Dominant first-half performance sees Leicester return back to winning ways

Jonny May scored two first half tries for Leicester Tigers
Jonny May scored two first half tries for Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers 49-33 Newcastle Falcons, Welford Road

Leicester Tigers had a winning start under interim head coach Geordan Murphy as they went on to beat Newcastle Falcons 49-33 in their Gallagher Premiership clash at Welford Road on Saturday.

This was also the Tigers' first game since Murphy replaced Matt O'Connor as they moved to the sixth position in the table while Newcastle slip to the 11th place after losing both their opening games.

George Ford (2'), Jonny May (8' and 40'), Adam Thompstone (12'), Manu Tuilagi (23') managed to score first half tries for the Tigers while Ford also managed three apiece of conversions and penalties as the home side amassed 40 points before the break.

In response a 17th minute try from Tane Takulua and a double from winger Vereniki Goneva in the 26th and 34th minute along with a double conversion from Toby Flood meant Newcastle Falcons were trailing by 21 points heading into the second half.

Even though the visitors fought hard after the break with further tries from Mark Wilson (46') and Sami Mavinga (53') and Flood converted both to give them a glimmer of hope as the gap came down to 10 points but they could not quite capitalise on the momentum despite Leicester full-back Telusa Veainu was sin-binned in the 63rd minute.

Instead it was Ford, who kicked three second half penalties to complete a 49-33 win for Leicester Tigers.

"It was a win so I'm pleased with that. We were sloppy at times, but we had a really good start and that put us in control. Overall, I'm pleased but we have plenty to work on," said Leicester interim coach Murphy.

"The senior players had big games, but we weren't the finished article today.

"It's been a tough week, and it's bound to be after losing the head coach with an interim coming in tweaking a few things, but the players stood up and led really well.