London Welsh    5 (try Scott)
Leicester    26 (tries Thacker 2, Kitchener, Barbieri; cons Bell 3)

LONDON Welsh produced a much-improved display, but suffered a mauling at the hands of Leicester Tigers.

The Exiles ensured there was no repeat of last week’s 71-7 humiliation at Wasps and even took the lead with a try from wing Nick Scott.

But Tigers were deserving winners, with their very potent driving maul contributing three tries.

Hooker Harry Thacker scored two of these during an impressive display.

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Welsh had their moments, with No 8 Opeti Fonua catching the eye on his first start, but they are still miles away from their first win, with leaders Northampton visiting next week.

They began the match 11 points adrift at the bottom after Newcastle beat Gloucester on Friday night to climb above London Irish and that is how they remain.

While their performance was better, a crowd of 3,249 was poor, especially with a decent travelling support.

Welsh made two late changes to their bench, with Alan Awcock replacing new signing Elliot Kear, whose wife gave birth on Saturday night, and Nathan Morris coming in for Koree Britton, who had a back injury.

Tigers fly half Freddie Burns saw his long-range kick drift wide of the posts on six minutes after Welsh were penalised on their own scrum ball.

Leicester dominated the territory, but made a surprising number of errors and Burns missed a further penalty attempt.

Exiles captain Tom May sent a drop-goal attempt wide on 23 minutes, but Tigers could not get control of the ball before Welsh scored the opening try.

With the visitors stranded on their left, full back Seb Jewell’s cross kick allowed Scott to catch and slide over.

Fly half Gordon Ross missed the tricky conversion, but Welsh’s confidence had clearly risen.

They were, however, conceding too many penalties and from one of these, Tigers went for the corner and set up a maul in which Thacker was driven over on 37 minutes.

Welsh flanker Lachlan McCaffrey was just beaten to the ball by Burns in the Tigers’ goal area as he tried to capitalise on a charge down.

At the other end, Tigers were rewarded well for passing up a kickable penalty.

After they went for the corner, Thacker was driven over for his second try, with full back Tommy Bell, who had taken over the kicking duties, converting.

Leicester turned down another kickable penalty just after half-time, but wasted it with a crooked line-out.

However, a slick passing move created space, which allowed Tigers lock Graham Kitchener to finish via some neat footwork and a powerful lunge, Bell converting to make it 19-5.

Tigers’ driving maul was proving devastating and it was no surprise that try No 4 came from that source, replacement Robert Barbieri applying the finishing touch.

Bell converted for 26-5, while Fonua lost the ball as he tried to pull a try back for Welsh from a line-out move of their own in the right corner.

Fonua was injured in the attempt and replaced by Ben Pienaar.

The match petered out in the final ten minutes, with Tigers happy enough to have recorded a bonus-point victory and Welsh lacking the attacking platform to score again.

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