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)


Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine