Leicester 34 Leeds 21: Ellis enjoys comeback as Leicester point Leeds towards door

Time will tell if the return of Harry Ellis to Leicester is successful. England's scrum-half at the time, Ellis sustained a ligament injury 10 months ago and missed the World Cup and the current Six Nations campaign.

Ellis actually made his first steps back from injury in midweek, playing for the Leicester Academy XV against Annecy. The Tigers won 76-3. Ellis was not among the scorers, and nor was he when he appeared for the first team against Leeds at Welford Road on Saturday. But his 58th-minute arrival, in place of Frank Murphy, earned him the cheer of the afternoon from a crowd of 17,002.

"After 10 months out, I'm pleased to be back playing," said Ellis. "It's the greatest feeling I've ever had. It's not in my nature to be patient. Each week I get stronger."

Leicester's coach, Marcelo Loffreda, said: "When Harry is on the field, everyone feels good."

For Loffreda's opposite number, Stuart Lancaster, time is running out. "We were disappointed to lose, especially after such a great start," he said, referring to the visitors' rush to a 13-0 lead. "But you cannot give sides like Leicester easy tries. We displayed so many unforced errors, our decision making was under almost constant pressure. Our next game, against Bristol, is crucial or our time will be up."

There were times when Leeds looked the real deal. Within a minute the prop Fosi Pala'amo scored an opportunist try, which Alberto Di Bernardo converted. The outside-half kicked a penalty and then dropped a goal. Leicester pulled themselves together with two tries. The first went to the No 8 Jordan Crane, a Leeds old boy, and was converted by Ian Humphreys, another to have played at Headingley. The second went to Tom Varndell, who intercepted Jonny Hepworth's pass. Humphreys' conversion hit an upright but his penalty made it 15-13 at the break.

By then Geordan Murphy had limped off; he looks likely to miss Ireland's match against Wales in Dublin on Saturday. Apart from another Di Bernardo penalty and a late try for Hepworth there were Leicester tries for Johne Murphy and Humphreys and a penalty try. Leeds are bottom of the Premiership, 10 points behind Worcester.

Leicester: Tries Crane, Varndell, penalty try, J Murphy, Humphreys; Conversions Humphreys 3; Penalty Humphreys. Leeds: Tries Pala'amo, Hepworth; Conversion Di Bernardo; Penalties Di Bernardo 2; Drop goal Di Bernardo.

Leicester: G Murphy (A Tuilagi, 24); T Varndell, D Hipkiss, O Smith, J Murphy; I Humphreys, F Murphy (H Ellis, 58); B Stankovich, M Davies (B Kayser, 65), J White (M Castrogiovanni, 65), L Deacon (capt; B Pienaar, 68), T Croft (M Corry, 18-28), B Deacon, B Herring (Corry, 48), J Crane.

Leeds: L Hinton (R Vickerman, 75); J Holtby, J Hepworth, A Tuilagi, A Satala (L Blackett, 75); A Di Bernardo, J Bedford (capt; J Brooks, 76); M MacDonald (Pala'amo, 74), R Rawlinson (V Ma'asi 54), F Pala'amo (A Hopcroft, 47), E Lund, P Bouza (M Lock, 75), K Myall, H Fourie (D Paul, 75), A Balding.

Referee: A Rowden (Berkshire)

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living