Inside the Tigers’ Den - Young talent and old heads give Leicester the win

The impressive Harry Thacker scrumming down with Boris Stankovich and Fraser Balmain
The impressive Harry Thacker scrumming down with Boris Stankovich and Fraser Balmain
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Leicester looked hungry for the win on Friday night, in fact at times the stars of the future who packed Tigers starting line-up looked ravenous, after being starved of the club’s customary success in recent weeks.

A youthful Tigers side, which had an average age of under 24 years-old, mixed in with a few old heads with something to prove, were too much for an equally inexperienced Ospreys side in the opening round of the LV= Cup.

Thomas Waldrom celebrates his try with his trademark celebration

Thomas Waldrom celebrates his try with his trademark celebration

Leicester came into the match on the back of two Aviva Premiership loses to London Wasps and Harlequins, and were desperately in need of not only a win but a strong performance.

Tigers’ centre debutantes George Catchpole and Javiah Pohe and development squad members Joe Cain and Harry Thacker brought, a youthful dynamism to the homeside which was a breath of fresh air. A much needed injection of passion from players playing for their future.

Hooker Thacker particularly caught the eye with his energetic mobile performance, combined with assured line-out throwing, earning him the man of the match award.

Most, if not all of the 18,000 fans who watched the action at Welford Road, will have left thinking Leicester’s dynasty of dominance is in safe hands for the future.

Despite the raft of new faces there were some familiar names on the score sheet. Thomas Waldrom opened the scoring with the pick of tries, beating three tacklers to breach the line.

Sam Harrison scored the second try to cap a fine performance at scrum half and Harry Wells and Michael Noone went over to secure the bonus point. Fly-half Owen Williams kicked 19 points in an improved display.

Despite Tigers’ poor showing in the league after being struck down by a severe injury crisis, with the struggling Worcester Warriors up next in the LV= Cup they could go on a surprise run in the competition Leicester won in 2012.

In other news

England picked up their second win of the autumn, winning 31-13 against Argentina on Saturday, after a 20-13 victory over Australia.

Dan Cole, Tom Youngs, Geoff Parling, and Toby Flood all featured against the Pumas from the replacements bench.

Ben Youngs was due to join them in the match day 23 but pulled out late in the day with a hip injury.

At this rate Richard Cockerill may get his players back fresher than expected with Tiger’s England contingent largely playing a minor role for the national side so far.

However if fit all five players are likely to be involved in the defining game of the autumn series against New Zealand on Saturday.