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Owen Williams kicks Leicester to emphatic victory over Bath

Published 25/09/2016

Leicester's Owen Williams played a key role in victory over Bath
Leicester's Owen Williams played a key role in victory over Bath

Owen Williams booted 17 points as Leicester ended Bath's 100 per cent record with a 34-14 victory and moved into fourth place in the Aviva Premiership.

The kicking of Williams, who switched from centre to fly-half at the last minute because Freddie Burns was unwell, was the key difference between the sides, Leicester scoring three tries to Bath's two in front of a Welford Road crowd of 20,134.

Tom Youngs, Brendon O'Connor and Ed Slater scored for Leicester, with Semesa Rokoduguni and Tom Dunn replying for Bath, who stayed in third place, a point ahead of the Tigers, who nudged up one place.

Both sides were forced to make late changes. Burns switched to the bench for Leicester, with Williams taking his place and Mathew Tait taking over at inside centre.

Dan Bowden replaced Bath's England centre Jonathan Joseph who withdrew through injury.

Having made a stuttering start to the season, the Tigers were desperate to perform and avoid a second successive home defeat against an unbeaten side, having lost to Wasps a fortnight ago.

And they started brightly on their £400,000 new pitch, dominating the first half and turning round with a 14-7 lead following a try by flanker O'Connor, with winger Rokoduguni replying for Bath.

Leicester led 11-0 after 21 minutes, with Willliams kicking two penalties and O'Connor finishing off a fabulous 15th-minute move which started just inside Leicester's half when they pinched a line-out.

Centre Peter Betham split the Bath defence with a searing break and found Telusa Veainu outside him, and the full-back passed inside for O'Connor to score. Williams missed the conversion.

Leicester almost shot themselves in the foot when Veainu took a quick line-out on his own line that caught his own players napping as well as those from the opposition, but they did hand Bath a try out of the blue in the 23rd minute.

Fly-half George Ford sliced his clearance but Leicester winger JB Pietersen hardly got off the ground as Rokoduguni plucked the ball out of the air and sprinted 45 metres for an easy try, which Ford converted.

Ford missed a 30th-minute penalty and Pietersen almost made amends for his earlier error with a fabulous break before Williams slotted his third penalty.

Leicester made it 21-7 seven minutes after the interval when captain Youngs scored from a catch and drive, with Williams adding the conversion.

Ford missed a 52nd-minute penalty, hitting a post from virtually in front. Williams missed one from 41 metres five minutes later but then made amends with two from close range, the second after a horrible mistake by the Bath defence.

Replacement Dunn scored Bath's second try, from a line-out, converted by Ford in the 64th minute, and with two minutes left Ed Slater scored Leicester's third try and Burns added the extras.

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