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Leicester extend Bath's barren run at Welford Road

Published 29/11/2015

Tommy Bell booted over 11 points for Leicester
Tommy Bell booted over 11 points for Leicester

A late try by England prop Dan Cole allowed Leicester Tigers to maintain their stranglehold over Bath at home in the Aviva Premiership.

Leading 14-11 with six minutes left, Cole got the touchdown from a driving line out to clinch a 21-11 victory against Bath who have won just once at Welford Road in the Premiership, that coming way back in 2003.

Leicester, who have won 178 of their 210 home Premiership matches, were outplayed for long periods but outscored the visitors two tries to one, their first coming from Tongan Telusa Veainu, to move into third place. Anthony Watson scored for Bath.

Leicester lock Ed Slater and Bath flanker David Denton were both yellow carded for either side in the second half.

Bath gave a first start of the season to Argentine winger Horacio Agulla, while centre Matt Banahan and flanker Matt Garvey made their 200th and 100th Premiership appearances respectively.

Bath dominated the first half - and still headed back in 11-5 down, with each side scoring a try.

They played virtually all the rugby in a 40-minute period that saw Leicester make only fleeting visits to Bath territory and they usually messed up a move when they did.

The wet conditions were far from easy, but Bath, generally, made light of them.

Centre Kyle Eastmond showed their intentions with a stunning early break, which ended with an injury to the Leicester captain and full back Matt Tait, who was replaced by George Catchpole.

Bath then took the lead with an eighth minute try. It came from a poor up and under by Tigers fly half Tommy Bell, which was snaffled by Bath.

Scrum-half Niko Matawalu launched a superb counter attack with a brilliant sidestep and dummy. He found Banahan and the big centre made 25 metres before passing to Agulla, who put Anthony Watson over in the corner. Fly-half George Ford missed the conversion.

Bell put the Tigers on the scoreboard with a 15th minute penalty and they should have done better after flanker Mike Williams burst up field only for Lachlan McCaffrey to throw a forward pass.

Leicester's try came against the run of play, Tonga winger Veainu sprinting 85 metres to score from an interception that ended a Bath siege.

Bell missed the conversion but the try boosted Leicester's confidence and, after a great break by centre Peter Betham, they ended up with another penalty. Bell made no mistakes.

The superb Watson finished the half in style with a fabulous 60-metre counter attack and five minutes after the break Ford put Bath back in the game with a simple penalty.

He levelled the scores at 11-11 in the 51st minute with another penalty and shortly after Leicester went a man down, with lock Slater, who was making his 100th appearance, sin binned trying to repel a Bath driving line out.

Leicester's scrum won a 63rd minute penalty which Bell missed badly from 40 metres, but he atoned by slotting an easier one moments later.

More Bath indiscipline led to a driving line out by Leicester and a yellow card for Bath's new signing Denton.

From the subsequent line out, Leicester drove over and the referee went to the TMO who awarded a try to Cole with six minutes left. Bell slotted the conversion to make it 21-11.

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