London Irish 9 Leicester 31: Shaky Tigers end up with big win
22:19 GMT, 22 December 2012
Leicester possessed sufficient control in the pack and enough all-round determination to cope with the filthy conditions at the Madejski and condemn London Irish to a fifth straight Premiership defeat.
In the process, the Tigers cemented their place in the Premiership’s top four.
The visitors took the lead after 12 minutes following a piece of vision by Toby Flood.
Out of my way: Geordan Murphy of Leicester Tigers shrugs off David Paice
With the Exiles expecting a kick to
touch, the Leicester fly-half sent a precise cross-kick into the arms
of Niall Morris, who crossed to touch down for a try in the opposite
corner. Flood added the conversion.
Irish’s early chances were limited to a
hack and hope from Topsy Ojo, which trickled over the dead ball line,
before Leicester’s forward dominance earned a 31st-minute penalty try.
Ian Humphreys’ penalty narrowed the
margin on the stroke of half-time, but the writing was clear on the
Irish wall, even through the murk.
The only blot on Leicester’s copybook
was the 46th-minute sin-binning of scrum-half Ben Youngs for interfering
with an Irish tap penalty.
Resistance: Marcos Ayerza holds off Bryn Evans
In his absence, Humphreys struck twice
to narrow the margin to five points, but Young’s return saw the
visitors seal the game in emphatic style.
Flood kicked a penalty 13 minutes from
time before Jamie Gibson obstructed Morris as he raced to touch down
after Flood’s sublime break, earning both a penalty try and a
In the dying moments, Morris claimed
the touchdown which should have been his hat-trick, with Flood
converting the bonus point try to cap an emphatic day for the Tigers.
It was a ‘disappointing’ afternoon,
according to London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith, while his
counterpart, Richard Cockerill, predictably, was ‘pleased’ with the
battling bonus point.
They were differing emotions doubtless shared by all 10,958 in the sodden crowd.
Release: Toby Flood offloads under pressure from Sailosi Tagicakibau