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Match Report: Leicester Tigers 25 Harlequins 6

20 Nov 2016
Match Report: Leicester Tigers 25 Harlequins 6

Freddie Burns produced a virtuoso display to lead Leicester Tigers back into the top four of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with a 25-6 win over Harlequins.

The fly-half scored 10 points, also creating the opening try for Owen Williams, as Tigers moved back ahead of Exeter Chiefs.

The home side edged the first half, leading 9-6 but after the break they really started to take control, as Burns added two penalties, a drop goal and as well as putting Williams over for the try.

Harlequins had battled hard in the first half, but struggled to create chances in the second and never really threatened a win on the road.

It was a tight start with both teams showing intent to move the ball, but Harlequins broke the deadlock through a Nick Evans penalty.

Leicester responded in kind though, Freddie Burns’ effort from the right just sneaking inside the post to level the scores.

And when Charlie Matthews stuck a boot into a ruck after quick hands had put Leicester in a great position, Burns knocked over his second penalty of the afternoon.

They weren’t in front for long though, with Evans slotting his second soon after as both teams struggled to create clear try-scoring opportunities in the first quarter of the game.

The visitors were starting to make some ground with ball in hand, with James Chisholm particularly prominent, but one good attacking opportunity bit the dust when they pushed early at a scrum just outside the 22.

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Instead it was Leicester who moved back in front, Mabath-rugby/tthews isolated after Alofa Alofa had claimed a high ball and Burns making no mistake from 40 metres out.

If conditions were making attacking play difficult, there was no shortage of physicality, with Evans on the receiving end of one huge Genge hit. At the other end Karl Dickson made a crucial turnover to earn a penalty as Leicester attacked down the blindside from a lineout in the 22.

Leading 9-6 at half-time, Leicester began the second half on the front foot and thought they’d scored the first try when Burns took a quick tap and dived over. Unfortunately for the Tigers fly-half, he’d taken the tap from the wrong spot and instead had to settle for a simple penalty.

And soon after Burns showed another side to his skillset with a sharp drop goal after dropping back into the pocket.

Burns was enjoying a dream afternoon, and played creator for the opening try of the game. At a scrum five metres out Burns spotted space in behind the visitors’ defensive line, with Williams racing onto it to score. The fly-half converted once more to stretch the lead to 22-6.

A further penalty from Burns stretched the lead to 19 points, although he came off for a short spell after a heavy collision with Charlie Walker.

Leicester lost second row Mike Fitzgerald with ten minutes remaining to a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Chisholm, with the Harlequins player joining him in the bin for retaliation.