Planet Rugby

Tigers win Welford Road humdinger

21st October 2012 16:47

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Manu Tuilagi

Two tries for Tigers: Manu Tuilagi

Three tries in the final ten minutes saw Leicester claim a 34-22 Heineken Cup win over the Ospreys in a thrilling game at Welford Road on Sunday.

Ospreys headed into the match searching for their second Heineken Cup win as many weeks, while Leicester were looking to bounce back from an opening round defeat to Toulouse.

It was the visitors who took an early lead courtesy of some expansive and ambitious play with the ball in hand. The opportunity was created when the ball was worked right, and when play returned to the middle of the field, the stage was set for Ryan Jones to finish off in fine style.

Dan Biggar's conversion made it 7-0, and Biggar's penalty goal ten minutes later added to the visitors' lead, but, as the game headed past the half-hour mark, Leicester were able to find a response.

Toby Flood's penalty goal on 28 minutes got the Tigers off the mark, before an eye-catching attacking move brought about a try for Manu Tuilagi, who strode over when the ball was moved right.

Flood's conversion ensured that the scores were level at half-time, and the flurry of penalties that followed the restart were shared, with Biggar and Flood hitting three each to ensure that the match remained finely poised.

With the game approaching the final 15 minutes the spoils were still there for the taking, and it was the hosts who were able to find the extra inspiration needed to take victory. A penalty from Flood on 66 minutes gave Leicester the edge, and the goalkicker then got in on the try-scoring act when he intercepted on half-way and sprinted over for a crucial try.

Biggar's penalty reduced the arrears, but a late Tiger try from Ben Youngs and a second from Tuilagi sealed a welcome win for Leicester.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Tuilagi 2, Flood, Youngs
Cons: Flood 2
Pens: Flood 5

For Ospreys:
Try: R. Jones
Cons: Biggar
Pens: Biggar 5

Yellow card: Bevington (Ospreys - 34th min- scrum infringements)

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

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 George Stowers, 20 Joe Bearman, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Tom Isaacs.

Venue: Welford Road
Referee: Romain Poite

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Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster622
2Northampton617
3Castres69
4Ospreys65
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon624
2Cardiff Blues614
3Exeter612
4Glasgow Warriors611
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulouse623
2Saracens620
3Connacht613
4Zebre60
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Clermont Auvergne624
2Harlequins616
3Scarlets611
4Racing Metro Paris67
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ulster626
2Leicester Tigers621
3Montpellier611
4Treviso60
Pool 6
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster623
2Gloucester614
3Edinburgh612
4Perpignan67