Leicester Tigers fans fear relegation as season spirals towards the unthinkable

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Exeter Chiefs ran in seven tries at Welford Road to put a major dent in Leicester Tigers’ hopes of Premiership survival.

The league leaders dominated more or less from the outset, and secured a bonus-point after just half an hour thanks to scores from Matt Kvesic, Jack Yeandle, Olly Woodburn and Henry Slade.

A bad day at the office for the hosts was made worse by Youngs’ late red card, with Geordan Murphy’s men still just five points away from the relegation zone.

The threat of relegation is now a very real possibility for Leicester after losing nine of their last 12 matches. They could fall to the bottom of the table if they lose to Newcastle, who occupy that spot, next weekend.

“I’ve heard it said the Newcastle match is one of the biggest in our history, but that will come further down the line. We have to reflect on today when the red card killed the game,” Tigers coach Geordan Murphy said after the loss.

After losing England halfback Ben Youngs for the rest of the season during the week, the Tigers relegation will be that much tougher. Even the appointment of former England defence coach Mike Ford has failed to have an immediate impact, with the side conceding a record number of points in the Premiership era.

The rot started last season when the Tigers missed the playoffs for the first time. After sacking Australian coach Matt O’Connor after the first game of the season, the Tigers have struggled to stop themselves from freefalling down the Premiership ladder. Relegation would be an unthinkable scenario for a club that has won four Premiership titles from 2006 to 2013.

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