, 51)
London Irish team
15. Tom Homer; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Jonathan Joseph; 12. Sailosi Tagicakibau; 11. Marland Yarde; 10. Ian Humphreys; 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Max Lahiff (rep: Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 72); 2. David Paice (rep: Scott Lawson, 72); 3. Halani Aulika (rep: Leo Halavatau, 72); 4. Bryn Evans; 5. Matt Garvey; 6. Declan Danaher (Captain); 7.Jebb Sinclair (rep: Jamie Gibson, 59); 8. Chris Hala’ufia (rep: Kieran Low, 75)
Replacements: 16. Scott Lawson; 17.Jerry Yanuyanutawa; 18.Leo Halavatau; 19. Kieran Low; 20. Jamie Gibson; 21. Guy Armitage; 22. Shane Geraghty; 23. Jack Moates
Leicester Tigers team
15. Geordan Murphy; 14. Niall Morris; 13. Manusamoa Tuilagi; 12. Anthony Allen; 11. Adam Thompstone; 10. Toby Flood; 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Marcos Ayerza (rep: Logovi'i Mulipola, 74); 2. Tom Youngs (rep: Rob Hawkins, 75); 3. Dan Cole; 4. Louis Deacon (Captain) (rep: Ed Slater, 74); 5. Graham Kitchener (rep: Geoff Parling, 57); 6. Brett Deacon; 7. Julian Salvi; 8. Jordan Crane
Replacements: 16. Rob Hawkins; 17. Logovi'i Mulipola; 18. Fraser Balmain; 19. Ed Slater; 20. Geoff Parling; 21. Sam Harrison; 22. George Ford; 23. Matt Smith
Referee: Luke Pearce
Attendance: 10, 958