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Leicester fire back to see off Newcastle at Welford Road

Published 26/12/2015

Mathew Tait was one of the Leicester try scorers
Mathew Tait was one of the Leicester try scorers

Leicester shrugged off some poor finishing and a nightmare start to see off a gritty Newcastle side 22-10 at Welford Road to cement their place in the Premiership's top four.

An early converted try for Nili Latu helped Falcons into a 10-0 lead, but when they lost Belisario Agulla and Mark Wilson to yellow cards within the space of a minute, Leicester pounced.

After blowing an easy chance, Telusa Veainu made up for it with the Tigers' opening try, and early in the second half, Peter Betham gave Leicester the lead for the first time.

Newcastle never really threatened to come back, and instead Laurence Pearce went over with seven minutes to go but Tigers could not manage a bonus-point fourth score.

The early pressure came from the away side as the Tigers found themselves down to 14 men as early as the fifth minute, with Fraser Balmain sin-binned for a dangerous tackle. The Falcons opted for the penalty with Craig Willis slotting over to give Newcastle a 3-0 lead.

The Falcons took full advantage of the extra man as pressure in the Tigers 22 led to a lineout, with Latu on the end of a catch and drive for the line with Willis adding the conversion for a 10-point lead.

The home side responded, going through a number of phrases, though ultimately had to settle for a Freddie Burns penalty to cut the deficit to 3-10.

Leicester were beginning to find their feet as Newcastle lost their discipline with Agulla sent to the sin bin for a needless tip-tackle and Wilson joining him moments later for failing to release.

This time Leicester took full advantage of the extra men as Veainu went over in the corner after finding space out wide with Burns adding the conversion from a tough angle to level the scores.

The Tigers thought they had added another try just minutes later as Mathew Tait found himself over the try-line but replays showed he had dropped the ball.

Nevertheless, the momentum in the game had turned despite the scores remaining level at 10-10 going into the break.

That momentum continued barely two minutes into the second half as Betham broke a tackle to go over in the corner with Burns once again adding the conversion to put the Tigers into the lead for the first time.

But despite being in control, and kicking to the corner time and again, they could only manage one more score through Pearce and had to settle for four points.

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