Burns inspires Leicester to beat Racing 92

Date published: October 23 2016

Freddie Burns contributed 16 points to help Leicester overcome Racing 27-17 at Welford Road in the Champions Cup on Sunday.

Brendon O’Connor scored the hosts’ first try before Burns came off the bench and scored 16 points of his own. The French side hit back through Dan Carter and Juan Imhoff, but lost out on a losing bonus point late in the game.

Leicester showed their intent early on by kicking to the corner when a kick at goal seemed to be the easier option, but their risk paid off as lock O’Connor carried over in the corner with just three minutes gone. Owen Williams failed to convert before Dan Carter slotted a simple penalty minutes later to take his side to within two points of their hosts.

Johan Goosen and Williams then took it in turn to miss efforts from distance, before the latter eventually nailed a much easier kick from the tee to open his account.

Racing captain Maxime Machenaud then went clear just before the break, only to be brought down short of the line by Graham Kitchener. Williams rounded off the half with a second penalty, giving the Tigers an 11-3 lead.

After the break Carter reduced the deficit to one point with a fine try, stepping his way past Mathew Tait and Telusa Veainu to carry over unchallenged before converting it himself.

The Tigers went close to a second try after playing through a total of 17 phases, only to be brought back for a penalty in front of the posts, and Burns took the opportunity before adding another in quick succession, making it 17-10.

Following a Racing scrum moments later, replacement Burns intercepted Machenaud’s pass on his own 22 to race home unchallenged, making sure to start his celebrations early and dive over emphatically. His resulting conversion took his tally to 13 points, having replaced Owen Williams earlier in the second half.

In search of a losing bonus point Racing kept pressing forward, which resulted in Imhoff crossing the whitewash in the corner followed by a masterful conversion from Carter. Burns followed it up with a penalty from 35 metres to snatch the visitors’ losing bonus point away from them, and the French side now find themselves bottom of Pool 1.

The scorers:

For Leicester Tigers 
Tries: O’Connor, Burns
Con: Burns
Pens: Williams 2, Burns 3

For Racing 92
Tries: Carter, Imhoff
Cons: Carter 2
Pen: Carter

Leicester Tigers: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Dom Barrow, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Greg Bateman, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Will Evans, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Peter Betham

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Johan Goosen, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Francois van der Merwe, 20 Thibault Dubarry, 21 James Hart, 22 Albert Vulivuli, 23 Anthony Tuitavake

Date: Sunday, October 23
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 17:30 BST (16:30 GMT)
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Matteo Liperini (Italy), Stefano Pennè (Italy)
TMO: Paul Stanley (England)