Scarlets headed to Welford Road for the second round of the Heineken Champions Cup campaign.
Both sides suffered a defeat in last weekend’s opening round and will be keen to secure a win this evening to kick start the campaign.
Outside half Dan Jones kicks us off with the Scarlets on the chase quickly. Tigers defence keeps the pressure on the Scarlets and manage to push the visitors back in to our own half. We’re penalised for holding on to the ball and George Ford steps up for an early penalty.
Tigers come back on the attack from our line out with winger Jordan Olowofela looking dangerous with ball in hand and space out wide. His Scarlets counterpart Ioan Nicholas, making his Heineken Champions Cup debut, puts in a huge tackle on him dragging him across the whitewash to stop the try.
Tigers are on the attack, Poite is playing advantage in their favour. They're hunting under the posts and they think they've crossed the whitewash. We go to TMO for confirmation. He confirms that it’s been grounded and try is given. Scored by Harry Wells and converted by Ford.
Ford has another kick at goal after Scarlets are penalised in nearly exactly the same spot as earlier. His kick goes wide of the mark this time and Scarlets clear downfield.
We build from here. David Bulbring makes a break making ground. The ball is passed sweetly to Wyn Jones who recycles and puts in a wonder pass to try-scoring machine Gareth Davies who runs in a beauty of an opener. Halfpenny converts.
Scarlets win important penalty just shy of halfway line through number 8 Will Boyde.
Man mountain Blade Thomson crosses the whitewash. We check with TMO. It's so close to being a try but the ball is lost in the forward motion. No try. We have a try on the five metre line. We’re pushed back but we keep composed and build through the phases moving back in to Tigers’ 22.
Composed passage of play inside Tigers' 22. Home side are penalised at the ruck. Owens points to the posts. Halfpenny steps up, we’re just some ten metres away, and he wastes no time. It’s over safely.
With only five minutes of the first half remaining Tigers make ground in Scarlets territory. The ball is worked through the hands. They keep hold of it, remain composed and work it out wide to flanker Guy Thompson who’s hovering on the wing. He’s over despite a massive tackle from centre Jonathan Davies. Ford isn’t lucky with the conversion on this occasion.
There’s plenty of rugby left in the half however with only two minutes remaining on the clock as Scarlets win a penalty on the ten metre line. Owens instantly points to the posts. Halfpenny steps up and it’s over. Scarlets are back within two points.
Half time: Leicester Tigers 15 Scarlets 13
It’s the homeside who get points on the board first in the second half, just like the first forty, as George Ford steps up for a penalty after the visitos are penalised at the scrum.
Tigers pick up a head of steam after winning the scrum penalty. They charge at the whitewash. Huge defensive effort required from Scarlets. Tigers number 8 Sione Kalamafoni storms across the whitewash despite Scarlets’ efforts. Ford adds the conversion.
It’s our turn to head in to Tigers territory. We kick downfield and put on a good chase. The ball is handled beautifully in close quarters as we edge ever closer to the whitewash. We keep putting pressure on the Tigers defence. Steff Evans puts a neat little pass inside to Gareth Davies, he gets it back to Evans who dummies and he’s over. Halfpenny converts.
As we edge towards the hour mark we get back in to Tigers territory. There’s a slight miscommunication between captain Owens and scrum half Davies clash as the ball is kicked behind them but they regroup quickly, Owens gathers the ball, passes to Davies who darts through defenders. He gets the ball out to Blade Thomson who charges across the whitewash. It’s a try! Halfpenny converts and puts the Scarlets ahead.
It’s not long before the pendulum swings again and we’re back in our 22. Tigers put the Scarlets defensive line under pressure and despite a solid showing Manu Tuilagi gets a try with a crash ball. Ford adds the conversion.
Poite plays advantage in Tigers’ favour in our 22, they cross the whitewash in the far corner but we head to TMO for assistance. It’s not a try but they get a penalty. Ford kicks and puts Tigers eight points clear.
Winger Jonny May runs in a Tigers try in the far corner. With only seven minutes remaining on the clock it looks an impossible mountain for the Scarlets to climb.
Ford kicks another penalty pushing Tigers to 45-27 and despite a late Scarlets comeback to try and secure the losing bonus point it’s not to be.
Final score: Leicester Tigers 45 Scarlets 27
Man of the match: Manu Tuilagi