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Leicester Tigers 39 Ospreys 16

08 Nov 2013
Leicester Tigers 39 Ospreys 16

Michael Noone crossed for the bonus-point try with the final play of the game as Leicester Tigers got back to winning ways at Welford Road with a comfortable LV= Cup victory over Ospreys.

No.8 Thomas Waldrom rumbled over in the first half before the Tigers were pegged back by the boot of Sam Davies who kicked three penalties. 

But after the break Richard Cockerill’s side dominated proceedings to tie up a comfortable victory, Owen Williams notching 19 points in all with the boot while Sam Harrison dived over on the hour mark.

Harry Wells burrowed over in the last ten minutes, the Ospreys replied when Sam Williams raced clear for a consolation score but with time ticking down Noone was at the back of a rolling maul to seal the bonus point.  

The Tigers and Ospreys are no strangers to each other, having been regular rivals in recent seasons, meeting in successive LV= Cup finals in 2007 and 2008, where they enjoyed one win each, and eight times in the Heineken Cup in the last decade.

But after a home defeat last time out in the Aviva Premiership against Harlequins, Leicester wanted a fast start in their LV= Cup opener.

And in an injury-hit side it was the brand new centre pairing of George Catchpole and Javiah Pohe, both making their senior debuts, who made the first impact on the game as Catchpole burst clear and won a penalty in the sixth minute.

Williams slotted the kick, his first points in the LV= Cup for his new club since his move from Scarlets in the summer, and the home side were up and running.

Two minutes later and the lead was doubled, Williams again on target with a penalty after Ospreys went offside in midfield.

It was the Tigers who were playing all the rugby in the opening stages and after a rampaging run from lock Sebastian de Chaves they won another penalty, Williams again on target for a 9-0 lead.

The Ospreys needed a foothold in the game and Davies duly provided it, slotting a tough penalty from the left touchline after the Tigers were caught offside.

That appeared to be fire up the Ospreys and after a late high shot from Boris Stankovich, that was lucky to not be punished with a card, Davies reduced the gap to 9-6.

It could have been 9-9 before the half hour mark but a Davies penalty came back off the upright and the Tigers were still in front.

And before the break the home side had their first try, No.8 Waldrom bursting through two tackles to dive over after Sam Harrison’s initial break had set up the field position.

Williams was off target with the conversion however and the Ospreys kept chipping away at the lead as Davies slotted his third penalty of the night to make it 14-9 at the break.

After the interval the hosts Williams played the territory well in increasingly greasy conditions before slotting his fourth penalty of the night for an eight-point lead.

The former Scarlets stand-off then horribly miscued another penalty attempt but the Tigers were very much on top and after too many penalties given away Ospreys skipper Lloyd Peers was sent to the sin bin.

Williams stretched the lead from that penalty and at 20-9 with an extra man on the field the tie was effectively sealed with half an hour still to play.

Harrison burst over from close range to touch down under the posts after the hour mark but despite having all the possession the Ospreys defended manfully in the closing quarter.

But the pressure eventually told as Wells burrowed his away over, Williams rushing his conversion attempt wide as the Tigers went chasing a bonus point.

The Ospreys thought they had the last laugh when Williams raced down the left touchline for a breakaway try after ripping the ball clear at a maul.

But the Tigers kept coming as time expired and Noone was the man who popped up at the back of a rolling maul to dive over, Williams converting

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