Premiership: Leicester 47-20 London Irish

By Emma ThurstonBBC Sport
Adam Thompstone, Ciaran Hearn
Adam Thompstone (left) was instrumental for the Tigers at Welford Road
Leicester: (26) 47
Tries: Thompstone 2, Croft, Thacker, De Villiers, McCaffrey, Kitto Cons: Burns 5, Bell
London Irish: (3) 20
Tries: Paice, Trayfoot, Fenby Cons: Geraghty Pens: Brophy-Clews

Leicester Tigers ended their three-game losing streak with a seven-try victory over bottom side London Irish.

Scores from Adam Thompstone, Harry Thacker, Lachlan McCaffrey and Jono Kitto delivered a comfortable 26-3 half-time lead and the bonus point.

Tom Croft, Jean de Villiers and Thompstone added more tries, but Irish showed character to score three back.

The victory pushes Leicester back into the top four, while Irish remain five-points adrift at the bottom.

Leicester started with purpose and Thompstone's try after just three minutes set the tone for the afternoon.

That score was immediately followed by a superb try from Thacker, who showed great hands and pace to add a second. For the 61 minutes that he was on the field Thacker looked sharp and gave Irish plenty to think about.

McCaffrey and Kitto were next to get on the board as Leicester found multiple holes in the visitors' defence and consistently won the physical battle.

After the break, the home side kicked on. Tom Croft finished a Harlem Globetrotters-esque try that included quick hands and offloads galore before De Villiers opened his try-scoring account at Welford Road.

To their credit, London Irish did not give up and, once David Paice had charged over at close range, they added two further scores.

Joe Trayfoot finished a try that came straight off of their training paddock and Andrew Fenby converted a lovely break from Canadian international Ciaran Hearn.

It was a performance to build on again for Leicester but ultimately a difficult, and concerning, day for London Irish.

Both sides will now head on the road and will face the Exeter Chiefs and Bath Rugby respectively in Round 15.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill said:

"It was a good win, happy to get it and get back on track.

"It was against a side that are struggling a bit, but we'll take the five points and no injuries. Everyone got a good run out and we've got three big weeks ahead.

On centre Manu Tuilagi's return to action: "Him and Jean de Villiers are getting a centre partnership together.

"He will be with England on Monday and Tuesday and then return to play for us at the weekend.

"I'm not privy to selection with England. We'll have to see if he's ready to play against Wales."

London Irish head coach Tom Coventry told BBC Radio Berkshire:

"I thought Leicester were pretty good today. They were pretty belligerent, we knew they would be.

"They played a real through-the-middle style of football, at times we contained their drive well.

"But, missed tackles at vital times and individual mistakes were probably the difference.

"We're just going to have to be better against Bath and prepare for them to do a pretty comprehensive job."

Leicester: Tait; Thompstone, Tuilagi, de Villiers, Veainu; Burns, Kitto; Ayerza, T Youngs, Balmain, Fitzgerald, Barrow, Croft, McCaffrey, Slater (capt).

Replacements: Thacker, Brugnara, Mulipola, Williams, Pearce, Harrison, Bell, Smith.

London Irish: Maitland; Ojo, Hearn, Mulchrone, Fenby; Brophy Clews, Steele; Smallbone, Paice, Aulika, Lloyd, Stooke, Narraway (capt), Cowan, Treviranus.

Replacements: Cruse, Court, Halavatau, Sexton, Trayfoot, Allinson, Geraghty, Williams.

Referee: Ian Tempest (RFU)

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