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Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 19 London Irish 15

Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 19 London Irish 15

Leicester Tigers did just enough to see off London Irish at Welford Road as Manu Tuilagi marked his 100th appearance with a try.

Matt Toomua and Jonny May were also on the scoresheet for Tigers with George Ford kicking two conversions to give Leicester a 19-15 win.

There was a first Aviva Premiership Rugby try for Joe Cokanasiga and Alex Lewington scored another fine solo try to give Irish a losing bonus point.

See the full match stats here

MAN OF THE MATCH – Jonny May

England winger May, who scored his sixth in six games against the Irish earlier in the season, was Tigers’ biggest threat with ball in hand.

He took his try well in the corner under heavy pressure to give Tigers the perfect start to the second half but Irish did not allow them to capitalise.

TRY OF THE MATCH

Alex Lewington continues to impress in an Irish shirt and his try at Welford Road nearly set up a grandstand finish as it reduced the deficit to a single score.

The winger had no space to work with when he took Cokanasiga’s offload but shrugged off the tackle of Toomua before rounding Ford in the five-metre channel for a fine score.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Manu Tuilagi is used to punching holes in defences but his score, on his 100th appearance, was slightly difference as he hurled himself over a ruck.

The Tigers were stopped on the Irish line under the posts with Tuilagi taking the aerial route, American football style, to get the ball down.

WHAT THEY SAID

Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “The four points were important and we will get a little bit of belief out of that but we need to be better across the board.

“We didn’t perform anywhere. There wasn’t one aspect of that we would be happy enough as being our standard so we will have to look at that and reset.

“Eddie Jones knows better than anyone that Manu Tuilagi has missed a lot of rugby and needs to train and play.

“He will see how he progresses and see what his squad is like injury-wise and he will make an assessment towards the end of the Six Nations.”

Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy added: “We are chipping away. We are chipping away with a little rock hammer at the moment. We need to change that to a sledgehammer.

“We’ve got a month away from the Premiership now which gives the opportunity to work on some things and keep getting better. I keep seeing signs of improvement.

“We do need to get better quicker, but we are getting better. We are going to come back to the Premiership a stronger unit.”

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