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Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 24 Cardiff Blues 12

Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 24 Cardiff Blues 12

Will Evans, Jordan Olowofela and Luke Hamilton all crossed for tries as Leicester Tigers kept their defence of their Anglo-Welsh title alive with victory over Cardiff Blues.

The Tigers have now won two and lost one of their first three games in defence of the crown they won last year and are still in contention for the semi-finals heading into round four next week.

Evans and Olowofela both went over in the first half at Welford Road as the Tigers totally dominated proceedings – looking to end a tw0-game losing run from Europe.

After half time the Blues turned the tables however. First Jack Roberts, against his former club, went over and when the Tigers were caught out by Lewis Jones’ quick tap the score was only 17-12 to the hosts.

But the Tigers took back control thereafter and Hamilton, who is in Scotland’s Six Nations squad, barged his way over for their third score to put the game to bed.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Jordan Olowofela will soon head off to link up with the England U20s but he made a serious impact here as the Tigers dominated.

Originally on the bench, he was introduced early on for Gareth Owen and promptly showed lovely footwork to dive over down the right for the game’s second try.

Owen returned soon after and Olowofela put his tracksuit back on, but then returned in the second period to show yet more elusive running in the second half.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Luke Hamilton has been absent for most of this year for the Tigers with a neck injury.

He played no part in the Tigers’ back to back European defeats but, with the Six Nations around the corner, he returned here.

Spending time at both openside and blinside, the Scotland international looks to be returning to his best and it was his close-range try in the second half that put the game to bed for the Tigers.

TRY OF THE MATCH 

The Blues’ second-half comeback had caught the Tigers cold and it was some quick thinking from scrum-half Lewis Jones that really caught the eye.

The visitors had been battering away at the line and forced the Tigers to concede a penalty.

Before the home side had a chance to re-group, Jones quick tapped and reached for the line and suddenly the game was on again.

WHAT THEY SAID

Tigers coach Geordan Murphy: 

“I thought the defence was good. We were a bit disappointed to concede a couple of tries but I thought the endeavour was there.

“On the whole it was a good performance.

“It was good for a lot of those guys to feature today and get out there and get some game time.

“We can improve across the board. Our disciple was a bit iffy and we gave away a couple of cheap penalties.”

Cardiff Blues coach Richard Hodges

“We were beginning to think we were starting to stare down the barrell at 17-0.

“I am just really proud and delighted with the way we stuck at it in the second half.

“Our scrum in the second half was excellent, with our young front five we won plenty of penalties and have had a good shift.”

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This year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Final will be at the iconic Kingsholm Stadium, home of Gloucester Rugby, on Sunday 18 March. To buy tickets and be part of an unforgettable occasion click here

 

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