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  • Penalty goals: Flood (3),
9 - 22

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  • Williams,
    Penalty goals: Evans (4),
    Drop goals: Care,
    Conversions: Evans,

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Tigers beaten at home for the first time in a year

Last updated: 22nd September 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Vereniki Goneva of Leicester Tigers is tackled by Matt Hopper L and Jordan Turner Hall R

Vereniki Goneva is tackled by Matt Hopper (L) and Jordan Turner Hall (R)

Ugo Monye Anthony Allen

Ugo Monye tangles with Leicester's Anthony Allen

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Champions Harlequins maintained their impressive start to the season with a 22-9 victory at Leicester, the team they beat in May's Twickenham final.

It was Harlequins' fourth straight win and their second successive win at Leicester following their 27-18 victory last October.

Winger Tom Williams scored the only try of the match while fly-half Nick Evans kicked four penalties and a conversion, with Danny Care dropping a goal.

Leicester, unbeaten at home since that defeat by Harlequins a year ago, created few chances and had to settle for three penalties from England fly-half Toby Flood.

Leicester's Irish winger Morris made an early impact with a searing counter attack after Harlequins had kept hold of the ball for a good three minutes after the Tigers' kick-off.

Leicester huffed and puffed without looking like scoring a try but Flood put them 3-0 up with a sixth minute penalty.

The lead lasted just nine minutes as Evans slotted a long range penalty after Leicester's usually dominant scrum was penalised.

Flood restored Leicester's lead with his second penalty in the 19th minute of a game which was badly in need of someone to spark it into life and Harlequins winger Williams obliged with a try at the end of the first quarter.

It was created by Evans' fine off load to lock George Robson who provided the scoring pass for Williams to scamper under the posts with Evans adding the conversion to give the visitors a 10-6 lead.

Williams went off straight away with an injury and was replaced by Ross Chisholm and seven minutes later Harlequins stretched their lead when England scrum-half Danny Care dropped a surprise goal from just left of the posts.

Flood had a chance to pull three points back after Harlequins collapsed a scrum but he was wide with his penalty while Evans hit a post with a long range penalty minutes later.

Wasted chance

Leicester wasted a good chance right on half time when Smith broke down the left and stepped inside but his pass went behind Steve Mafi and straight into touch.

Harlequins dominated the opening exchanges of the second half and Evans stretched their lead to 16-6 with his second penalty in the 48th minute.

They may have felt they should have had more to show for their pressure after the referee went upstairs to the TMO after a scramble on the line by Mafi following Evans' kick to the corner.

Harlequins turned the screw at a succession of scrums and might have had a penalty try when Leicester collapsed one on their line.

Leicester rung the changes, bringing on props Dan Cole and Logovi'i Muliplola and number eight Thomas Waldrom and Leicester immediately stepped up a gear after lifting the siege.

Scrum-half Sam Harrison made a fabulous break only to see his side penalised at the breakdown, and Harlequins centre Matt Hopper almost made them pay with a searing run to the Leicester 22 before being tackled.

Chisholm pulled off a fantastic last-ditch tackle to stop Leicester flanker Julian Salvi scoring after a great break and then had to helped off due to a leg injury.

Flood kicked a simple penalty to put Leicester back in it at 9-16 but Evans cancelled that out with his third and then kicked another with five minutes left.

Leicester mounted a strong finish but failed to break down a resilient Harlequins defence.

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Phil Edwards

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