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Match Report – Leicester 48 – 27 Bath


Gallagher Premiership – Julian Montoya scores two tries to lead Leicester Tigers to 48-27 victory over Bath, while Cadan Murley, Josh Bassett, Sam Riley and Joe Marchant score tries in a dominant 40-5 win for Harlequins over Exeter

Last Updated: 04/03/23 8:31pm

Leicester Tigers' Handre Pollard

Leicester Tigers’ Handre Pollard

Julian Montoya crossed for two tries as in-form Leicester made it three wins in a row with a 48-27 victory against Bath, while elsewhere in the Gallagher Premiership Harlequins cruised to victory over Exeter at Twickenham. 

The Tigers were dominant in the first half and scored tries through Harry Potter, Handre Pollard, Montoya and Hanro Liebenberg.

Bath scored two of their own thanks to Matt Gallagher and Ben Spencer but the Tigers were far too strong and added two more tries in the second half through Montoya and Harry Wells.

Seven successful kicks helped Pollard to a personal haul of 21 points, while Josh McNally and Fergus Lee-Warner crossed to earn Bath a bonus point.

The result lifts the Tigers into the top four, while Bath remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

Bath took an early lead through Gallagher’s try and scored three more through Spencer, Josh McNally and Fergus Lee-Warner, but they were made to pay for poor discipline that saw them go down to 13 men temporarily in the first half.

Leicester put themselves out of sight with 15 minutes left on the clock when captain Montoya scored in the corner after being set up by Mike Brown’s line-breaking run from halfway after taking a high ball. Pollard remained perfect with his final kick of the day to extend the lead to 41-20.

“I’m pleased with all the players, not just the guys on the England fringes, but we’re definitely going to give the old boss some headaches,” said interim head coach Richard Wigglesworth.

“The end of the game was a lot easier on the heart than the last two. We were really good in parts. We knocked off for 30 minutes which really annoyed me, because to concede four tries at home is not good enough.

“I’ve told the players how happy I am with the first 40 minutes and a lot of stuff we did, then we got back to putting them under pressure at the end but they were very unlucky with injuries at that point.”

Wigglesworth reserved special praise for fly-half Pollard, who added to his try with an excellent performance from the kicking tee in a 21-point personal haul.

“He is a world-class fly-half, I’m really happy that he got minutes under his belt,” he said.

“He is now Leicester Tigers’ fly-half and will take us forward. I’m delighted for him and he’s running the team beautifully.”

Harlequins 40-5 Exeter

Harlequins showcased some glamorous rugby as they dominated an underwhelming Exeter side 40-5 at Twickenham.

The hosts earned their bonus point before the half-time whistle had been blown thanks to tries from Cadan Murley, Josh Bassett, Sam Riley and Joe Marchant, while Rob Baxter’s men were rendered pointless.

Chiefs had a brief shift in form as Jack Innard got his name on the scoresheet, but Quins soon returned to their usual ways as Marchant touched down for his second, and captain Stephan Lewies added another.

The victory sees Quins halt a recent dip in form that has seen them defeated five consecutive times in the Premiership, and climb from ninth place to fourth as they give their play-off hopes a hefty boost.

Chiefs meanwhile have had their winning streak ended at three matches, as their play-off aspirations take a minor hit.

Quins were on the back foot early, with Bassett punished for a deliberate knock-on, but they got the first score when an excellent Marcus Smith dink over the defensive line bounced perfectly for Andre Esterhuizen, who coolly passed inside to put the try line at the mercy of the supporting Murley.

Following Harvey Skinner’s yellow card for head contact with the carrying James Chisholm, Quins advantageously got over the whitewash as Bassett made amends for his early mistake with a swift backs move that fooled Olly Woodburn into shooting out of his line and gifting the former Wasps man a clear run in from inside the Exeter 22.

Quins kept their stride as talisman Danny Care left Twickenham speechless with an outrageous blind pass as the touchline loomed, gifting Riley the simple job of touching the ball down.

Exeter’s floodgates remained open with Skinner still in the bin, as the Quins back line overwhelmed the visitors out wide before Nick David, Josh Bassett and Smith swapped passes to allow Marchant to dot down for their bonus-point try.

Despite heading into the changing rooms at half-time without any points on the board, Chiefs were faster out of the blocks following the interval as Innard steered his driving maul to the line for the score.

However the hosts soon displayed their routine flair, with a cheeky short-range Care grubber kick touched down by Marchant.

Quins skipper Lewies was next on the scoresheet, tearing away from the driving maul to power over from short range for the final try of the game.

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