Match Pack

Aviva Premiership
Leicester beat Worcester to clinch play-off spot
PA Sport
April 30, 2016
Report Match details
Date/Time: Apr 30, 2016, 15:00 local, 14:00 GMT
Venue: Welford Road, Leicester
Leicester Tigers 31 - 17 Worcester Warriors
Attendance: 21682  Half-time: 21 - 17
Tries: Evans, Fonua, Goneva, Veainu
Cons: Williams 4
Pens: Williams
Tries: Heem, Symons
Cons: Heathcote 2
Pens: Mills
Opeti Fonua of Leicester Tigers powers through the Worcester defence to score a try during the Aviva Premiership match between Leicester Tigers and Worcester Warriors at Welford Road on April 30 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)
Opeti Fonua powers through the Worcester defence to score a try
© Getty Images

Leicester clinched a place in the Aviva Premiership play-offs with a bonus-point win at home to Worcester.

The Tigers bounced back from last week's European Champions Cup semi-final defeat by Racing 92 to score four tries in a 31-17 win which puts them on 64 points, 10 ahead of fifth placed Sale, with one game left.

Their tries came from through Vereniki Goneva, Opeti Fonua, Telusa Veainu, and Will Evans, with Owen Williams kicking 11 points in a faultless display.

Worcester, who are safe from relegation, scored two tries through Bryce Heem and Andy Symons. Between them, the sides produced five tries and 38 points in the first half.

Leicester scored three of them, through Goneva, Fonua and Veainu, to lead 21-17, but Worcester did not play like as side which had shipped 104 points in their two previous games.

The Warrior demolished Leicester's pack at the first scrum and caused them real problems with their driving maul.

Ryan Mills gave them an eighth-minute lead with a long-range penalty but the lead lasted just six minutes because Goneva intercepted a pass by Chris Pennell near halfway and galloped in for an easy try which Owen Williams converted.

Five minutes later Worcester were 10-7 ahead after a try by Heem which started with No 8 GJ Van Velze's crunching tackle on Leicester hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini, who spilled the ball.

Francois Hougaard then timed his pass perfectly for Heem to outstrip the cover and score in the right corner, with Tom Heathcote adding the conversion.

Fonua, a 29-year-old Tongan making his third Premiership start, restored Leicester's lead in the 26th minute, using all his 22 stone to barge past two defenders close to the line. Williams again added the conversion.

Leicester looked in control until the Warriors pack drove to half way and won a penalty. They kicked to touch, drove to Leicester's line and with little cover out wide, Symons had an easy run into the posts, with Heathcote converting.

Leicester have added guile to their traditional forward power this season and with 53 seconds of the half left they scored a magnificent try, Veainu crashing through three tackles after two terrific pieces of sleight of hand by his teammates. Williams kicked the touchline conversion.

Worcester started the second half strongly but within minutes had lost a third player to injury, centre Symons going off with a head wound after a sickening clash of heads with Leicester scrum-half Sam Harrison.

Harrison went off with blood pouring from his nose and was replaced by England's Ben Youngs.

With sunshine having turned to sleet, it became a battle of attrition and Heathcote missed a golden opportunity to put Worcester within a point of the Tigers when he hit a post with a penalty from almost bang in front.

Leicester replaced their entire front row and then Veainu missed a chance to put Leicester further ahead on the hour, spilling the greasy ball five metres out.

In the 64th minute, however, Leicester got their fourth try and a bonus point. They demolished Worcester's scrum, kicked to touch and then, with some of the backs joining in, drove over with replacement Evans, a 19-year-old flanker making his second start, getting the touchdown. Williams converted.

Leicester's Vereniki Goneva is taken for a spin by Worcester's Bryce Heem © Getty Images
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