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Dominant Leicester Tigers thump Newcastle Falcons

By PA
Dan Cole (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Leicester Tigers maintained their impressive run with a convincing 31-0 win over Newcastle on a rain-sodden pitch before a crowd of over 22,000 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

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Newcastle barely threatened and folded tamely to give Tigers an 11th consecutive victory in the Premiership and so extend their overall winning sequence to 16 matches.

A dominant pack and accurate kicking from half-backs George Ford and Ben Youngs were the major factors in Leicester’s victory as Falcons were prevented from gaining any foothold into the game.

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Dan Kelly, Matt Scott, George Martin and Harry Potter scored tries for Leicester, with Ford kicking three conversions and a penalty. Freddie Burns added a conversion.

Newcastle’s full-back Mike Brown made his 250th Premiership appearance, becoming only the sixth player in the league’s history to reach that milestone.

Ford, who was making his 100th appearance for Tigers, kicked them into a fourth-minute lead with a simple penalty but it took another 15 minutes before the hosts threatened the try-line.

Heavy rain made playing conditions increasingly difficult but Leicester looked to have scored when a well-judged kick from Youngs was collected and grounded by Guy Porter but TMO replays showed that the ball had gone into the in-goal area so the try was ruled out.

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The home side continued to have the better of the first half with their pack in control in the scrums, which prevented Falcons from getting away near the Leicester 22.

Tigers deserved another score and they got two in quick succession. The first came from a driving line-out, which most of their backs joined, to provide centre Kelly with the touchdown.

Minutes later, from a line-out in the visitors’ 22, Ford chipped ahead for Scott to take advantage of a fumble from Joel Hodgson to collect and score, with two conversions from Ford giving his side a 17-0 half-time lead.

Normal service was resumed after the interval as Newcastle were pinned in their own half but a couple of unforced errors at crucial times prevented the hosts from capitalising until the 55th minute when Martin crashed over from close range.

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With the game won, Leicester replaced Youngs and skipper Ellis Genge, while the visitors changed five in one swoop in an attempt to reverse their fortunes.

After 68 minutes Newcastle reached the opposition 22 for only the second time before Adam Radwan produced their only attacking spark of the match when he beat two defenders on an elusive 35-metre run.

With the last move of the game, Tigers secured a deserved bonus point when a superb cross-field kick from replacement Burns was collected by Potter, who stepped inside Brown to score.

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