Planet Rugby

Tigers hold on to reach last eight

20th January 2013 16:56

Share:

Toby Flood Leicester Tigers v Toulouse Heineken Cup

Nine points: Toby Flood

Leicester won one of the most nerve-racking Heineken Cup ties in recent memory on Sunday as they overcame Toulouse 9-5 in snowy conditions.

There was drama until the final whistle at Welford Road as the Tigers were made to sweat in icy cold weather but ultimately held on to prevail.

Leicester will travel to Toulon in the quarter-final while Toulouse drop into the Amlin Challenge Cup where they face a trip to USA Perpignan.

However, the French giants will no doubt wonder how they lost this clash in England after failing to convert seventeen points from the kicking tee.

Leicester came out of the blocks in hot form and almost caught Toulouse napping when Niall Morris denied himself an early try when losing the ball from his grasp just inches from the right touchline. However, Leicester did earn some reward for their strong start when Toby Flood knocked over a tough penalty from wide out.

From ten minutes until twenty though, Toulouse suddenly were in the ascendancy but missed penalties from Lionel Beauxis (2) and Luke McAlister handed Leicester a real lifeline as points were always going to be critical playing in such inclement weather. In truth, Beauxis was having a poor start.

The French kicking duo were not alone in missing from the tee though as Flood missed from distance soon after before making amends on the 32nd minute, nervously side-footing one over to double the Tigers lead before the hosts were holding their breath for a very different reason close to their own whitewash. The moment arrived via the destructive Louis Picamoles who, after a long TMO query, was adjudged to have been held up over the line.

And Leicester certainly made the most of that call as Flood kicked a 50-metre penalty after Gregory Lamboley pulled down recently re-signed Tiger Geoff Parling at a line-out.

Guy Noves had obviously given his players a tongue lashing in the relative warmth of the dressing rooms and his side came out looking to put points on the board, once again their pack running hard. However, the choice from Beauxis to look for a drop-goal came to zero.

Home relief was not to last though as when Tait was beaten by McAlister's high tester, Yoann Huget was first to react and grounded over the line for a 9-5 scoreline. Beauxis was back on kicking duty for Toulouse but again it was to be an unsuccessful shot from the 10.

Toulouse's kicking woes continued going into the final quarter as McAlister was off-target with his second attempt but there was a feeling that Leicester were struggling to deal with the gameplan, which mixed physicality with the kick-chase. Welford Road was eerily quiet.

Leicester had to survive ten minutes down to fourteen men late on as Flood was sent to the sin-bin after having a kick charged down and knocking the ball on to stop a Toulouse attack.

But the gritty Tigers were in no mood to let victory slip away after having missed out on the Heineken Cup quarter-finals for two of the last three seasons and they held on to ensure they topped Pool Two and set up a mouth-watering clash against Toulon in April.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Pen: Flood 3
Yellow card: Flood (67 mins)

For Toulouse:
Try: Huget

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Scott Hamilton.

Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Gregory Lamboley, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Yohan Montes, 19 Romain Millo-Chluski, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Jean Bouilhou, 23 Maxime Medard.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton (Ireland), Olly Hodges (Ireland)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , October 2
Auckland 60 - 19 Waikato
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411