Tigers joy at versatility as Yorkshire schoolboys triumph

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill was relieved to see his side eke out a 16-12 Premiership win at Newcastle Falcons, despite a disappointing display at Kingston Park.
Leicester Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill.Leicester Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill.
Leicester Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill.

Tommy Bell’s try six minutes from the end – after a lengthy break for a TMO review – hauled Leicester into a winning position, with fly-half Freddie Burns kicking the conversion to complete his personal tally of 11 points with the boot. It was harsh on the Falcons, who put themselves in front with first-half tries from Sinoti Sinoti and Scott Lawson but failed to get on the scoreboard after the interval.

“We found a way to win although we played poorly,” said Cockerill. “They scored a good driving line-out try in the first half, then we defended really well but eventually we turned the ball over again and Sinoti scored a great try.

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“Newcastle played really well. They have a brand of rugby which suits them on that pitch and fair play to them, we played as well as they let us, but we found a way with the disruption of losing Tom Croft with what looks like a dislocated shoulder.

“It’s a credit to the boys and a lot of credit also goes to Newcastle – they played really well.”

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young described Saracens as a unique team to play against after his side lost a crucial Premiership match at the Ricoh Arena.

Brilliant tries from Christian Wade and Elliot Daly, with two conversions and a penalty from Andy Goode, had seen Wasps build up a 17-3 lead after the first 20 minutes.

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But after that the Saracens pack became the dominant force with Richard Wigglesworth and Alex Goode controlling matters at half-back. Their tries came from Chris Wyles and Mako Vunipola with Alex Goode converting both and adding four penalties.

“We knew what was coming from (them) as they don’t play a lot of rugby, (they) kick the ball a lot to squeeze you and it’s very hard to play against,” said Young.

“If you can control it, you get options to play as we showed in the first 20 minutes but after that we struggled to deal with the aerial bombardment as we dropped the ball far too often.”

Three Yorkshire schoolboys helped England Under-18s defeat Scotland 39-27 at Kingston Park, Newcastle, yesterday.

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Full-back Jonny McPhillips, who plays for Sedbergh School and Newcastle Falcons, scored a first-half try, while Yorkshire Carnegie’s Max Wright – a Prince Henry’s Grammar School pupil at Otley – played at centre.

Wright’s Carnegie colleague and Prince Henry’s school-mate Charlie Capps added a try from the bench in the second half.

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Wakefield have reached a third successive NatWest Schools Under-15s Cup final at Twickenham later this month after a 29-5 win over Wirral GS.

Highlights of a four-try performance came from No 8 Edan Kelly, one part of a forceful back row, finishing off a splendid team effort just after half-time while wing Jacob Mounsey later wriggled his way through the Wirral defence for a fine individual try. QEGS have lost the last two Twickenham finals.