Leicester broke a near two-year hoodoo with a 14-8 Gallagher Premiership win over Worcester. The Warriors had been victorious in the last five meetings in all competitions.
The win, which came via a try for wing Jordan Olowofela and three penalties from replacement fly-half Johnny McPhillips, was not enough to lift the Tigers out of eleventh place in the table as they remain a point behind the Warriors.
Worcester’s points came in the first-half with a try from wing Perry Humphreys and a penalty by Scottish fly-half Duncan Weir, but their momentum fell away as the game went on. The defeat for the Warriors stretched their barren Premiership run to five defeats since their last triumph when beating London Irish on December 28.
Leicester thought they had begun with a bang after Tongan full-back Telusa Veainu smartly intercepted the ball as centre Ollie Lawrence threw it out. Veainu dashed sixty metres to the line but it was brought back for a knock-on in the build-up.
Worcester hit back and Lawrence vindicated himself in the process. After flanker Ted Hill had barnstormed his way downfield, the territory brought quick ruck ball for Lawrence to feed Humphreys to score.
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McPhillips, on for the injured Noel Reid, kicked Leicester’s first points with a 30-metre penalty as his side began to fight back. And they took the lead seven minutes before the break when a neat kick to the left corner from scrum-half Ben White from a ruck saw Olowofela pounce as it went into the try zone to touch down.
However, an offside in front of their own posts by the Tigers gave Weir a simple 15-metre penalty to tie up the scores at half-time.
But for Saracens' automatic relegation, @LeicesterTigers versus Worcester would be a massive relegation battle… @tveainu, one of Tigers' bright spots this season, looks on the bright side with @heagneyl
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 29, 2020
Leicester lived off scraps in the first period but Worcester were their own worst enemy as the second period began, losing lineout ball on their own throws, aimless passing that lost them possession and a knock-on with a try begging.
The match deteriorated into a stalemate for 20 minutes until McPhillips broke the malaise when he booted a 25-metre penalty into the wind to give his side a three-point lead. And it was now Worcester who had merely scraps of possession as Leicester dominated the lineouts thanks to the towering presence of lock Harry Wells and his supporters.
A huge signing, both literally and figuratively for Leicester Tigers. https://t.co/gy3RG36QvY
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 28, 2020
Leicester thought they had got the decisive match-winning try with three minutes left as an attack found Olowofela on the wing. He was tackled heavily by a flying Jamie Shillock and attempted to put the ball on the line at the corner flag, but it was ruled out after referee Adam Leal consulted with television match official David Grashoff.
Leicester, though, assured themselves a fourth win of the Premiership season when Worcester infringed at a scrum in front of their own posts, giving McPhillips a simple three points.
– Press Association
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