Tommy Reffell’s hat-trick of tries sees Leicester thrash woeful Newcastle
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A hat-trick of tries from Leicester’s Wales flanker Tommy Reffell ensured Newcastle’s desperate start to the season with a 47-3 Gallagher Premiership defeat.
After eight league games, one-dimensional Newcastle Falcons remain winless, having picked up just four points to stay rooted to the bottom of the table, eight points behind ninth-placed Gloucester.
After a slow start, Leicester Tiger’s pack gradually took control with Matt Scott, Jasper Wiese, Ollie Hassell-Collins and Mike Brown also on the try-scoring sheet to add to Reffell’s hat-trick, with Handre Pollard kicking four conversions and Jamie Shillcock another two.
A penalty from Brett Connon was Newcastle’s sole response.
The win was Leicester’s third in succession and they now lie seventh in the league table.
Newcastle dominated the opening 10 minutes by penning their opponents in their own 22. Their relentless pressure won a number of penalties and eventually they opted for a kick at goal with Connon knocking over a straightforward attempt.
Tigers’ response was swift as their first attack resulted in a try for Reffell, who finished off a driving line-out.
Pollard converted before Scott scored Leicester’s second try by carving through the visitors’ defence after receiving the ball from a line-out 15 metres out.
Newcastle had competed well in the first half-hour but conceding two tries in quick succession was a hammer blow to their chances.
The second came after the hosts had gone through 15 phases before Reffell was presented with an easy run-in.
With the last move of the half, Leicester picked up their bonus-point try when Wiese powered over with Pollard’s conversion giving his side a 26-3 interval lead.
After the restart a kicking error from Falcons’ scrum-half, James Elliott, gave the home side an attacking platform but they couldn’t capitalise as the incessant rain was hampering their efforts.
However Newcastle just couldn’t get out of their half and it came as no surprise when Tigers scored a fifth try with Reffell completing his hat-trick from a driving line-out.
Pollard converted but that was his final act as he, Ben Youngs, Scott and Ollie Chessum were all withdrawn in one swoop.
Wiese was also replaced but not before the number eight had been high tackled by Falcons’ flanker, Pedro Rubiolo, who collected a yellow card from referee Sara Cox.
Tigers soon benefitted when a strong run from replacement from Solomone Kata presented Hassell-Collins with a try before Brown rammed home Tigers’ superiority with their seventh try.
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