By Matt Saunders, first year Journalism student
Leicester Tigers 25-29 Harlequins,
Mattoli Woods Welford Road Stadium
On Remembrance Day, Leicester Tigers hosted third-place Harlequins at the Mattoli Woods Welford Road Stadium looking for a win after only having one win in their past five games.
This would be against a Harlequins in very good form, having won their last three consecutive games.
Both teams had returning members from the Rugby World Cup, with Jasper Wiese and Handre Pollard back in the Tigers squad after their World Cup win, with Dan Cole and Ollie Chessum returning from the England team for the Tigers.
The game got off to a quick start when Alex Dombrandt scored the first try of the game within five minutes to put ‘Quins in front, although the resulting conversion was missed.
Tigers were onto the scoreboard at nine minutes when they got a penalty which was converted by Handre Pollard. However, ‘Quins quickly switched the momentum and kept pressing Tigers until Dino Lamb managed to score a try, this time being converted by Marcus Smith on 16 minutes.
The home side fought back after by Hanro Liebenberg dived wide on the 20-minute mark to get another try and picking up a knock in the process, although soldering on. However, Pollard missed the conversion this time as Harlequins breathed a sigh of relief.
Freddie Steward was the next scorer, making up for a previous mistake that killed a Tigers attack as he got the ball from the scrum as Tigers pulled it back with Pollard converting on 33 minutes.
Just before the half time whistle Harlequins extended their lead with an unmarked Tyrone Green with a simple run to score which ‘Quins were unable to convert as they went into half time ahead at 15-17.
Coming out for the second half, Tigers went ahead after seven minutes with Steward scoring again and Pollard doing what he does best and converting to put the Tigers ahead by 17-22.
Harlequins pulled it back on 53 minutes thanks to some poor defending by Tigers with Porter finding the gap and pushing through to put ‘Quins ahead as Smith converted. Just over 10 minutes later Tigers won a penalty which Pollard converted to give them a slim lead at 25-24.
The final try was scored by Dino Lamb with a referee call for offside in the Tigers half which was not received well by the home fans. The call allowed the momentum to be switched and Harlequins built on it and, in the 70th minute, scored the try, which was not converted.
The final ten minutes saw Tigers fans roar to try and put their team back on the front foot, but they were unable to break down Harlequins solid defence and the full-time whistle was blown, Leicester Tigers losing at home 25-29. Tigers have only one win in their past six games and are only four points above bottom of the league Newcastle, with their next game being against fifth place Northampton Saints. On the other hand, Harlequins move to the top of the Gallagher English Premiership table unbeaten in their last four, looking to make it five unbeaten against seventh place Saracens.
Posted on Monday 13th November 2023