Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Croft stars for Tigers

Ben Youngs, centre, and his Leicester team-mates celebrate their win over Harlequins

Tom Croft made an irresistable case for British and Irish Lions Test team selection in Australia this summer after inspiring Leicester's march to a ninth successive Premiership final following a 33-16 win over Harlequins.

The England flanker rounded off a quality Tigers display by claiming his team's third try - a 50-metre solo effort complete with one-handed finish - that ended Quins' reign as English champions.

Leicester now face a Twickenham clash against Saracens or Northampton on May 25 after wrestling control when Quins' England scrum-half Danny Care received a yellow card.

With the dangerous Care out of commission, Tigers wing Niall Morris crossed for a try that followed Vereniki Goneva's first-half touchdown, and Leicester were home and dry.

Full-back Mathew Tait, who ran Croft close as Leicester's most effective performer, added a fourth try, while fly-half Toby Flood chipped in with 13 points from three penalties and two conversions.

Quins were left to reflect on three Nick Evans penalties and a late Ross Chisholm try that Evans converted as their sole crumbs of comfort.

Ultimately, they were horribly overpowered by a Leicester side that scored 27 unanswered points from 9-6 adrift just before the break, and Quins had no answer.

The Londoners, knocked out of Europe at home by Munster last month, had been chasing three major trophies this term, but they will end it with just the LV= Cup in their possession.

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