Leicester Tigers 48 Leeds Carnegie 6: Leeds are mauled in backlash from the Tigers

Bottom club Leeds Carnegie slumped to their fourth successive loss, destroyed by champions Leicester at Welford Road.

Hosts coach Richard Cockerill was beaming after the Tigers got their Premiership campaign back on the right track.

The Tigers ran in eight tries and hammered a Leeds pack drilled by former Tigers legend Neil Back into submission.

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Alesana Tuilagi scored two tries, his brother Manu got one and others came from Tom Croft, Scott Hamilton, Thomas Waldrom, Matt Smith and George Skivington.

Youngster Billy Twelvetrees, playing out of position at fly-half instead of centre for the injured Toby Flood and Jeremy Staunton, kicked four conversions in a blustery wind and also caused havoc for Alesana Tuilagi's first by running 40 metres to the posts before being tackled just short of the line.

Back was disappointed but admitted that Leeds caught Leicester on the backlash.

"We were second best today. Leicester were sharper and we are very disappointed," said the former England flanker.

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"We didn't take our opportunities when they presented themselves."

Wing Lee Blackett insisted he had scored a try when Leeds were just 12-6 down, but referee Chris White, after consulting with his touch-judge, gave a scrum to Carnegie instead.

Back added: "It wasn't a try because it wasn't given. If we had a video referee, it would have been given but that was not the reason we lost today.

"We made too many errors and missed too many one-on-one tackles and you can't do that in the Premiership."

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Cockerill said: "I thought the whole performance was based on a really good set-piece. Our scrum and our line-out was outstanding.

"The scrum was a really good foundation while our ball control was better. There were eight tries in the end. You take a bonus point win and move on.

"We have had a lot of criticism chucked our way and we have just tried to keep our own counsel. Our injury rate is not great but we have a good squad and a good spirit which you saw today."

England hooker George Chuter came off early with a back spasm but Cockerill said it was nothing to worry about.

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As for 21-year-old Twelvetrees, Cockerill said: "He is work in progress. Billy has enough pressure on his plate. We have to be very careful with a young player that we bring him into the side and give him the opportunity to play and learn the game and not be under the spotlight so much.

"Today he did some fantastic things but we have to work on goal-kicking and a few things but he knows that."

Tigers produced their best performance as Leeds were given a lesson in forward play.

The Tigers managed to bring England internationals Dan Cole and Dan Hipkiss back into action as Back made three changes to the side beaten by Saracens at Headingley.

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Former Welford Road favourite Back would have known to prepare his team for a serious test up front.

But the Leeds pack, who had performed well last season, had no answer to a Leicester eight revived after two away defeats and the one comeback win over new boys Exeter this month.

By the interval, Leicester were in a commanding position, having dominated the set-piece and hammered the Yorkshiremen with four tries.

Leeds actually led when fly-half Ceiron Thomas booted a penalty but it was the calm before the storm as the Tigers roared.

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Wing Hamilton got the score rolling for the hosts as he was set up for a simple touchdown on the left by centre Smith.

Then, after five scrums on the Leeds line and with the visiting pack creaking, one big push on scrum number six saw the drive come on and No 8 Thomas Waldrom pounce.

Leeds did threaten when they attacked in the Tigers 22, which saw wing Blackett attempt to claim a try in the corner. Thomas brought Leeds back to within six points with a second penalty but the resistance did not last.

As Leicester attacked, the ball found Waldrom on the left and he gave it to flanker Croft for the third try.

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The bonus-point try came just before the break when a sprint by Twelvetrees saw him pulled down just short of the posts.

The fluent attack went right as Leeds were left floundering when Croft put Tuilagi in at the corner.

The pain continued for Leeds when they returned from the interval as wing Tuilagi went over for his second try following a kick ahead by Hamilton.

And, after Smith was denied a try after a dash down the right, he made no mistake at a straightforward move across the backs from an attacking scrum.

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Lock Skivington pounced for a seventh home touchdown on the hour, and replacement Tuilagi got the final try.

Leicester Tigers: Murphy, Hamilton, Hipkiss, Smith, A Tuilagi, Twelvetrees, Youngs, Stankovich, Chuter, Cole, Slater, Skivington, Croft, Woods, Waldrom. Replacements: Agulla for Hamilton (59), M Tuilagi for Smith (54), Grindal for Youngs (64), Bucknall for Stankovich (65), Hawkins for Chuter (28), White for Cole (60), Newby for Woods (45), Mafi for Waldrom (59).

Leeds Carnegie: Hinton, Blackett, Tincknell, S. Barrow, Stephenson, Thomas, Mathie, MacDonald, Thompson, Gomez, T. Denton, Wentzel, Oakley, Fourie, Browne. Replacements: Tadulala for Hinton (60), Fury for Mathie (52), Titterrell for Thompson (52), Swainston for Browne (50).Unused: Hardy, Paul, Hohneck, Fa'afili.

Referee: C White (RFU).


Leicester – Tries: Hamilton, Waldrom, Croft, A Tuilagi 2, Smith, Skivington, M Tuilagi. Cons: Twelvetrees 4. Leeds – Pens: Thomas 2.