LV Cup exit for the Falcons

First published in Newcastle Falcons

Leicester booked themselves an LV Cup semi-final spot after beating Newcastle Falcons at Welford Road.

Leicester had been on top as early as the seventh minute, turning down a kickable penalty to opt for an attacking lineout in the left corner.

Their gamble paid off as number eight Thomas Waldrom was barged over the line among a heap of bodies, with Jeremy Staunton's conversion thumping off the right post and bouncing over the crossbar.

Leicester's lead was quickly into double figures as Staunton made easier work of a pair of penalties from out in front, both on the back of sustained forward pressure.

Jimmy Gopperth got Newcastle off and running with two similarly straightforward penalties, just a day after committing his long-term future to the Falcons.

Staunton's third midway through the half kept the Tigers comfortably in front, and when Tim Swinson was penalised for not releasing the tackled player, the Irish stand-off sent over a fourth to take the half-time lead to 19-6.

James Fitzpatrick's line break threatened to produce a try for the visitors, only for Ryan Shortland to knock on in contact.

The Tigers were having no such problems turning their pressure into points, and in the 50th minute lock George Skivington nipped in for their second try round.

Samoan international flanker Taiasina Tu'ifua emerged from the bench to make yards with his straight running, setting up the five-metre scrum from which his side profited.

Will Chudley whipped the ball out to Gopperth at first receiver and the Kiwi utilised superb decoy running from Jamie Helleur to scurry between the posts, adding the conversion himself.

Tu'ifua's 67th-minute sin-binning for killing a ruck within sight of his own line saw momentum swing once again, with Chudley forced into a pair of try-saving tackles as Leicester exploited the increasing gaps.

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