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Match Report: Leicester Tigers 31 Worcester Warriors 17

30 Apr 2016
Match Report: Leicester Tigers 31 Worcester Warriors 17

Leicester secured their place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals for the 12th straight season with a 31-17 win over Worcester Warriors at Welford Road.

Three first-half tries set them on their way, with Will Evans grabbing the fourth in the second half as they ensured a top four finish.

It was cruel on Worcester, who went away pointless despite pushing their opponents for much of the game, but they paid for some poor handling in the second half.

Worcester had the better of the early stages and took the lead through a Ryan Mills long-range penalty after the Tigers had been penalised at the breakdown.

They looked the more dangerous team and had a couple of promising attacks, but it was the home side who scored against the run of play.

A pass from Chris Pennell was picked off by Vereniki Goneva and the Fijian streaked away for the try, his seventh of the Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign.

Owen Williams converted but Worcester were soon back in front.

After a big tackle from GJ van Velze, Francois Hougaard pounced on the loose ball, then released Bryce Heem to sprint over. Tom Heathcote converted from out wide to make it 10-7 to the visitors.

Midway through the half it was Worcester who had the upper hand, but Leicester began to take a hold on the game.

They got their reward after a long period of possession with Opeti Fonua powering over for his first try for the Tigers. Williams converted, making it 14-10.

In an entertaining game, Worcester were next to strike, finally making their territory count as Andy Symons went over on the stroke of half-time.

But just as it looked like the Warriors would lead at the break, Leicester hit straight back, a magnificent try from Telusa Veainu.

The Tongan international was on the end of a fine move, started by Williams, and then helped along by Goneva. The Welsh fly-half converted to make it 21-17 at the break.

After five tries in the first half, the second was rather tighter, with defences shoring up on both sides as the conditions changed for the worst.

Worcester pushed hard early on, but couldn’t find a way through, and on the hour it was Leicester who secured their bonus point, seemingly wrapping up the win in the process.

Replacement back row Evans was the man to cross after a series of mauls, with Worcester having no answer to the Tigers pack.

Williams converted, then added another penalty to stretch the lead to 31-17, with no way back for the visitors.

They could have at least got a losing bonus point during one long spell in the Leicester 22, but poor handling eventually proved their undoing.

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