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Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Saturday, 5 November 2011

Leicester 24-24 London Irish

Leicester (13) 24
Tries: Penalty try, Croft Cons: Flood Pens: Flood 4
London Irish (7) 24
Tries: Hape, Thompstone, Garvey Cons: Homer 3 Pens: Homer

Matt Garvey
Garvey came through the London Irish Academy

Matt Garvey's try with two minutes remaining helped London Irish come from 24-7 down to draw at Leicester Tigers.

Shontayne Hape's try put the visitors ahead, before a penalty try and eight points from Toby Flood's boot gave Tigers a 13-7 half-time lead.

Tom Croft went over after the break to stretch Leicester's lead to 17 points.

Adam Thompstone's try closed the gap before Garvey's late effort, while Flood skewed a 25-metre drop goal wide in the closing seconds.

Tigers went into the game with only two Premiership victories all season, while London Irish were looking to bounce back from last week's 13-12 home defeat to Bath.

Flood missed an early penalty for the Tigers but made amends moments later for the first score of the match.

Hape's try, after good work from Jebb Sinclair, was converted by Tom Homer, while Leicester hit back with a penalty try when a set-piece collapsed.

Flood successfully kicked penalties either side of the interval and then added his fourth of the match on 54 minutes.

Leicester grew in confidence and their second try arrived in the 62nd minute as Croft drove over the line.

The hosts seemed well set for only their third Premiership victory of the season, but doubts were raised when replacement Thompstone scampered over from 20 metres.

Homer kicked the extras and the young full-back added a 30-metre penalty in front of the posts to close the gap to seven.

Dramatically, the Exiles won a penalty, kicked for touch close to the Leicester line and, when the Tigers took the ball and threw it back, Flood's clearance was charged down for replacement Garvey to leap high and ground in the right corner.

Homer's conversion drew the visitors level and Flood's missed drop goal added to the drama.


Leicester coach Richard Cockerill:
"It is hugely disappointing. We put ourselves in a position to win it. The penalty count was massively in our favour and we didn't take advantage of it.

"We have nobody but ourselves to blame for what has turned out to be a poor result. We made poor mistakes across the board in that last quarter and it cost us the win.

"They played well and defended well but we got what we deserved."

London Irish head coach Toby Booth:

"It was a tough contest and I think the most pleasing thing is to come back from such a deficit. It speaks volumes about the team.

"That is fantastic and, if you have that type of effort and belief, it bodes well for you kicking on when things are tough.

"What is remarkable for me is we have come here and got something out of the contest with a line-out that struggled in particular and the penalty count was 17-6. We also contributed 17 turnovers."


Leicester: Murphy (capt); Hamilton, Agulla, Smith, A Tuilagi; Flood, Harrison; Ayerza, Chuter, Castrogiovanni; Deacon, Parling, Croft, Salvi, Waldrom.

Replacements: Staunton for Smith (55), T. Youngs for Chuter (67), Cole for Castrogiovanni (51), Skivington for Deacon (61).
Not Used: Stankovich, Slater, Grindal, Morris.

London Irish: Homer; Ojo, Shingler, Hape, Tagicakibau; Bowden (capt), Samson; Corbisiero, Paice, Ion; Sandford; Evans; Danaher, Gibson, Sinclair.

Replacements: Thompstone for Tagicakibau (60), Lahiff for Corbisiero (51), Buckland for Paice (51), Rautenbach for Ion (54), Garvey for Sandford (45).
Not Used: Thorpe, Jarvis, Allinson.

Attendance: 20,479

Referee: Dave Pearson (RFU)

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see also
Guscott's predictions
05 Nov 11 |  English
Sale 13-34 Leicester
28 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
London Irish 12-13 Bath
29 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union

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