Planet Rugby

Leicester run riot in Italy

17th October 2009 15:36

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Scott Hamilton v Viadana other version

Scott Hamilton: Hat-trick

Leicester's Heineken Cup campaign is very much on course heading into December after a 44-11 win over Viadana in Italy on Saturday.

A hat-trick from Scott Hamilton as well as tries for Johne Murphy, Tom Croft, Lucas Amorosino and a penalty try handed the Tigers a safe passage in Northern Italy.

Viadana were aiming to make history by recording their first win in Europe at the 14th attempt but faced a daunting task against the two-time champions.

And it was the visitors who broke the deadlock through Jeremy Staunton's close-range penalty in the fifth minute.

The English giants began brightly and wing Murphy touched down for his second try in the competition in successive weeks in the 10th minute.

Leicester scrum-half James Grindal combined with Staunton and Hamilton to allow the winger a simple score in the right corner.

Staunton missed the conversion but Leicester head coach Richard Cockerill could not have asked for a more positive start from his Guinness Premiership men.

Cockerill had his forwards to thank for the flying start with Italian prop Martin Castrogiovanni and England livewires Jordan Crane and Lewis Moody prominent.

But the Italians, buoyed by the passionate home faithful, began to make a fist of the contest.

New Zealand-born Kaine Robertson showed glimpses of his ability on the right wing in front of watching Italy head coach Nick Mallett in the stands.

Pierre Hola finally got the home side onto the scoreboard with a penalty and the deficit should have been reduced even further but full-back Garry Law dragged his long-range effort to the right hand side of the posts before Hola saw an ambitious drop goal fly wide.

But the Italians kept coming with wave and wave of attack and were rewarded by levelling the scores in the 26th minute.

Hola's cross-kick allowed Robertson to beat Amorosino to the high ball and after waltzing past Hamilton, the Italian star touched down to scenes of wild jubilation among the home crowd as Hola converted.

But, in true champion fashion, the visitors hit back almost immediately through Hamilton.

Grindal fended off the tackle of prop Miguel Alonso and Amorosino's inside pass allowed All Black Hamilton to coast home for a converted try by Staunton under the posts.

It was an emphatic response from Leicester as British Lion Tom Croft added the third on 36 minutes by shrugging off the challenge of three defenders to touch down with ease.

With Leicester's penalty count approaching double figures, Hola made no mistake with a penalty after 53 minutes to leave the visitors sweating at 22-11.

Then, Crane was yellow carded in the 63rd minute for tackling without the ball to set up a nervy final quarter.

But it did not matter as Leicester eased home to increase the margin through late scores from Hamilton, Amorosino and a late penalty try.

The scorers:

For Viadana:
Try: Robertson
Pens: Hola 2

For Leicester:
Tries: Murphy, Hamilton 3, Croft, Amorosino, penalty try
Cons: Staunton 2, Twelvetrees
Pen: Staunton

Viadana: 15 Garry Law, 14 Kaine Robertson, 13 Matthew Harvey, 12 Sam Cox, 11 Matteo Pratichetti, 10 Pierre Hola, 9 Pablo Canavosio, 8 Gavin Quinnell,7 Aaron Persico, 6 Andrea Benatti, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys, 4 Sean Hohneck, 3 Ignacio Elosu, 2 Roberto Santamaria, 1 Miguel Alonso,
Replacements: 16 Luigi Milani, 17 Luigi Ferraro, 18 Julio Garcia, 19 Carlo del Fava, 20 Aldo Birchall, 21 Josh Sole, 22 Andrea Brancoli, 23 Mark Woodrow.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Anthony Allen, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Lucas Amorosino, 10 Jeremy Staunton, 9 James Grindal, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon (c), 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 George Chuter, 1 Boris Stankovich.
Replacements: 16 Joe Duffey, 17 Julian White, 18 Marcos Ayerza, 19 Richard Blaze, 20 Brett Deacon, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Matt Smith, 23 Tom Youngs.


Referee: Pascal Gauzere

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