Match Centre: Gallagher Premiership: Leicester Tigers 19-21 Bristol Bears

Handre Pollard kicked two conversions for Leicester Tigers
Handre Pollard kicked two conversions for Leicester Tigers
©Steve Haag

Leicester Tigers 19-21 Bristol Bears, Mattioli Woods Welford Road

Bristol Bears scored three tries in the final 12 minutes as they edged out Leicester Tigers 21-19 in the latest round of the Gallagher Premiership at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday.

The result has dented Leicester's chances of making to the play off as they are at eighth place with 40 points while Bristol are at fourth position with 49 points.

Bristol started the game with a setback as Gabriel Ibitoye was sin-binned in the 15th minute for series of penalty offences and the Tigers made full use of the numerical advantage as Ollie Hassell-Collins collected a swift pass from Dan Kelly to touchdown.

Handre Pollard kicked the conversion as they led by 7-0 but that remained the only points in the opening half. The start of the second quarter saw Mike Brown yellow carded for slapping the ball out of an opponent’s hand on the floor. As Ibitoye returned, Bristol had a try ruled out due to a forward pass they went into the break trailing by seven points.

The Tigers were the quickest to get off the block in the second half as a quick pass from Freddie Steward allowed Ollie Hassell-Collins to dot down and as the replacements came in Francois van Wyk breached the Bristol defence to power his way over the line. Pollard's conversion meant Leicester looked comfortable with a 19-0 lead.

Bristol made their first points in the 68th minute when Max Lahiff scored and shortly Mike Brown was red carded for a dangerous tackle leaving Leicester a player down for the final 10 minutes. As Lahiff scored his second try with six minutes left and MacGinty kicked the extras, Bristol's hope increased as the gap came down to five points.

The decisive moment came in the 79th minute when Magnus Bradbury went over and after a TMO the try was awarded to Bristol as the scores were levelled before MacGinty kicked a nerveless conversion to complete a thrilling win for Pat Lam's side.

Team line up:

Leicester: Steward; Brown, Scott, Kelly, Hassell-Collins; Pollard, Van Poortvliet; Cronin, Montoya, Cole, Martin, Chessum, Liebenberg, Reffell, Wiese.

Reserves: Clare, Van Wyk, Hurd, Wells, Cracknell, Whiteley, Shillcock, Cokanasiga

Bristol: Lane; Naulago, Janse van Rensburg, Williams, Ibitoye; MacGinty, Randall; Genge, Oghre, Sinckler, Dun, Batley, Luatua, Harding, Bradbury

Reserves: Thacker, Woolmore, Lahiff, Caulfield, Heenan, Marmion, Vakatawa, O'Conor

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

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