Premiership: Leicester Tigers 22-19 Harlequins

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Laurence Pearce
Laurence Pearce's winning try was his fourth in the Premiership
Leicester: (12) 22
Try: Pearce Con: Williams Pens: Bell 5
Harlequins: (13) 19
Try: Clifford Con: Evans Pens: Evans 4
Relive Leicester's win here

Laurence Pearce's late try saw Leicester edge past Harlequins in a tight encounter at Welford Road.

Tommy Bell kicked four penalties for Leicester and Nick Evans landed two for Quins in a tight first half before the visitors capped a sustained period of pressure with a try from Jack Clifford.

They traded penalties after the break as Quins led 19-15 after 70 minutes.

But substitute back-rower Pearce was forced over by the Leicester pack to score the winning try.

The victory lifts Leicester up to second in the early Premiership table after two rounds of matches while Harlequins, who earned a bonus point, move up to sixth.

Tigers went close after seven minutes but neither returning England hooker Tom Youngs nor Bell could find a way past a dogged Quins defence on their own try-line.

Nick Evans
Nick Evans kicked 14 points for Harlequins, missing just one of his six attempts

Bell and Evans were flawless from the kicking tee as a tight first half wore on, before Harlequins made the breakthrough close to half time.

Following their first sustained period of pressure in the Leicester 22 the visitors earned a line-out five metres out and worked the ball to the try-line where flanker Clifford forced his way over.

Evans and Bell both kicked penalties soon after the restart as Quins dominated possession, but failed to create many chances - the best coming when Charlie Walker failed to catch the final pass with the chance to go over in the corner.

Evans kicked his fifth penalty but missed a sixth before Leicester's Owen Williams's excellent kick set up a close-range line-out which allowed the Tigers pack to set up the chance for Pearce to score the winning try.

Quins almost got a winning try in the final minutes, but their pack appeared to be held up by the Tigers' defence, although the players protested they should have had a penalty try.

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea:

"We should have had a penalty try. Ridiculous, ridiculous.

"You can't say anything. I'm sure World Rugby will issue an apology saying it was a mistake, but what difference does that make?

"Credit to the Tigers - but I'm furious."

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill:

"You have got a young referee coming to Welford Road and he refereed pretty well.

"The result was great, the performance indifferent, but we are a new side trying different things.

"These points will be huge in the season but we have got a lot of improving to do."

Leicester: Tait (capt); Thompstone, Betham, Bai, Goneva; Bell, Harrison; Mulipola, Youngs, Balmain, Fitzgerald, De Chaves. Williams, Croft, McCaffrey.

Replacements: Thacker, Brugnara, Cole, Pearce, Fonua, White, Williams, Smith.

Harlequins: Brown; Yarde, Lowe, Sloan, Walker; Evans (capt), Dickson; Lambert, Ward, Jones, Horwill, Twomey, Clifford, Wallace, Luamanu.

Replacements: Gray, Marler, Sinckler, Matthews, Easter, Care, Botica, Lindsay-Hague.