Late strike from Williams sinks Munster

Date published: December 17 2016

Owen Williams slotted a 79th-minute penalty from within his own half to snatch an 18-16 win for Leicester over Munster.

Six penalties from the fly-half meant Niall Scannell'’s late try wasn’t enough for the Irish province to make it back-to-back wins over the Tigers.

Tyler Bleyendaal had slotted three penalties of his own to keep his side in contention, but Williams’ late penalty stole the victory.

Bleyendaal opened up a six-point lead from the tee in the opening 20 minutes, before uncharacteristically missing a third. Williams levelled the scores before the break, before Munster’'s kicker missed another opportunity from the tee. 

The New Zealander did eventually slot another effort just after the break, only for Williams to cancel it out with a sensational effort from distance.

Leicester then kicked into gear, and a succession of quick passes through the backs saw them go from one end of the field to the other, before an infringement at the ruck allowed Williams to slot of fourth three-pointer.

Adam Thompstone’'s break looked promising, only for him to be brought down by Simon Zebo after he had kicked the ball, seeing the Irish wing sent to the sin-bin.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Munster continued to press, only to be held up by the Tigers'’ defence, but hooker Scannell scored the first try of the afternoon following the resulting scrum.

Bleyendaal’'s conversion took the visitors one point ahead, despite slipping as he struck the ball.

With a minute left on the clock, Williams opted to go for goal from inside his own half, with his superb effort being met by a roar of the Welford Road crowd as it sailed through the posts.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Pens: Williams 6
Yellow Cards: Tuilagi, T Youngs

For Munster:
Try: Scannell
Con: Bleyendaal
Pens: Bleyendaal 3
Yellow Card: Zebo

Leicester Tigers: 15 George Worth, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Jack Roberts, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Adam Thompstone 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Luke Hamilton, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Greg Bateman, 19 Mike Fitzgerald, 20 Mike Williams, 21 Will Evans, 22 Sam Harrison, 23 Tom Brady

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Tommy O’Donnell, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 5 Billy Holland, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 James Cronin, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Andrew Conway

Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant Referees: Maxime Chalon (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)