Premiership leaders Leicester roar to victory at Worcester

Leicester Tigers centre Matias Moroni scored the second of Tigers' three first-half tries
Leicester Tigers centre Matias Moroni scored the second of Tigers’ three first-half tries
Worcester (3) 3
Pen: Searle
Leicester (22) 48
Tries: Potter, Moroni, Montoya, Wigglesworth, Dolly, Nadolo, Burns Cons: Ford 5 Pens: Ford

Premiership leaders Leicester proved way too good for Worcester as they eased to a bonus-point win at Sixways.

Tigers had it virtually wrapped up by half-time with tries for Harry Potter, Matias Moroni and Julian Montoya.

Replacements Richard Wigglesworth and Nic Dolly added two more, the first of them when Tigers were down to 14 men.

Nemani Nadolo and replacement stand-off Freddie Burns then made it seven tries to complete a fifth straight win and send Tigers seven clear at the top.

It is Leicester’s best start to a season in 27 years, since the Premiership began. And this was their second biggest away Premiership win, only just shy of their club record 54-5 win at Harlequins in 2000.

For a side who are supposedly still a ‘work in progress’ under Steve Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield, this was an amazing performance from a team who won by just a point on their last visit to Sixways in May.

Admittedly, Tigers had Jasper Wiese and Marco van Staden back from summer international duty with South Africa, while Argentina internationals Montoya and Moroni were both making their first starts of the season.

But it was still a magical performance from the moment the visitors, already ahead from a George Ford penalty, claimed their first try when right winger Harry Potter appeared to have disappeared into a well-manned maul, yet almost magically came out the other side with the ball still in his grasp to score under the posts.

Billy Searle then claimed Worcester’s only points with a penalty before Ford slipped a short pass for Moroni to score his second try and fellow Argentine Montoya went in wide on the right.

Even after Hanro Liebenberg’s yellow card left them a man short, Ford’s delayed pass then allowed Nadolo to slip in Wigglesworth to go under posts before full-back Freddie Steward had one chalked off by the TMO.

From then on, once they were back to even numbers, it was just a question of how many points they would win by as replacement hooker Dolly, Nadolo and Burns iced the cake.

After Worcester’s biggest home defeat since losing 62-14 at home to Northampton in March, they must now try to bounce back at Franklin’s Gardens next Friday night, while Tigers’ next game is at home to Sale the following day.

Worcester Warriors head coach Jonathan Thomas:

“They’re top of the league for a reason. They absolutely steamrollered us. Physically they dominated.

“That is the the most complete team performance I’ve seen in the Premiership for a long time.

“Your emotions are probably ones of embarrassment and disappointment. We know we are not a bad team but we are going to have to work hard to put this right.”

Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick told BBC Radio Leicester:

“I’m proud of that performance. The players’ effort was great. They really earned that result.

“But we still turned the ball over a bit too often. We need to be better than that. We’re always looking to improve.

“George Ford pulled the strings and was very, very good. Whether he is in the England squad is not my call, but he looked very sharp. And I want to help my players to be the best they can be and help their aspirations.”

Worcester: Doel; Humphreys, Lawrence, Venter (co-capt), van der Merwe; Searle, Chudley; Sutherland, Baldwin (co-capt), Judge, A Kitchener, Clegg, Hatherell, Lewis, Vailanu.

Replacements: Miller, Waller, Tyack, Batley, Kvesic, Simpson, Smith, O Morris.

Leicester: Steward; Potter, Moroni, Scott, Nadolo; Ford, van Poortvliet; Genge (capt), Montoya, Cole, Wells, Snyman, Liebenberg, van Staden, Wiese.

Replacements: Dolly, Leatigaga, Heyes, Henderson, Chessum, Wigglesworth, Burns, Murimurivalu.

Sin-bin: Liebenberg (50)

Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU).


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