15 mins – Leicester 3-5 Harlequins
Tough start for Morris, who spills another ball after a high catch. Sharp grubber from Toomua bounces horribly for Quins, as Morris is forced to dot down. Five-metre scrum for Tigers, Quins prop Boyce getting a bit of treatment on his shoulder.
PENALTY TOOMUA! Leicester 3-5 Harlequins
Better effort second time around from Toomua to put Leicester on the scoreboard.
13 mins – Leicester 0-5 Harlequins
Catch and drive for Leicester on the Quins 22. Another penalty coming after a cross-chip from Harrison doesn’t quite come off.
12 mins – Leicester 0-5 Harlequins
Toomua’s penalty comes back off the right upright! Wasn’t the hardest kick but it’s been some time since Toomua was on kicking duty.
11 mins – Leicester 0-5 Harlequins
Kalamafoni trucks up before Leicester clear through Harrison, solid exit play. Welford Road very quiet before Toomua’s sharp pass sparks a break after the return kick. Leicester’s chance to threaten, Thompstone pushing hard.
Bateman with the break! The prop flying clear through the middle, Leicester advantage for offside in Quins’ 22. We’ll come back for the penalty, Gray singled out.
That early Alofa try
A superb team move is finished off by Alofa Alofa with less than three minutes on the clock.
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) 17 February 2018
5 mins – Leicester 0-5 Harlequins
Out on the full from Toomua at the restart, scrum for Quins. Roberts crashes up, good bump in the tackle by Wallace to get over halfway. Quins looking sharp early on.
Ten phases later Smith launches it high, knocked on by Visser for a Leicester scrum.
TRY ALOFA! Leicester 0-5 Harlequins
Morris knocks on under the Harrison kick. Scrum for Tigers who get over halfway before looking wide, Owen running well and adding some physicality into that midfield.
Leicester knock-on ends the attack, Quins looking to respond. Long passage of play after the lineout as Morris throws a dummy and breaks… one pass left to Alofa who goes over in the corner!
Tuilagi left for dead by that dummy – first real ball that Harlequins have seen in the contest and they score. Veainu down for Leicester as Smith pulls the conversion left.
Two other games this afternoon
Bottom side London Irish are at Northampton Saints, while Worcester host Gloucester in a local derby.
New forwards coach for Leicester
Mark Bakewell has arrived this week from Bristol to fill that vacant forwards coach role.
“We’re trying to work harder as an eight. We’ve had a really positive week and would like to see that transferred onto the field,” says Leicester director of rugby Matt O’Connor.
Leicester’s play-off record
We’re used to seeing Leicester pick up around this time of the season. Quick reminder that they have not missed the play-offs in the last 13 seasons.
Speaking of Ibitoye…
You can look a million dollars in attack, but if your defence isn’t up there you won’t get picked. Trying to be solid either side of the ball is my aim. Personally, I hope that if I get it right defensively, the attack can take care of itself.
Missed the U20s match last night?
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) 10 February 2018
Hello! No Six Nations this weekend but this afternoon we’re focusing on the Aviva Premiership, as Leicester Tigers take on Harlequins at Welford Road.
Only a point separates the two sides in the league – Leicester on 33 points, Harlequins on 32 – but both sides are desperate to make the top six and head into the weekend considerably adrift of sixth-place Bath (41 points).
That makes victory today absolutely vital, as Leicester move Matt Toomua to fly-half from his customary inside centre berth. Gareth Owen and Jonah Holmes also start for Tigers.
Harlequins are with Ross Chisholm at full-back so in comes Aaron Morris, while Gabriel Ibitoye is on the bench after his apprentice stint with England this week.
Saturday’s game also marks 50 appearances in a Quins shirt for rising star Joe Marchant.
— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) 17 February 2018
Leicester Tigers: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Jonah Holmes, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Sam Harrison; 1 Greg Bateman, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Mike Williams, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 8 Sione Kalamafoni
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Harry Simmons, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Mathew Tait
Harlequins: 15 Aaron Morris, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Jonno Kitto; 1 Lewis Boyce, 2 Joe Gray, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Stan South, 5 Charlie Matthews, 6 Luke Wallace, 7 Dave Ward (c), 8 James Chisholm
Replacements: 16 Charlie Piper, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Sam Twomey, 20 Archie White, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 James Lang, 23 Gabriel Ibitoye
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce, Hamish Smales
TMO: David Grashoff