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London Irish 9 Leicester Tigers 31

22 Dec 2012
London Irish 9 Leicester Tigers 31

Leicester Tigers consolidated their place in the Aviva Premiership top four as a pair of penalty tries and Niall Morris scores inflicted a 31-9 defeat on London Irish.

Irish had closed the gap to five points at one stage in the second half but Leicester rallied late on to make it six consecutive defeats for the Exiles.

A Morris try following Toby Flood’s crossfield kick and a penalty try gave Leicester a comfortable 14-3 half-time cushion.

Although Ian Humphreys kicked two penalties to close the deficit, a second penalty try and Morris’ solo effort at the end ensured Leicester left the Madejski Stadium with maximum points.

London Irish had made a solid start gaining parity with Leicester in the scrum but they fell behind thanks to a piece of quick thinking from Flood.

After winning a penalty on halfway, Flood, instead of kicking to the corner, picked out Morris with a crossfield kick with a kind bounce of the ball and a good step taking the Leicester wing over the line. Flood converted.

The closest London Irish came was from an overthrown Tom Youngs lineout that Topsy Ojo hacked ahead but the ball just went out of play before the wing reached it.

Instead Irish fell further behind on 31 minutes when a series of scrums on their tryline resulted in referee Luke Pearce awarding a penalty try that Flood converted.

Humphreys did kick a penalty just before half-time but London Irish still trailed 14-3 although they soon had a man advantage after Ben Youngs was sin-binned.

They took full advantage with Humphreys kicking two further penalties to cut the gap to just five points.

That brought the crowd back to life and the home support inside the Madejski were on their feet when Sailosi Tagicakibau cut a brilliant line on halfway but could not get his offload away before being pulled down at the 22.

Jonathan Joseph also sliced his way through the visitors’ defence but again Irish could not get support to him quickly enough.

The door seemed to shut on their hopes when Flood kicked a penalty with 13 minutes to go to take Leicester a score clear and although a second penalty bounced off the crossbar they did close the game out.

Morris broke down the blindside from a ruck and after kicking ahead was tackled before he reached the ball by Jamie Gibson in the in-goal area.

Gibson was sin-binned for his efforts with Leicester awarded a second penalty try and, in the final move of the match, Morris scorched through the middle to wrap the bonus point.

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