Leicester Tigers end their four-year wait for a trophy with Anglo-Welsh Cup glory over Exeter

Exeter Chiefs 12-16 Leicester Tigers: The victorious Tigers became the first club to record a hat-trick of wins in the competition after their triumphs in 2007 and 2012

Sunday 19 March 2017 21:41
Leicester's squad celebrate their victory at the Stoop
Leicester's squad celebrate their victory at the Stoop

Freddie Burns kicked 11 points as Leicester won their first trophy since 2013 with a 16-12 Anglo-Welsh Cup final success over Exeter at Twickenham Stoop.

The outside-half kicked three penalties and a conversion as the Tigers became the first side to secure a hat-trick of Anglo-Welsh titles, following their successes in 2007 and 2012.

Tom Brady scored a try for Leicester with James Short and Sam Simmonds scoring Exeter's tries. Will Hooley converted one but crucially young outside-half, Joe Simmonds, missed three kicks in a game watched by a crowd of 6,834.

There was little between the sides but Leicester just had the edge in terms of experience and it just proved enough against an Exeter side who made too many errors at crucial stages.

Ellis Genge made a number of early surges to put Leicester on the front foot in the opening stages and they were rewarded with a 12th minute score when Burns kicked a long range penalty.

However Exeter soon responded with the first try of the game when Short powered past a weak tackle from Tigers' skipper Mathew Tait before racing 30 metres to score.

Leicester regained the lead when Tom Brady intercepted a telegraphed pass to run 50 metres for a try, which Burns converted to give his side a 10-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Freddie Burns (C) had a superb game

A couple of elementary kicking errors did not help the Exeter cause as their opponents continued to have the better of the first half - and they went further ahead when Burns knocked over his second penalty.

Joe Simmonds should have reduced the arrears but missed badly with a straightforward 25m penalty.

A mistake-laden half from Exeter was compounded when Sam Hill lost possession in the Tigers 22 for Burns and Peter Bethan to counter-attack in style. Excellent passing took Leicester up to the halfway line, where Harry Thacker was tackled high by Shaun Malton. The Exeter hooker was yellow carded and Burns succeeded with the resulting penalty to give his side a deserved 16-5 interval lead.

Early in the second half, Simmonds was again off target with a penalty attempt and Chiefs' ill-luck continued when a try for Jack Maunder was ruled out by the TMO as an earlier knock-on from skipper Julian Salvi was spotted.

Leicester players celebrate in the changing rooms

Malton returned from the sin-bin but Leicester remained in control as the third quarter was scoreless - but the Chiefs' pack were becoming increasingly dominant.

With 18 minutes remaining, Burns was replaced by Owen Williams as Exeter continued to ramp up the pressure and after turning down two kickable penalties, they crucially conceded a penalty at a five-metre scrum to give Leicester some temporary breathing space.

The final 10 minutes saw Exeter batter the try-line and they set up a grandstand finish with two minutes remaining when Sam Simmonds burst over for Hooley to convert - however, Leicester held on.

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