Aviva Premiership: Leicester controversially beat London Irish 20-11
Last Updated: 23/11/13 6:30pm
Referee Martin Fox awards Leicester a second penalty try
Champions Leicester ended a dismal run in the Aviva Premiership with a 20-11 victory at home to London Irish thanks to two controversial penalty tries.
The Tigers, without a win in their last three league matches, were awarded a penalty try for collapsed scrums in each half by referee Martin Fox even though Leicester did not look likely to score from either.
Toby Flood converted both and also kicked two penalties, while the Irish replied with two penalties from former Australia full-back James O'Connor and a last minute try from centre Fergus Mulchrone.
London Irish had one player, prop John Yapp, sin binned and missed out on a losing bonus point after missing a conversion and a drop goal at the death.
Leicester took a 7-0 lead but Irish bounced back to reduce the arrears to one point and, with better decision making, might have scored a couple of tries.
After missing a penalty, Tigers' England fly-half Toby Flood ran four but in the 10th minute referee Martin Fox lost patience with Irish, who had consistently offended, and awarded Leicester a penalty try after the visitors collapsed a scrum near their own line.
It appeared a harsh decision as Leicester did not look likely to score but Flood kicked the conversion to make it 7-0.
Two penalties by O'Connor put Irish back in the game but he missed with one from long range after Flood had made it 10-6 to the Tigers with his first penalty.
Irish suffered a blow two minutes before half-time, losing hooker David Paice with a broken right arm suffered during an assault on the Leicester line.
Leicester brought on a fourth member of the England team from the autumn internationals, prop Dan Cole, in the second half, and Flood extended the Tigers' lead with a 47th minute penalty.
England wing Marland Yarde then came to the visitors' rescue with a try saving tackle on Leicester replacement Adam Thompstone, who had charged down a clearance from O'Connor.
It appeared as though Thompstone's momentum had taken him over the line but the television match official said he had been held up. Yarde was injured in the process and had to go off.
It led to a series of Leicester scrums on the Irish line. The referee warned Skivington after the fourth scrum went down and two scrums later he sent Yapp to the sin-bin.
After 11 scrums in almost 10 minutes the referee again lost patience with Irish, who were being marched backwards, and awarded the Tigers a second penalty try which Flood converted to make it 20-6.
With less than a minute to go centre Mulchrone scored a fabulous try from a counter attack but Darren Allinson missed the conversion. Geraghty missed a drop goal in stoppage time,