Tigers roar to avoid an un­wanted record

Sport360 - - Rugby Rugby Championship - By An­drew Bal­dock @balders2 ed­i­to­rial@sport360.com

Matt O’Con­nor praised Le­ices­ter’s “phe­nom­e­nal” first-half in­ten­sity af­ter they recorded a first Premier­ship win of the sea­son.

The Tigers had never lost their open­ing three games of a Premier­ship cam­paign. But Eng­land scrumhalf Ben Youngs’ early try dou­ble and a Nick Malouf touch­down left Glouces­ter reel­ing at Welford Road, while Ge­orge Ford kicked nine points. The west-coun­try club ral­lied af­ter half-time as prop Josh Hoh­neck pow­ered over for a try that ex-Tigers cen­tre Billy Twel­ve­trees con­verted, and he also kicked a penalty, yet Le­ices­ter were good value for the 24-10 tri­umph.

“It’s prob­a­bly re­lief,” Tigers head coach O’Con­nor said, af­ter a vic­tory that fol­lowed de­feats against Bath and Northamp­ton. “We knew we had to be re­ally good. The re­al­ity is you can’t lose at home. You can lose one of your first three if there are two away games, but if you lose two home games early on you make it re­ally hard on your­self.

“We came out of the blocks, were very ac­cu­rate, and our in­ten­sity in that first 25 min­utes was phe­nom­e­nal.”

Af­ter lead­ing 21-0 early in the sec­ond quar­ter, Le­ices­ter’s fail­ure to col­lect a bonus point will frus­trate them.

Glouces­ter, though, once again de­liv­ered a cu­rate’s egg per­for­mance, with their open­ing-night vic­tory over cham­pi­ons Ex­eter be­ing fol­lowed by losses to Har­lequins and Tigers. “The tries we con­ceded were very soft. There was noth­ing spe­cial that Le­ices­ter did. It was just missed tack­les or a sim­ple pass,” said new Glouces­ter coach Jo­han Ack­er­mann.

Sneak at­tack: Ben Youngs scores.

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