Toby Flood returns as Leicester reach LV Cup semi-finals

England fly-half Flood back as Tigers beat Newcastle 24-13
Northampton and Scarlets also book semi-final place
Toby Flood
England fly-half Toby Flood played the final 30 minutes for Leicester on his comeback from a knee injury. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
England fly-half Toby Flood played the final 30 minutes for Leicester on his comeback from a knee injury. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Press Association
Sat 4 Feb 2012 14.36 EST

Leicester secured a place in the LV Cup semi-finals by beating Newcastle 24-13 at Welford Road. Toby Flood came through 30 minutes of action from the bench in a boost to the England management, as the fly-half returned from a knee injury with no ill-effects.

The home side went ahead in the seventh minute, when the No8 Thomas Waldrom was barged over the line after a lineout. Jeremy Staunton added the conversion and then struck two penalties. Jimmy Gopperth replied with two penalties for Newcastle, but two more kicks for Staunton gave Leicester a 19-6 half-time lead.

Leicester lock George Skivington increased their lead when he nipped in for their second try early in the second half. Newcastle kept battling, and when Will Chudley whipped the ball out to Gopperth at first receiver, the Kiwi utilised superb decoy running from Jamie Helleur to scurry between the posts, adding the conversion himself.

Northampton scored eight tries in a 57-10 home victory over Wasps to qualify for the semi-finals. The England Under-20 winger Jamie Elliott scored twice as the Saints dominated against a hopelessly out-of-form Wasps.

The Saints went ahead with an early penalty from Stephen Myler, and soon the hooker Andy Long plunged over for his first try for the club. James Craig soon opened his account and Elliott scored their third try after Myler's deflected grubber fell kindly for him.

Will Robinson struck a long-range penalty for Wasps to make the half-time score 22-3, but when Simon McIntyre was sin-binned, the home side took advantage with a penalty try, a run into the corner for Noah Cato and Elliott's second. Joe Simpson scored a consolation for Wasps before Alex Waller and Cato completed the scoring.

The England flanker Hendre Fourie scored a try on his home debut to give Sale a 19-14 victory but Scarlets still progressed to the semi-finals. Scarlets' bonus point, coupled with defeats for Gloucester and Newcastle, guaranteed their passage into the last four. Fourie's early try was converted by the fly-half Nick Macleod, but the visitors were 11-7 ahead by half-time thanks to two penalties from Dan Newton and a try from Peter Edwards.

Sale rallied in the second half with three further penalties by Macleod. The Scarlets replacement Stephen Jones reduced the deficit with a penalty, but a final kick from Macleod ensured victory for Sale.

A masterly kicking display from the London Irish full-back Tom Homer condemned the defending champions Gloucester to a 23-15 defeat, with both teams already out of semi-final contention. The Gloucester winger Ian Clark stole the show with two tries, one of them an outstanding solo effort, on his first start for the club. Homer kicked six penalties, with the hooker Brian Blaney grabbing a try for the Exiles.

Worcester beat Ospreys 24-14 at Sixways in another match where both teams were already eliminated. Two tries from Josh Drauniniu and nine points from the boot of Andy Goode contributed to Worcester's win, while Matthew Morgan and Hanno Dirksen crossed for the Ospreys.