| 14.6°C Belfast

Twelvetrees boots Leicester to win


Billy Twelvetrees

Billy Twelvetrees

Billy Twelvetrees

Leicester ace Billy Twelvetrees sent a big message to England boss Martin Johnson by kicking the Tigers to their first win in a month, an 18-13 defeat of visiting Harlequins.

Twelvetrees' six successful penalties came from a combined total of 237 metres as Leicester pulled clear either side of the break.

But Quins would be frustrated as they missed a number of chances to move into the lead as the Tigers went third in the Aviva Premiership table.

Leicester's run of defeats was their worst in six years - four losses in all competitions, stretching back to a 21-15 Welford Road victory over Bath in the Premiership on October 23.

One of those losses came against Quins earlier this month in the LV= Cup and Harlequins looked like they were intent on making it five defeats for the East Midlanders as New Zealand international fly-half Nick Evans ran the show for the first twenty minutes.

The 30-year-old All Black landed two penalties in the first 10 minutes and all seemed to be going nicely for the visitors but, when the mistakes came, 22-year-old Leicester ace Twelvetrees shone amid the fog that engulfed Welford Road.

Twelvetrees made Quins pay heavily for three missed try-scoring opportunities as he turned the match upside down with some mighty kicking. From 6-0 behind, Leicester went 9-6 ahead at the break, two 25-metre penalties preceding a huge 52-metre score from his own half.

He added another 35-metre shot early in the second-half, an even longer kick from his own half after 48 minutes and his sixth success was a 45-metre penalty that gave Leicester an 18-6 lead. And the crowd seemed disappointed when another enormous 47 metre penalty from the right by Twelvetrees just grazed the wrong side of the upright.

Quins had little to go on in the final stages as big home wing Manu Tuilagi caused havoc, smashing Tom Williams with one thumping tackle, and his team-mates bullied their opponents into submission.

Eventually, Quins got over the line and grabbed a losing bonus point as Williams was put in on the right wing for Evans to convert. But it was nothing more than a consolation.