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Leicester Tigers 15-26 Australia

LEICESTER (12) 15
Pens: Twelvetrees (5)
AUSTRALIA: (13) 26
Tries: Turner, Higginbotham Cons: Barnes (2) Pens: Barnes (4)

Berrick Barnes (right) and Billy Twelvetrees
Australia worked hard to secure a deserved win at an atmospheric Welford Road

Australia's second-string left it late to see off Leicester in a hard-fought encounter ahead of Saturday's Test against England at Twickenham.

The Wallabies led 13-12 at the break thanks to winger Lachie Turner's try.

Captain Berrick Barnes added a penalty and a drop-goal before flanker Scott Higginbotham went over in injury time.

Leicester fly-half Billy Twelvetrees was in good kicking form, but the match ran away from the Premiership champions in the final phases.

Australia were pushed hard by a Tigers team featuring 10 internationals, albeit none of whom are involved in this month's Test programme.

Leicester - who defeated world champions South Africa in a tour match in 2009 - scored all of their points courtesy of five penalties from Twelvetrees' boot, four of which came in a first half that ended tightly.

The Wallabies had burst into the lead, scrum-half Luke Burgess gathering a loose ball before breaking clear to find Turner for the first try, which made the score 10-0 following a Barnes penalty.

But Twelvetrees capitalised on missed opportunities from Barnes to bring Leicester back into the match, even nudging the Tigers in front just after half time with Australia failing to roll away at the tackle.

But Barnes found his groove again and was on target with a 72nd-minute penalty, and a drop-goal a minute before full-time.

606: DEBATE
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With Leicester then chasing the game, a late turnover led to a breakaway try for Higginbotham which Barnes converted.

"We are delighted with the win," said Australia coach Robbie Deans, a longstanding supporter of midweek tour matches.

"This is the nearest our young side can get to a Test match. You can't replicate this on the training ground. Seven of our guys put on the jersey for the first time."

Leicester coach Richard Cockerill was disappointed by his side's failure to stay in front, but the former England hooker also praised Australia's performance.

"I'm a little disappointed," Cockerill stated. "It was a fierce contest, we gave them an early lead but we got right back in it.

"The momentum was with us, we were 15-13 up and should've closed the game out. In the end, the score was too heavily in their favour."



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see also
Johnson positive ahead of Australia clash
09 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Hooker Hartley gets England call
09 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Wales 16-25 Australia
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Australia 26-24 New Zealand
30 Oct 10 |  Rugby Union
Tigers announce Australia match
13 Jul 10 |  Leicester
Leicester 22-17 South Africa
06 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union


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