Tigers bite Bears hard
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Jonny May crossed for two tries as Leicester Tigers secured their second win of the season with a 31-18 bonus-point triumph over Bristol Bears.
May crossed once in each half, while prop Ellis Genge – who signed a new contract this week – and fly-half George Ford also crossed the whitewash at Welford Road.
Leicester led 21-6 at half-time but tries from flanker Dan Thomas and centre Piers O’Connor brought the Bears back into it.
However, May’s second try settled it to help 11th-placed Leicester close the gap between them and the pack above.
The Tigers introduced scrumhalf Sam Harrison in the second half for his final Tigers appearance before he leaves for a new life in Australia.
Leicester Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “I thought we played really well, something we’ve been wanting to do is try and improve and get better, build on our performances and I feel we did that pretty well for 70 minutes.
“In the first 10 minutes of the second half we were off but we can improve and will get better off the back of that.
“I thought all the guys stood up and played well today.
“At the start of the second half I thought Bristol did a really good job of holding onto the ball, we had opportunities to turnover the ball but allowed Bristol to hold onto it.”
Bristol Bears head coach Pat Lam said: “We worked our way back to 7-6 and then at half time I showed the boys the clips, we were shocked and unrecognisable in what we were doing,” he said.
“At half-time I said it was a great challenge, we’ve been here before. We got it back to 21-18 and there was a couple of moments where we just didn’t score.
“The sin bins were silly, they were unnecessary. At the end of the day we had enough chances to get ourselves back into the game that could’ve easily blown up if it weren’t for some silly stuff from us.”
For Leicester Tigers:
Tries: Genge, Ford, May 2
Cons: Ford 4
For Bristol Bears:
Tries: Thomas, O’Conor
Pens: Sheedy 2
Yellow cards: Jordan Lay (Bristol Bears, 8), Alapati Leiua (Bristol Bears, 16)
Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Jordan Olowofela, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Jordan Taufua, 6 Harry Wells, 5 Calum Green, 4 Tomás Lavanini, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Greg Bateman, 18 Nephi Leatigaga, 19 Guy Thompson, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Noel Reid, 23 George Worth.
Bristol: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Toby Fricker, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Will Hurrell, 11 Alapati Leiua, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Dan Thomas, 6 Steven Luatua (captain), 5 Ed Holmes, 4 Chris Vui, 3 John Afoa, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Jordan Lay.
Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Luke Morahan.
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Michael Hudson & Jonathan Healy.
TMO: Nigel Carrick
Report by @premrugby