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Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Monday, 27 December 2010

Leicester Tigers 54-21 Sale Sharks

Leicester (28) 54
Tries: Allen, A Tuilagi, Hawkins, M Tuilagi 2, Hamilton 2, Smith Cons: Staunton 7 Sale (7) 21
Tries: Boko, Peel, Ormsby Cons: Macleod 3

Manu Tuilagi
Man of the match Manu Tuilagi (middle) was one of three brothers on the field alongside team-mate Alesana and Sale centre Andy

Leicester ran in eight tries against Sale to round off a miserable week for the Sharks with a 54-21 thrashing.

The Tigers started brilliantly, Anthony Allen, Alesana Tuilagi, Rob Hawkins and Manu Tuilagi all crossing before half time at Welford Road.

Sale managed just one try by Asaeli Boko in response.

After the break Tigers added scores by Scott Hamilton (2), Manu Tuilagi and Matt Smith, while Dwayne Peel and Kristian Ormsby went over for Sale.

It was always likely to be a difficult task for the visitors following the sacking of head coach Mike Brewer four days before, at a sold-out Welford Road, following a week in which training had been affected by the snow.

Tigers took to the field intent on proving the bookmakers right and were 14-0 ahead inside 10 minutes after Jeremy Staunton's smart offload gave Allen enough space to wrestle over from a metre out.

The Tigers fly-half was then on target to convert the try he helped create.

Alesana Tuilagi came up with the first outstanding try of the game just 35 seconds after the restart when Leicester produced two sweeping moves wide left and then back to the right wing where Thomas Waldrom and Marcos Ayerza exchanged passes before Tuilagi senior powered his way over.

Staunton again converted and the Tigers were now rampant.

Hawkins skilfully avoided the touchline to dive in for his first Leicester try in the corner - the Tigers' third inside 15 minutes.

But, after the 20-minute mark, Sale began to make their way into the contest.

Mark Cueto, celebrating his 150th Premiership appearance, kicked an inch-perfect touch-finder into the corner and, from the resulting line-out, Sale won a five-metre scrum.

Boko's brilliant break from the base saw him shrug off tackles by James Grindal and Alesana Tuilagi to reach out an arm for the line, Nick Macleod adding the conversion.

The Sharks' try galvanised the visitors as they increased their tempo and accuracy with offloads and short-range drives. But the wind was taken out of their sails when Manu Tuilagi crossed for the bonus-point try five minutes before the break.

Macleod missed a penalty attempt - the only one by either side in the half - on the stroke of half time.

Soon after the restart, Hamilton's try was all about the space created by Geordan Murphy at first receiver.

The Ireland full-back's quick dummy and pass behind his back found the New Zealander gunning at top speed to cruise over Sale's line, Staunton adding his fifth conversion of the afternoon.


Manu Tuilagi's second score was spectacular as he broke two tackles with strong fends to slide in and make it a hat-trick for the Samoan brothers in Tigers colours - against their brother, Sale centre Andy.

But Sale were not dead and buried, Peel and Cueto combining to create a fantastically gutsy try as they ran the ball from their own 22.

After they won a penalty five metres out, scrum-half Peel took a quick tap and smuggled the ball over.

Macleod added the extras but, straight after the restart, Tigers turned over and shipped it wide for Hamilton to cross in the corner for his brace.

Staunton was for once off target with the conversion, but he was on song for his next attempt after clever decoy running created room for Matt Smith to slide where Hamilton had scored minutes earlier.

The final word though went to Sale - whose grit and determination was personified by Ormsby - when the second row rounded off a fine move to salvage some pride for the Cheshire men on a torrid afternoon.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill:
"It is a difficult time of year and with them losing their coach we didn't know what to expect from them.

"It was a big start from us with three tries but we went somewhat off the boil from there.

"We are delighted with the five-point win, the boys took their scoring opportunities, but conceding three tries was not great."

Sale coach Pete Anglesea: "My job starts here. This was a benchmark for me to see the state of our position.

"We have got to get some confidence in our team. Welford Road is a very hard place to find confidence and it was very frustrating watching the boys out there.

"Obviously in the first 20 minutes they seemed to be affected by the off-field matters and heads went down.

"However we scored three nice tries and some of the senior players will have to take on more responsibility as it is a mammoth task and I would urge all supporters to get behind the team."

Leicester: Murphy (capt); Hamilton, M Tuilagi, Allen, A Tuilagi; Staunton, Grindal; Ayerza, Hawkins, Castrogiovanni; Deacon, Slater; Mafi, Newby, Waldrom.

Replacements: Duffey, Bucknall, White, Green, Hemmingway, Harrison, Smith, Twelvetrees

Sale: Williams; Cohen, Tait, A Tuilagi, Cueto; Macleod, Peel; Imiolek, M Jones, Wihongi; C Jones, Ormsby; Boko, Fearns, Brightwell.

Replacements: Roberts, McIntyre, Thomas, Cox, McMillan, Cliff, Miller, Bell.

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see also
Guscott's predictions
27 Dec 10 |  English
Croft likely to miss Six Nations
23 Dec 10 |  Rugby Union
Head coach Brewer sacked by Sale
23 Dec 10 |  Sale
London Irish 14-23 Leicester
04 Dec 10 |  English
Exeter 24-19 Sale
27 Nov 10 |  English
Rugby Union commentaries
09 Sep 10 |  Rugby Union

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