Seven try Tigers smash sorry Irish

BY Tomas Malloy
LEICESTER Tigers lifted themselves back into the top four today after an emphatic 47-20 try bonus point win over London Irish at Welford Road.
Tigers came into the game off the back of three successive league defeats, but they looked impressively composed as they ran in four first half tries from Adam Thompstone, Harry Thacker, Lachlan McCaffrey and Jono Kitto, securing the bonus point before the break.
Further Leicester scores from Tom Croft, Jean de Villiers and a second for Thompstone rounded off the victory, with Irish running in three tries of their own through David Paice, Joe Trayfoot and Andrew Fenby in an entertaining second half.
Leicester showed their intent early on, sending two kickable penalties into the corner in the opening minutes, and clinical handling in the back-line allowed wing Thompstone to dive over in the corner for the first score of the game after just four minutes.
Irish managed a penalty of their own through fly half Theo Brophy-Clews, but Tigers came back at the away team, and a scything Freddie Burns break through the middle freed Thacker, who brilliantly collected Burns’ low pass off his bootlaces and muscled his way over under the posts to make the score 12-3.
Heading into the final ten minutes of the first half, Leicester were again on the front foot, and another five metre line-out lead to a wonderful dummy from McCaffrey, leaving Ofisa Treviranus grasping for thin air as the flanker galloped under the posts.
Soon after, a second Freddie Burns break saw the 23,000 strong crowd on their feet as scrum half Kitto latched onto a Mike Fitzgerald pass to scamper over the line for the bonus point score on the stroke of halftime.
Leicester were motoring after the break, and an audacious off-load from former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers on his first start at Welford road allowed Tom Croft to crash over the line for Tigers’ fifth.
Entering the final quarter, the game really began to open up and London Irish managed to get a try of their own through a powerful burst from hooker David Paice, before de Villiers got his first score in a Tigers shirt, showing his experience as he cut an intelligent line against the grain to go underneath the posts.
Moments later, Adam Thompstone raced over for his second try taking a deft out-the-back pass from Kitto and beating Irish full back Sean Maitland to dot down, but London Irish finished the game strongly as Joe Trayfoot finished off a 40 metre effort following a neat line-out move, and Andrew Fenby squeezed into the corner in the last play of the game.
Leicester Tigers: (26) 47
Tries: Thompstone (2), Thacker, McCaffrey, Kitto, Croft, de Villiers  Cons: Burns (5)
London Irish: (3) 20
Tries: Paice, Trayfoot, Fenby  Cons: Brophy-Clews  Pens: Brophy-Clews
Leicester: Tait; Thompstone, Tuilagi, de Villiers, Veainu; Burns, Kitto; Ayerza, Thacker, Balmain, Fitzgerald, Barrow, Croft, McCaffrey, Slater (capt).
Replacements: Van Vuuren, Brugnara, Mulipola, Williams, Pearce, Harrison, Bell, Goneva.
London Irish: Maitland; Ojo, Hearn, Mulchrone, Fenby; Brophy Clews, Steele; Smallbone, Paice, Aulika, Lloyd, Stooke, Narraway (capt), Cowan, Treviranus.
Replacements: Cruse, Court, Halavatau, Sexton, Trayfoot, Allinson, Geraghty, Williams.
Referee: Ian Tempest (RFU)

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