Tigers rip Leeds apart
September 25, 2010
Leicester's Alesana Tuilagi dives over to score a try
© Getty Images
Leicester Tigers produced their best performance of the season so far to overwhelm basement side Leeds Carnegie 48-6 at Welford Road.
The reigning champions went over for eight tries as Leeds were given a lesson in forward play. Winger Alesana Tuilagi led the way with a brace and his younger brother, Manu, completed the rout just before the final whistle.
Leicester were forced to start with young centre Billy Twelvetrees at fly-half after Jeremy Staunton joined England No.10 Toby Flood on the injury list with an Achilles problem. But the Tigers managed to bring England internationals Dan Cole and Dan Hipkiss back into their starting XV at outside-centre and tight-head.
Leeds coaching duo Andy Key and Neil Back made three changes to the side beaten by Saracens at Headingley last week as they looked to storm their former stomping ground. The Leeds pack, who had performed well last season, had no answer to a Leicester eight revived after two away defeats and one comeback win over new boys Exeter Chiefs this month.
By the interval, Leicester were in a commanding position, having dominated the set-piece and hammered the Yorkshiremen with four tries to secure a bonus point. Leeds actually led first when fly-half Ceiron Thomas booted a penalty, but it was the calm before the storm as the Tigers roared.
Wing Scott Hamilton got the scoreboard rolling for the hosts as he was set up for a simple touchdown on the left by centre Matt Smith. Then, after five scrums on the Leeds line and with the visiting pack creaking, one big push on scrum number six saw the drive come on and No.8 Thomas Waldrom pounce.
Leeds did threaten when they attacked in the Tigers 22, wing Lee Blackett claiming for a try in the corner after a tackle by Tuilagi. Referee Chris White denied Leeds but mysteriously awarded them an attacking scrum. Thomas brought Leeds back to within six points with a second penalty but the resistance did not last.
As Leicester attacked again, the ball found Waldrom on the left and the former Crusaders back-rower gave it to flanker Tom Croft for the third try. The bonus-point try came just before the break when a superb sprint by Twelvetrees saw him pulled down just short of the posts. The fluent attack went right as Leeds were left floundering and Croft put Tuilagi in at the corner.
The pain continued for Leeds when they returned from the interval as wing Tuilagi went over for his second try following a kick ahead by Hamilton. Then, after Smith was denied a try after a dash down the right, he made no mistake as a straightforward move across the backs put him clear from an attacking scrum.
Lock George Skivington pounced for a seventh on the hour, and replacement Manu Tuilagi got the eighth and final try. The only down point for Leicester was that England hooker George Chuter came off early - but luckily for the Tigers his injury did not appear to be serious.