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Freddie Burns boots Leicester to victory over Harlequins

Published 20/11/2016

Freddie Burns excelled with the boot for Leicester
Freddie Burns excelled with the boot for Leicester

Freddie Burns kicked 20 points as Leicester moved back into the Aviva Premiership top four with a comfortable 25-6 home win against Harlequins.

The former England fly-half did not miss a kick all afternoon, slotting five penalties, a drop goal and the conversion of the only try of the match by Owen Williams.

Leicester, who made nine changes from the side that beat Newport Gwent Dragons in the Anglo Welsh Cup, were boosted by the return of former England hooker Tom Youngs and prop Ellis Genge, who had been released by England.

Harlequins, fresh from their first away win, at Ospreys, had winger Marland Yarde back from England duty while full back Aaron Morris made his first Premiership start.

Leicester led 9-3 at half-time thanks to three penalties from fly-half Burns to two from his opposite number Nick Evans.

Both sides used the box kick and the high ball a lot but in between there was plenty of running rugby, but with both defences giving little away, there was hardly a chance worth talking about.

Quins came closest when winger Alofa Alofa chipped through but the Tigers won the race to the ball, while Leicester had a great chance after a fabulous move in the 20th minute but they were thwarted by a professional foul from lock Charlie Matthews who somehow escaped a yellow card.

Burns kicked penalties in the 17th, 20th and 35th minutes, while Evans replied with penalties in the 10th and 24th minutes.

Leicester stretched their lead to six points five minutes after the interval when Burns slotted an easy penalty. It came after Leicester pinched the ball after a line out in the Quins 22 and huge forward pressure.

Burns had a try disallowed from a quick tap penalty but made no mistake with the penalty and four minutes later he dropped a goal after more forwards pressure to make it 15-6.

That became 22-6 in the 54th minute after a kick and chase earned the Tigers a penalty, which they kicked to the corner. From the line-out, Burns put in an exquisite chip over then defence and centre Owen Williams scored with Burns adding the conversion.

Moments later Ed Slater's break created a try scoring opportunity in the corner but Burns knocked on near the line.

With their pack now dominant Leicester got another penalty in the 63rd minute which Burns kicked.

But the Tigers then lost full back Mathew Tait after a collision with Yarde, their replacement prop Marcos Ayerza, who was carried off with a leg injury, and Burns himself after a clash of heads.

There was a long delay while the referee watched a replay of Tigers lock Mike Fitzgerald's tackle on James Chisholm. Both were binned, Fitzgerald for a tip tackle, Chisholm for retaliation.

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