Leicester Tigers narrowly defeat London Irish as they back up Saracens victory

Leicester Tigers narrowly defeat London Irish as they back up Saracens victory

A 74th minute penalty from Handre Pollard helped Leicester Tigers to a 25-22 win over London Irish in the Premiership on Saturday.

Pollard contributed 10 points in total off the tee while Olly Cracknell, Jasper Wiese and Harry Potter grabbed tries at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Tom Pearson, Joe Powell and Chandler Cunningham-South went over for London Irish, with Paddy Jackson knocking over seven points for the hosts.


It took Leicester less than two minutes to open their account as Cracknell finished off a series of forward drives to crash over from close range.

 Irish just took three minutes to draw level. Rory Jennings and Lucio Cinti skilfully combined to send Ben Loader away down the right flank and when the ball was recycled, Pearson was left with a simple task to score.

The explosive start to the game continued with a third try after only nine minutes. It went the way of the hosts as Benhard van Rensburg tore through Leicester’s defence to provide Powell with the scoring pass.

Back came the Tigers as Wiese proved unstoppable, with Pollard’s conversion leaving the sides level at 14-14 at the end of the highly-entertaining first quarter.

The visitors suffered a blow when Potter was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on, with Jackson kicking a simple penalty in the wing’s absence.

Potter returned from the sin-bin with no further damage done to the scoreboard and in time to see his side have two tries ruled out in quick succession.

First Mike Brown raced away to touch down but TMO replays showed an earlier knock-on, before Cracknell was deprived of his second as the referee awarded a penalty against him for a double movement to leave Leicester still trailing 17-14 at half-time.


Irish came out firing after the interval, dominating the opening 10 minutes of the half and winning a number of penalties.

Kicks at goal were declined as the hosts sought a crucial score but heroic defence from Leicester kept their line intact.

An Irish infringement enabled the visitors to relieve the pressure and they soon made the Exiles pay for their prolificacy

Scrum-half Powell had two clearances charged down in quick succession before relentless driving from Tigers’ forwards created an overlap try for Potter.


With 17 minutes remaining, Irish scored their third try when replacement Cunningham-South burst away from a five-metre scrum to brush aside a weak tackle from Handro Liebenberg and score.

Irish looked favourites for victory but Tigers’ pack raised their game for Pollard to kick two penalties in quick succession to secure the Premiership win.

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