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Cup Holders Bitten by Tigers
Leicester rejuvenated by world cup players
Posted Oct 27, 2011 by Chris White
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With the eyes of the world trained on the World Cup final on Sunday morning, you could be forgiven for forgetting there was still domestic rugby going on, and one team in particular has struggled throughout the seven-week tournament in New Zealand, but they certainly showed why they have such a feared reputation with their World Cup players back in the changing room.
Leicester Tigers are struggling at the foot of the Premiership table, with so many players representing their countries at the World Cup. With them back in the traditional green, red and white stripes, however, they handed out a mauling to reigning LV Cup champions Gloucester at Welford Road.
The Tigers raced into a 26-7 half time lead despite conceding the first try of the game to their opponents. Dan Murphy touched down for Gloucester with Freddie Burns adding the extras, but four penalties from Toby Flood and tries from his England colleagues Dan Cole and Manu Tuilagi saw the Tigers go in on top at the break. Tom Youngs crashed over the line three minutes after the break to effectively kill off the game, but Lesley Vainikolo managed a consolation try for the visitors. Leicester turned their easing performance up a notch towards the end, with Horacio Agualla scoring three minutes from time.
Harlequins took their strong start to the Premiership season into their match at Edgeley Park, running in four tries in a 35-27 victory against Sale. Seb Stegmann was the star on the night, scoring a hat trick as Quins fought back from 15-14 down at the interval.
Seb Stegmann scored the first points of the match in the seventh minute, beating several defenders before touching down for a fine individual try. Tom Williams added another try for Harlequins just before the half hour, with Rory Clegg converting. Tries from Will Addison and Alasdair Dickinson ensured that the home side went into the break ahead, fighting back from 14-0 down. Stegmann scored his second try of the game early in the second half, but Johnny Leota added another try for Sale in the 56th minute, putting them into a 25-24 lead before another converted try for Stegmann, his hat trick, sealed the victory for Quins.
Bath made it two wins from two in this year’s LV Cup with a crushing 46-13 win against Worcester at The Rec. Francois Louw scored on his debut for the home side after both exchanged early penalties. Ollie Woodburn scored the first try of the match before Louw touched down as Bath took charge of the all-English encounter. Matt Banahan added another try for the home side, sending them in at the break in complete control of the game.
Jack Cuthbert scored their fourth try of the match, ensuring the bonus point, and although Josh Drauniniu pulled one back for Worcester, the game was as good as over. Things went from bad to worse for Worcester with eleven minutes remaining, when Sam Betty was sent off for a dangerous tackle, and Ben Skirving, then Nick Abendanon compiled the misery with two more tries for Bath.
Newport-Gwent Dragons edged a thriller at Adams Park with a last-gasp penalty from Steffan Jones ensuring a 30-29 win against London Wasps. Jones finished with 20 points on the night for the Welsh side – four penalties, two drop goals and a conversion.
Phil Price scored for the Dragons in just the third minute, forcing his way over the line. That lead was extended soon after with both sides exchanging penalties. John Hart rounded off a fine Wasps move, converted by Ryan Davis to give the home side the lead. Tom Varndell then finished off another brilliant team move, but Hallam Amos’ converted try put the Dragons 21-17 ahead. Shortly after the interval, Ross Filipo scored his first try for Wasps and Jones scored his second drop goal with just six minutes to go after both sides missed chances to take the lead. A converted try from Joe Simpson had the home side celebrating, but those cheers were short-lived as Jones kicked the winning points right at the death.
Two tries from England international Dylan Hartley helped Northampton to a 32-22 victory against a young Ospreys side in South Wales. Both sides exchanged early penalties before Vasily Artemyev made it four tries in two games just before the break. Despite that try, it was the Ospreys who lead at the interval as Matthew Morgan scored two penalties, then Sonny Parker broke from 60 metres and the conversion made it 19-10.
Shortly after the restart, Hartley dived over to bring the Saints back into the match and the power of the pack wore the Ospreys down, leading to two more converted tries. First, Hartley crashed over for his second and then Calum Clark scored on the right wing. The Ospreys secured a losing bonus point late on, but that was snatched away from them by a late Stephen Myler penalty.
In an all-Welsh encounter in South Wales, it was the Scarlets who took the victory, beating the Cardiff Blues comprehensively, 30-3. Scarlets scored in just the second minute of the match when Adam Warren ran through underneath the posts. Aled Thomas kicked the conversion and a penalty before hooker Kirby Myhill added another try. Rhys Patchell kicked a penalty for the home side on the half hour, but that was as good as it got for Cardiff.
Sean Lamont, the most experienced player on the field, set up the third Scarlets try with a quick tap penalty, setting up Richie Pugh for a try, and Kieran Murphy ensured their second successive bonus point victory with five minutes to go.
London Irish also secured a bonus point victory, but they had to come from behind to beat Newcastle Falcons at the Madejski Stadium. Jamie Helleur was released to sprint over on the right wing after 15 minutes, but Alan Thompstone powered over five minutes later and Steve Shingler added the extras to give the Exiles the lead. Both sides exchanged penalties but it was the home side who lead 16-8 at the break.
Greg Goosen scored an early second half try for Newcastle close to the posts, and Jeremy Manning kicked an easy conversion. Irish were forced to up their game and they certainly responded well, with Delon Armitage scoring by the right corner flag, Dan Bowden nailing a drop goal and then an easy try, which he duly converted. Thompstone scored his second and Irish’s fourth with just two minutes to go, but it was Newcastle who scored the final points of the match with Joe Graham touching down in added time.
Fly half Owen Farrell starred for Saracens in their 43-20 win against Exeter Chiefs, scoring 28 points in a crushing win for the Premiership champions. Farrell scored a try, created two more and kicked four conversions and five penalties in the win, setting up the first two tries with pinpoint accuracy from the boot.
Adam Powell scored the first for the home side, before Gareth Steenson converted a Chris Bentley try. Penalties were exchanged, making it 10-10, but Farrell set up Rodd Penney to score in the corner. Farrell’s boot helped extend the Saracens lead to 16 points at 26-10, then he added a try of his own. A full length of the field attack involving Alex Goode resulted in a try for Hugh Vyvyan, and a late converted try from Myles Dorrian reduced the arrears.