Planet Rugby

Tigers tear Edinburgh apart

17th November 2007 16:52

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Geordan Murphy

Tiger Attack: Geordan Murphy splits Edinburgh's lines

Leicester Tigers bounced back form last week's loss to Leinster by recording a clinical four-try 39-0 victory over Edinburgh at Welford Road on Saturday, thereby handing new coach Marcelo Loffreda the perfect welcoming gift.

Leicester's early blitz set up a thrashing of Edinburgh that revived the Tigers' Heineken Cup challenge, scoring 17 points in the opening quarter.

Leicester went on to run in five tries to claim the bonus point with Andy Goode's 14-point haul making him the club's leading scorer in the competition.

Defeat in Dublin last week left Leicester fans hoping history would repeat itself because their team lost their first pool match last season - at home to Munster - and went on to qualify for the last eight and then reach the final.

Loffreda, in his first match in full control, had England centre Dan Hipkiss available for the must-win clash with Edinburgh after 'flu ruled him out against Leinster and Tom Varndell was back on the wing, while Marco Wentzel was back in the second row and Martin Castrogiovanni returned at tighthead.

The game brought Loffreda head to head with Edinburgh coach Andy Robinson 12 months after he had masterminded Argentina's historic win at Twickenham that spelled the beginning of the end for Robinson as England coach.

Robinson had reason to be optimistic going into the game after the 19-15 reverse against 1996 and 2005 winners Toulouse.

Had fly-half David Blair brought his kicking boots - he missed three penalty attempts - Robinson would have masterminded one of the greatest wins in Edinburgh's history.

Blair kept his place with brother Mike at scrum half.

The odds were stacked against Robinson's team - no Scottish club side had returned from Welford Road with victory since Fettes-Lorettonians in 1905.

Prop Allan Jacobsen had reason to celebrate the occasion regardless of the result because his 43rd appearance in the Heineken Cup was a record for Edinburgh.

Leicester missed a chance to go ahead in the third minute when Andy Goode screwed his penalty attempt wide.

He made amends two minutes later - charging down David Blair's attempted clearance to cross and adding the conversion to make it 7-0.

Goode added a penalty after eight minutes to take him past Tim Stimpson's Leicester record of 358 points in the competition and missed another four minutes later.

The second try came on 15 minutes with Tom Varndell racing over in the right-hand corner from Goode's pass. He added the extras to leave Edinburgh with a mountain to climb at 17-0 adrift.

Goode missed two further penalty attempts and Edinburgh wasted their best chance of the first half just past the half-hour mark when they were penalised for crossing.

Leicester went further clear on 39 minutes through Goode's second penalty that made the score 20-0 and Geordan Murphy crossed in injury time for a try that was his 19th in the competition - equalling the club record set by Leon Lloyd.

Goode's conversion made it 27-0 at the break.

The fourth try that secured the bonus point came six minutes after the restart when a penalty score was awarded. Goode's conversion made it 34-0.

Edinburgh's problems increased when lock Craig Hamilton was yellow-carded on 50 minutes for pulling down in the line out and Jacobsen joined him in the sin bin three minutes later.

Leicester failed to add any further points despite their advantage and the fifth try came in injury time from Martin Corry on his 250th appearance for the club.

The scorers:

For Leicester Tigers:

Tries: Goode, Varndell, Murphy, Penalty Try, Corry

Cons: Goode 4

Pens: Goode 2

Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Ollie Smith, 12 Dan Hipkiss, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Martin Corry (c), 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies, 17 Julian White, 18 James Hamilton, 19 Luke Abraham, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Paul Burke, 22 Sam Vesty.

Edinburgh: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Andrew Turnbull, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Nick De Luca, 11 John Houston, 10 David Blair, 9 Mike Blair, 8 David Callam, 7 Allister Hogg (c), 6 Simon Cross, 5 Ben Gissing, 4 Craig Hamilton, 3 Gavin Kerr, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Craig Smith, 18 Matt Mustchin, 19 Ross Rennie, 20 Ben Meyer, 21 Phil Godman, 22 Andrew Maxwell.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)

Touch judges: CÚdric Marchal (France), Eric Soulan (France)

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