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Tigers rout Falcons ahead of Stormers' visit

REPORT: Leicester Tigers sent a strong message to their European opposition with an emphatic 47-3 rout of the Newcastle Falcons in a Premiership encounter on Sunday.

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The Tigers host former United Rugby Championship title holders the Stormers at Welford Road next Sunday, December 10, in the first round of the Champions Cup.

A hat-trick of tries from Leicester’s Wales flank Tommy Reffell extended Newcastle’s winless start to the season to eight matches.

After eight league games, one-dimensional Falcons have picked up just four points to stay rooted to the bottom of the table, eight points behind ninth-placed Gloucester.

After a slow start, Leicester’s pack gradually took control with Matt Scott, Jasper Wiese, Ollie Hassell-Collins and Mike Brown also on the try-scoring sheet to add to Reffell’s hat-trick, with Handre Pollard kicking four conversions and Jamie Shillcock another two.

A penalty from Brett Connon was Newcastle’s sole response.

The win was Leicester’s third in succession and they now lie seventh in the league table.

Newcastle dominated the opening 10 minutes by penning their opponents in their own 22. Their relentless pressure won a number of penalties and eventually they opted for a kick at goal with Connon knocking over a straightforward attempt.

Tigers’ response was swift as their first attack resulted in a try for Reffell, who finished off a driving line-out.

Pollard converted before Scott scored Leicester’s second try by carving through the visitors’ defence after receiving the ball from a line-out 15 metres out.

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Newcastle had competed well in the first half-hour but conceding two tries in quick succession was a hammer blow to their chances.

The second came after the hosts had gone through 15 phases before Reffell was presented with an easy run-in.

With the last move of the half, Leicester picked up their bonus-point try when Wiese powered over with Pollard’s conversion giving his side a 26-3 interval lead.

After the restart, a kicking error from Falcons’ scrum-half, James Elliott, gave the home side an attacking platform but they couldn’t capitalise as the incessant rain was hampering their efforts.

However, Newcastle just couldn’t get out of their half and it came as no surprise when Tigers scored a fifth try with Reffell completing his hat-trick from a driving line-out.

Pollard converted but that was his final act as he, Ben Youngs, Scott and Ollie Chessum were all withdrawn in one swoop.

Wiese was also replaced but not before the number eight had been high-tackled by Falcons’ flanker, Pedro Rubiolo, who collected a yellow card from referee Sara Cox.

Tigers soon benefitted when a strong run from replacement from Solomone Kata presented Hassell-Collins with a try before Brown rammed home Tigers’ superiority with their seventh try.

The scorers

For Leicester Tigers
Tries: Reffell 3, Scott, Wiese, Hassell-Collins, Brown
Cons: Pollard 4, Shillcock 2

For Newcastle Falcons
Pen: Connon

Yellow card: Pedro Rubiolo (Newcastle Falcons, 61)

Teams

Leicester Tigers: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Freddie Steward, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Julián Montoya (captain), 1 Francois van Wyk.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 James Whitcombe, 18 Will Hurd, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Matt Rogerson, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Jamie Shillcock, 23 Solomone Kata.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Tom Penny, 12 Matias Moroni, 11 Louis Brown, 10 Louie Johnson, 9 James Elliott, 8 Callum Chick (captain), 7 Sam Cross, 6 Pedro Rubiolo, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 John Hawkins, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Jamie Blamire, 1 Adam Brocklebank.
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Phil Brantingham, 18 Murray McCallum, 19 Tim Cardall, 20 Freddie Lockwood, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Oliver Spencer.

Referee: Sara Cox
Assistant referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys, Hamish Smales
TMO: Andrew Jackson

* Additional reporting by PA

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