Written 18th December
Leicester Tigers welcome Exeter Chiefs to Welford Road on Saturday 21st December, looking to channel the momentum that has been built up over two impressive wins over Rugby Calvisano, including a gruelling 13-20 triumph at the Pata Stadium.
The conditions in Italy may not have been the kindest, but that could well have built up a resilience that the Tigers will be looking to bring into this clash with the high-flying Chiefs, as they look to drive their way up the Gallagher Premiership table.
These sides have already met at Welford Road this season, as Leicester Tigers recorded a bonus point win over their opposition in a 27-7 victory in the Premiership Rugby Cup back in September. The Tigers will be looking to repeat that success against a notorious thorn in their side in league matchups.
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs
Date: 21st December 2019
Where: Welford Road.
When: Kick Off 3pm, Live on BT Sport.
Referee: Luke Pearce.
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace & John Meredith.
TMO: Rowan Kitt.
LeoVegas were delighted to speak exclusively to Leicester Tigers Scrum-half Ben White ahead of Exeter Chiefs’ visit to Welford Road on Saturday. Here is what he had to say:
LV: Would you say it is good to be back playing Premiership Rugby after a few weeks of European Challenge Cup action?
BW: “The overall picture with Europe is different – we’ve got four wins from four and picked up some bonus points to put us at the top of the pool and in a good position, controlling it. It’s also been good to pick up results on the road, which is something we haven’t done well in the last couple of years, so to do that – no matter how you get them – is important, because winning is important. We need to build that momentum and keep playing well, and try and build some performances no matter who we’re playing against.”
LV: Exeter have consistently been one of the strongest sides in England over the last few years, so how are you going to approach this game?
BW: “There’s no question, Exeter are a big physical side with some world-class backs and they hold the ball well. They’ve got some strong ball carriers, and then they have got some deadly finishers out wide. They’re a tough team to play against, but we ourselves have a strong side, have good ball carriers and some good players and it’s all about getting the right plan, the right structures set and executing at the weekend.”
LV: What has the mood been like at the Oval Park training ground since the last Premiership game, and through two European weeks?
BW: “We went over our last game on Monday, and there were some frustrations as well as some good parts, some poor parts, and there are some areas that we definitely need to improve on. At the end of the day, you park it and you move on to Exeter, which is a much bigger task. We’ve reviewed it, we’re getting our game plan sorted, and hopefully we can execute on the weekend.”
LV: How important will the role of the fans at Welford Road be in order to help get the Tigers back on track?
BW: “We’re definitely up for it. Every chance you get to play at Welford Road, at home, it’s massive. This week is a big challenge, and one we’re going to relish.”
Leicester Tigers will feel hard done by with their league position, as their overall performances have certainly been better than their 11th placed standing would suggest. Things look like they’re beginning to come together for the side though, particularly with regard to performances both home and away in the European Challenge Cup, with a loss to fierce rivals Northampton Saints being sandwiched between wins over Pau, Cardiff Blues, and two wins over Calvisano.
Leicester Tigers will be pleased with the hard-fought win over Rugby Calvisano in difficult conditions last Saturday, as Geordan Murphy’s side returned from Lombardy having secured a fourth win in a row in the European Challenge Cup, to leave them top of Pool 5.
Barely a minute had passed before Full-back Freddie Steward broke through the defensive line to register his first senior try for the Tigers, although any hopes of a landslide victory were quashed as the opposition dug in defensively, albeit with the Tigers 8-3 up at the interval. The second half saw Andy Forsyth capitalise on a Calvisano red card, before Nephi Leatigaga also bagged his first try for the club at the death to earn a 13-20 away win to take the spoils.
That result sees the Tigers top Pool 5 on 18 points, 5 points clear of Cardiff Blues, knowing that a win against them at Welford Road in the next fixture will see them progress to the quarter-final stage.
Since the Leicester Tigers won the Premiership in 2012-13, these two have faced off against one another on twelve occasions in the league, with a mixed bag of results in that period.
Matches Played: 12
Leicester Tigers Wins: 6
Exeter Chiefs Wins: 6
Exeter Chiefs have had the better time of it in recent contests, as Leicester Tigers have only won one of the last six meetings; 20-13 at Welford Road in September of 2017.
In terms of the Leicester Tigers betting odds for the match, they go into the game as outsiders, given how Exeter Chiefs are performing in the Gallagher Premiership so far.
The Regular Time Market has the “Dead Heat” rule applied, which has online betting odds divided by 2 in case of a draw.
The Regular Time 3-Way market has a separate option for the draw.
Here at LeoVegas, we also offer handicap markets for the match too.
This market means that Leicester Tigers will theoretically begin the game with a 5.5 point advantage, and this bet would pay out as a winner if the Tigers either win the game or lose by less than 6 points.
Keep an eye on LeoVegas’ Sports blog throughout the rest of the season, as we bring you all of the Rugby betting tips and previews for each Leicester Tigers fixture.
LeoVegas, proud partners of Leicester Tigers.
*All odds correct at the time of writing.