Match Report 

23 Nov 2013: London Irish v Leicester Tigers

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Match Report: 23 Nov 2013 London Irish v Leicester Tigers

Tigers's Badge

Leicester Tigers

20

London Irish's Badge

London Irish

11

Fixture Type: Aviva Premiership

Match Date: Sat 23 Nov 2013

Kick Off: 15:00

Venue: Welford Road

Referee: Martin Fox

TV Match Official: Trevor Fisher

Assistant Referee: Peter Huckle

Assistant Referee: Nigel Carrick

London Irish put in a valiant performance against Leicester Tigers this afternoon and, for large parts of the contest, were much the better side, however they were unable to claim what would have been a well deserved win.

Leicester were awarded a penalty try in either half on their way to a 20-11 victory in front of over 23,000 supporters in the East Midlands.

Fergus Mulchrone crossed two minutes before the end to leave Irish a chance at claiming a bonus point but a Myles Dorrian conversion and late Shane Geraghty drop goal attempt draft narrowly wide.

Leicester started the stronger and after a period of sustained pressure, which included two penalty kicks to the corner, they were awarded a scrum five metres out from the Exiles line. After the first one was re-set, the second saw the Leicester front five put in an enormous drive from which they were awarded a penalty try. Referee, Martin Fox had no hesitation in going under the sticks after the Tigers scrum had been the more dominant in the opening exchanges.

The remaining half an hour of the first half belonged to Brian Smith's side. Shane Geragthy had a superb game, pulling the strings and igniting his back line. Yade, Ojo, O'Connor, Mulchrone and Sheridan all frequently broke through the Leicester defence to put irish in promising positions. Unfortunately on the occasions Irish had chances they were not able to cross the whitewash.

James O'Connor, who had the kicking duties for the afternoon, kicked two penalties in the space of 10 minutes to put irish back in the game. A lack of composure from a resulting re-start after he had put his side within a point led to an opportunity for Toby Flood to edge Leicester four points ahead which he duly did.

David Paice left the field just before half time with a suspected broken arm. At half time the Tigers led 10-6.

The second half was a far different affair. leicester had more possession and utilised their powerful scrum to full effect.

Toby Flood kicked his second penalty from 40 metres to give Leicester the first points of the second half after Irish ill discipline at the breakdown, something that would ultimately deny irish a bonus point.

With 26 minutes to go Leicester were awarded a scrum five metres from the Irish line. What resulted was 10 minutes of penalties, re-sets and free kicks that saw firstly John Yapp sin binned and then Leicester awarded a second penalty try to put the game beyond doubt.

Brian Smith's charges showed plenty of mettle in the final 10 minutes to leave the leicester faithful praying for the final whistle. The Irish try was typical of them and finished with aplomb.

Scott Hamilton kicked the ball out and Topsy Ojo took the quick throw in to Shane Geraghty. The fly half weighed up his options before deciding to go back to Ojo who produced a typical scything run through the heart of the home sides defence. he looked up and passed the ball to the supporting Fergus Mulchrone whose arching run took him away from the Tigers defence and allowed him to score. Myles Dorrian stepped up for the conversion that came back off the post.

With time up Irish had one last chance to claim the bonus point but Geraghty's drop goal attempt drifted just wide.

Brian Smith praised his side performance in the post match press conference and urged supporters to get behind the team next Saturday when London Irish host Wasps at Madejski Stadium.

Score sequence (London Irish first): 0-7, 3-7, 6-7, 6-10, 6-13, 6-20, 11-20,

Scorers: Leicester: Tries: Penalty (9, 64); Conversions: Flood (2), Penalties: Flood (33, 48); London Irish: Penalties: O'Connor (22, 31); Tries: Mulchrone (78)

Leicester tigers

15. Scott Hamilton; 14. Niall morris; 13. Matt Smith (rep: Adam Thompstone, 19); 12. Dan Bowden; 11. Miles Benjamin; 10. Toby Flood (Captain); 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Boris Stankovich (Rep: Tom Bristow, 64) ; 2. Tom Youngs (rep: Ndeil Briggs, 73); 3. Fraser Balmain (rep: Dan Cole, 40); 4. Louis Deacon (rep: Sebastian de Chaves, 66); 5. Graham Kitchener; 6. Jamie Gibson; 7. Julian Salvi; 8. Jordan Crane (rep: Thomas Waldrom, 68)

Replacements: 16. Neil briggs; 17. Tom Bristow; 18. Dan Cole; 19. Sebastian de Chaves; 20. Thomas Waldrom; 21. David Mele; 22. Owen Williams; 23. Adam Thompstone

London Irish

15. James O'Connor (Rep: Myles Dorrian, 72); 14. Topsy Ojo (rep: Matt Parr, 61); 13. Fergus Mulchrone; 12. Eamonn Sheridan; 11. Marland Yarde (rep: Guy Armitage, 55); 10. Shane Geraghty; 9. Tomas O'Leary (rep: Darren Allinson, 50); 1. John Yapp; 2. David Paice (rep: Jimmy Stecvens, 38); 3. Leo Halavatau (rep: Jamie Hagan, 54); 4. George Skivington (Captain); 5. Ian Gough (rep: Nic Rouse, 64); 6. Jebb Sinclair; 7. Blair Cowan; 8. Chris Hala'ufia (Rep: Danny Kenny, 40)

Replacements: 16. Jimmy Stevens; 17. Matt Parr; 18. Jamie Hagan; 19. Nic Rouse; 20. Danny Kenny; 21. Guy Armitage; 22. Myles Dorrian; 23. Darren Allinson

Referee: Martin Fox

Attendance: 23, 274