Leicester Tigers put a small dent in Harlequins play-off hopes with a thrilling 35-29 at Welford Road on Saturday.
By half time Tigers led 29-12 before Harlequins hit back with tries from Joe Marchant and his second of the afternoon from Nathan Earle and a late strike from Luke Northmore setting up a grandstand finish with fopur minutes remaining. But Leicester held firm to pick up all five points on offer.
The home side were on the board as early as the fourth minute when a lineout drive saw Matt Scott run in. Seven minutes later Ellis Genge was driven over to give Tigers the early advantage, only for Quins to respond immediately following Tyrone Green passing to Marchant with a wonderful offload saw Earle go over in the corner.
Leicester responded in fine fashion shortly afterwards when an attacking line out saw Tom Youngs driven over.
In the 24th minute Quins were awarded a penalty try after Dan Cole was deemed to have collapsed the maul. Worse was to follow when the prop was also shown a yellow card.
From being down to 14 men, Tigers then went down to 13 when Genge was sent to the bin for a contact to the head tackle. Despite being two men down the home side added three more points from a penalty and on the stroke of half time scored the try bonus point when Genge crossed from close range.
Tigers added to their advantage with another three points before Quins hit back. In the 52nd minute Marcus Smith’s cross field kick bounced up nicely for Marchant to touch down.
After 14 phases Quins pressure paid off when Northmore went over in the corner, despite the conversion missed Harlequins had reduced the deficit to just six points with a few minutes remaining.
The visitors threw everything at the hosts defence but Leicester held firm and managed to win the turnover for the final action of a breathtaking contest at Welford Road.
Leicester Tigers 35 Harlequins 29
Gallagher Premiership Saturday 15th May 2021
By Peter Moore