Leicester thrash Worcester to go second
March 30, 2012
Leicester power into second place
Former England fly-half Andy Goode was sent-off as Worcester suffered a seven-try 43-13 mauling by Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.
Goode, who had already been sin-binned, received a straight red card in the 35th minute from referee Wayne Barnes for a flying shoulder charge on England flanker Tom Croft and was booed by the fans of his former club as he walked off the pitch with his head bowed.
Leicester, who were leading 10-3 at the time, took full advantage of the extra man and scored tries through Scott Hamilton, George Chuter, Croft, Martin Castrogiovanni, Thomas Waldrom, Tom Youngs and George Ford.
Toby Flood kicked three conversions, and Ford one, while Ceri Jones scored a try for Worcester, converted by replacement Danny Gray. He and Goode also slotted penalties. Leicester's sixth win in seven games moved them up to second place in the Aviva Premiership ahead of champions Saracens who meet leaders Harlequins tomorrow.
Leicester made eight changes, one enforced with scrum-half James Grindal replacing England's Ben Youngs, who was banned for one game by the club for punching London Irish No 8 Jamie Gibson last weekend. He faces a Rugby Union disciplinary hearing on Monday.
Fit again winger Alesana Tuilagi, who leaves for Japan at the end of the season, was also recalled but his eagerly anticipated clash with Miles Benjamin, signed as his replacement for next season, bit the dust when Benjamin withdrew with a toe injury. His place went to Josh Drauniniu and Worcester made two other changes to the side that beat Newcastle, Matt Kvesic and Blair Cowan coming into the back-row.
Goode kicked a monster penalty from near halfway but after that it was all Leicester, who made it clear they wanted a bonus point win by refusing chances at goal and kicking for touch instead. After a lengthy stoppage while the medics treated Worcester lock Chris Jones, Leicester's forwards took a real stranglehold on the game but due to their own errors and good scrambling defence by Worcester they failed to make their dominance count.
Leicester's Alesana Tuilagi puts a foot injury in the act of scoring © Getty Images
Waldrom came closest in the 16th minute when he pounced on a loose ball from a line out but was hauled down by Kvesic inches from the line. Goode, however was sin-binned for a professional foul and Leicester took advantage of the extra man a minute later when Flood spotted the Worcester backs had come up too flat and put an inch-perfect kick for winger Scott Hamilton to score. Flood missed the conversion and another one in the 30th minute after hooker Chuter scored from close range after Worcester spilled hard won line-out ball.
Things went from bad to worse for Worcester when Goode received a straight red card for a flying shoulder charge on England flanker Croft, who retaliated and pinned him to the ground. Ironically, it was Croft who scored Leicester's third try three minutes from half time after a turnover and some fine inter-passing by the backs.
Worcester replacement Gray kicked a penalty shortly after the break but it proved a minor respite as fierce Leicester pressure led to a try for Italy prop Castrogiovanni, converted by Flood. Worcester's high penalty count did little for their cause and three in quick succession allowed Leicester to escape their own try line and score direct from a line out though Waldrom, with Flood adding the conversion.
Replacement hooker Tom Youngs scampered over for Leicester's sixth try after good work by former Worcester lock Graham Kitchener. George Ford, who had replaced Flood, missed the conversion. Tuilagi was sin-binned for punching Ed Shervington in the 81st minute before Jones scored a last-minute consolation try for Worcester, converted by Gray.
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