Tigers too good for Ulster
August 31, 2013
Leicester's Anthony Allen is wrapped up by the Ulster defence during their clash at Welford Road © Getty Images
Defending champions Leicester Tigers warmed up for the start of the new Premiership campaign with a 30-10 victory over Ulster at on Saturday.
Tigers scored 18 unanswered points in 16 first-half minutes with Niall Morris scoring a length-of-the-field try and David Mele dotting down on his first Welford Road start. Anthony Allen finished off Scott Hamilton's back-of-the-hand pass for a third before replacement lock Sebastian de Chaves completed the scoring in the final seconds.
However, Leicester were handed a major injury scare ahead of their season opener against Worcester next weekend with fly-half Toby Flood stretchered from field in the first half following a tackle by Ulster lock Dan Tuohy for which he saw a yellow card. Flood was subsequently taken to hospital for further checks on what is thought to be a head/neck injury.
Saracens hammered Championship side Bedford 73-12 in their third and final pre-season game at a sun-drenched Allianz Park. Saracens picked a strong starting XV featuring three of the clubs four British & Irish Lions representatives and they were rewarded with an impressive display of attacking, free flowing rugby.
Lock Alistair Hargreaves kick started the 10-try romp with a score in the early stages that was converted by Owen Farrell but Bedford hit back with a try from Neville Edwards. However, Saracens fullback Chris Wyles soon coasted over from a scrum and penalty try followed after Bedford flanker Tom Armes was sent to the sin-bin. Wingers David Strettle and Chris Ashton then combined well with the former adding his name to the scoresheet.
In the second half, Saracens continued to dominate with Ashton claiming a try after some impressive interplay between replacement Nils Mordt, David Strettle and Joel Tomkins. Bedford hit back again through the Edwards but Saracens completed the rout with tries from Ernst Joubert, Ben Ransom, Jack Wilson, Matt Hankin and Duncan Taylor to add to the Bedfordshire side's misery.
Elsewhere, Exeter Chiefs suffered a narrow 29-26 defeat against Glasgow Warriors at Sandy Park in their final run out of the pre-season. Rival fly-halves Gareth Steenson and Scott Wight traded penalties early on before Glasgow struck with the first try through Byron McGuigan. Steenson the edged the home side back in front only for McGuigan to claim his second try that was converted by Wight to give the visitors a six-point lead at the break.
Alex Dunbar extended Glasgow's lead in the second half with his side's third try that was also converted by Wight. Steenson chipped away at Glasgow's lead before Tom James sped over for Exeter's first try with his No.10 adding the extras. But Glasgow reasserted their dominance with Mark Bennett the next to cross for a try that was converted by Finn Russell. James grabbed a second try late on that was converted by Steenson but the Chiefs were unable to overhaul their PRO12 opponents.
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