Tuilagis keep Tigers on track
Leicester's Tuilagi brothers scored a try apiece as the Tigers claimed a hard-fought 15-9 victory over Leeds Carnegie.
Last Updated: 13/02/11 6:43pm
Leicester's Tuilagi brothers scored a try apiece as the Tigers strengthened their position at the top of the Aviva Premiership with a hard-fought 15-9 victory over Leeds Carnegie.
England Saxons cap Manu touched down for an early first-half try while his Samoa international elder brother Alesana went over in the second period to seal the win.
Jeremy Staunton kicked five points with a penalty and a conversion as the Tigers moved six points clear of Saracens at the summit.
Leeds remain at the foot of the table following yet another defeat but can at least take heart from their performance, and secured a losing bonus point thanks to new recruit Adrian Jarvis who landed three penalties.
Both sides were depleted by international withdrawals, with Leicester without the services of half-back partnership Ben Youngs and Toby Flood amongst others and Leeds shorn of Hendre Fourie and Steve Thompson.
But the visitors opened the scoring just three minutes in; Alesana Tuilagi broke down the left and offloaded to Anthony Allen, whose misplaced pass to the right was collected by Manu Tuilagi who powered over from 15 metres - Staunton converted.
Staunton then kicked one and missed one penalty attempt as the Tigers dominated the opening 20 minutes.
Fightback from Leeds
Leeds gradually got a foothold in the contest and reduced the deficit through Jarvis, a recent capture from Bristol, who after seeing his initial long-range penalty strike the upright, was grateful for the following-up play of Tom Denton who forced another penalty which the fly-half converted.
Jarvis cut the advantage further with a second penalty as the game became increasingly scrappy with heavy rain pouring down.
The lead was down to just a single point five minutes after the restart as Jarvis slotted his third successful penalty kick after a 40-metre driving maul.
However, for all Leeds' effort Leicester had the killer touch and they scored their second try within seconds of winning a penalty in their own half.
Scott Hamilton broke down the left from a line-out and played in Alesana Tuilagi who bulldozed over Leigh Hinton to score in the corner. Staunton's conversion hit the upright to leave Leeds within six points.
Alesana Tuilagi was sent to the sin-bin for lashing out at Marco Wentzel, with Leeds' captain also yellow-carded for kicking out at the Leicester wing.
The home side did pour forward in the closing stages in search of a game-changing score, but Leicester's defence hung on for victory.