Ben Youngs inspired Leicester Tigers to a dominant bonus-point victory over Newcastle Falcons at Welford Road and further boost their chances of a top-four finish in the Aviva Premiership Rugby.
After a cagey opening period, Tigers ran in four tries against a Newcastle side who were made to pay for the sin-binning of David Wilson minutes into the second half.
The home side seized the initiative and opened up daylight between the sides after Ellis Genge’s try gave them a 11-3 half-time lead.
Second half efforts from Youngs, Telusa Veainu and a further Genge score ensured the hosts came away from Welford Road victorious.
Tigers had the better of the opening exchanges, and Freddie Burns kicked them into the lead early on with a simple penalty in front of the posts after Newcastle were penalised at the ruck.
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) April 15, 2017
Falcons levelled matters midway through the first period, Joel Hodgson slotting over after a Tigers offside.
And the visitors could have taken the lead, were it not for Youngs’ tremendous try-saving tackle on Vereniki Goneva after the Fijian broke down the right, and the home side mounted a stout defence of their line to push the Falcons back.
This resistance was rewarded, with Burns kicking another simple penalty to re-establish the Tigers’ advantage, before Genge dotted down in added time, Burns missing the conversion.
Wilson was shown the yellow card minutes into the second period after the referee deemed he repeatedly collapsed the scrum.
Ben Youngs man of the match, try saving tackle and incredible try from him.
— Tigers Fans (@TigersLeicester) April 15, 2017
And good work by Youngs moments later allowed Veainu to cross in the right corner to extend the home side’s advantage. Burns added the extra points with an impressive conversion from out wide.
Falcons were dealt a hammer blow while still down to 14 men, when Genge dotted down for the second time in the afternoon following fine work from both Ben and Tom Youngs, and Dan Cole. Burns added the extras to make it 25-3.
It seemed a long way back for a spirited Falcons side, who applied heavy pressure on the Leicester backline as they looked for a route back into the contest.
Tough day today. Thank you to our amazing away supporters for your backing, and well done to our friends @LeicesterTigers on the win.
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) April 15, 2017
However, the Tigers’ defence held firm, and Ben Youngs capped a fine individual display with the try of the game nine minutes from time.
Quick-thinking from Youngs saw the scrum-half take a penalty near halfway and dashed across the line after a tremendous turn of pace.
Leicester’s win was extra significant after Worcester Warriors upset the apple cart to defeat Bath Rugby at Sixways Stadium.
Leicester and Bath were level at the start of play, but the Tigers now have a four-point lead over their counterparts.
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