Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Tigers maul Bath

Toby Flood

England fly-half Toby Flood masterminded rampant Leicester's first league win at Bath for five years as Tigers tightened their grip on the Aviva Premiership with a 37-6 win.

Flood's 22-point contribution included two tries, with Leicester's England contingent displaying no hangover from the RBS 6 Nations title triumph in Dublin seven days ago.

His England colleague Tom Croft also touched down twice, while former red rose centre Anthony Allen crossed early as Leicester never looked back after building a 22-3 interval lead.

The bonus point victory moved Tigers seven points clear of second-placed Saracens, who host lowly Newcastle tomorrow, and underlined credentials to claim their second Premiership title hat-trick.

Bath, despite harbouring play-off ambitions of their own, were horribly outclassed through Leicester's ruthless finishing, and two Butch James penalties did nothing to placate a capacity Recreation Ground audience.

The result exposed a gulf in class between the teams, and a home title play-off tie for Leicester now appears a formality.

The regular Premiership season still has six weeks to run, yet such was Leicester's control over perceived title opposition that a Grand Final date at Twickenham on May 28 looks certain.

Leicester rugby director Richard Cockerill had set his team a 70-point target to clinch a home play-off, and Tigers are now just eight points short of that aim with four games left.

Bath will clutch at straws after what was a crushing setback, and they remain among a congested scrap for fourth spot - and the likelihood of an away semi-final against Leicester.

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