Maori ABs lose tour opener
A crowd of over 17,000 saw Leicester clinch a memorable 32-24 victory over the Maori All Blacks, with George Ford kicking 22 points.
The visitors took the lead thanks to a try from Frae Wilson after some impressive offloading, before Leicester responded through George Ford's boot and a try from Niall Morris after a pass from Mathew Tait.
The match was Tait's first game for Leicester in 13 months after a troublesome groin injury kept him on the sidelines.
The Tigers then extended their lead after the Maori lost possession and Matt Smith hacked on, with winger Adam Thompstone gathering possession and then speeding past the visitors defence to score.
Maori fly-half Willie Ripia responded with a penalty before centre Tim Bateman crossed for the Maori's second try, closing the gap to 26-17 at half-time.
Ford added another penalty at the start of the second half before the Maori scored their third try of match through Charlie Ngatai in the right hand corner, with Ripia converting.
Both sides were temporarily down to 14 men with Dan Bowden and Jarrod Hoeata sent to the sin-bin, another Ford penalty putting the score at 32-24.
Handling errors then restricted the Maori's opportunities as they tried to come back into the match. Ford missed a long-range penalty to kill the game off late on, but the Maori were unable to close the gap, leading to a memorable win for the Tigers.
<b>For Leicester Tigers:</b><br><b>Tries:</b> Morris, Thompstone<br><b>Con:</b> Ford 2<br><b>Pen:</b> Ford 6<br><b>Yellow cards:</b> Bowden
<b>For Maori All Blacks:</b><br><b>Tries:</b> Wilson, Bateman, Ngatai<br><b>Con:</b> Ripia 3<br><b>Pen:</b> Ripia<br><b>Yellow cards:</b> Hoeata
<b>Leicester Tigers:</b> 0 Mathew Tait, N Niall Morris, M Matt Smith, L Anthony Allen, K Adam Thompstone, J George Ford, I Patrick Phibbs, H Julian Salvi, G Jordan Crane, F Ed Slater, E Graham Kitchener, D Louis Deacon (c), C Fraser Balmain, B George Chuter, A Boris Stankovich.<br><b>Replacements:</b> P Jonny Harris, Q Jimmy Stevens, R Kieran Brookes, S Michael Noone, T Richard Thorpe, U Sam Harrison, V Dan Bowden, W Andy Forsyth.
<b>Maori All Blacks:</b> 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Kurt Baker, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Kade Poki, 10 Willy Ripia, 9 Frae Wilson, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Tanerau Latimer (c), 6 Shane Christie, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Ben May.<br><b>Replacements:</b> 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Bronson Murray, 19 Romana Graham, 20 Nick Crosswell, 21 Jamieson Gibson-Park, 22 Jackson Willison, 23 Declan O'Donnell.