Tigers’ ‘worst’ sea­son slumps to a fresh low

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Rugby Union - By Alex By­wa­ter at Parc Y Scar­lets

Ge­or­dan Mur­phy ad­mit­ted Le­ices­ter sim­ply did not turn up but could not ex­plain why as the Tigers pro­duced an­other aw­ful dis­play in Llanelli.

Not for the first time in what is sta­tis­ti­cally their worst ever sea­son, they were not at the races as the Scar­lets pro­gressed to vic­tory in facile fash­ion.

Both teams had seen their Cham­pi­ons Cup hopes ended be­fore kick-off and while it must be ac­knowl­edged this was a weak­ened Tigers side – Eng­land duo Ge­orge Ford and Manu Tuilagi were both rested – the paucity of their per­for­mance on the big Euro­pean stage could not be ex­cused.

Wales head coach War­ren Gat­land watched as tries from his in­ter­na­tional for­ward duo of Rob Evans and Ken Owens put Scar­lets 12-0 ahead. Evans, Johnny McNi­choll and St­ef­fan Evans scored fur­ther home ef­forts. Late replies from Will Evans and Mike Fitzger­ald could not de­flect from what was an­other chas­ten­ing night for Mur­phy.

The Tigers head coach said: “We were five per cent off. I can’t put my fin­ger on why. I was rel­a­tively happy to only be 12-0 down at the break, but we didn’t have much of a re­sponse.”

Le­ices­ter cap­tain Matt Toomua was lucky to es­cape a yel­low card for a de­lib­er­ate knock-on as his team spent most of the first half on the back foot.

Scar­lets’ Rob Evans bur­rowed over and Owens soon fol­lowed suit. The lat­ter out­stand­ing at No 8, he smashed through a poor Kyle East­mond tackle to score. Dan Jones con­verted.

Rob Evans added his sec­ond and the Scar­lets’ third try at the start of the sec­ond half, and Kieron Fono­tia’s waltz­ing break laid on the bonus-point ef­fort for McNi­choll be­fore St­ef­fan Evans quickly dived over in the cor­ner. Evans and Fitzger­ald at least en­sured Le­ices­ter avoid­ing the ig­nominy of end­ing the game point­less.

Scar­lets head coach Wayne Pi­vac said: “There were flashes of the old Scar­lets there. Ken [Owens] de­serves praise. It’s one thing to play at No 8 once, but to do it on the big Euro­pean stage shows what a team man he is.”

In with a shout: Ken Owens was the pick of a dom­i­nant Scar­lets side in a con­vinc­ing home vic­tory

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.