Leicester thrash Stade to reach last four

Date published: April 10 2016

Leicester Tigers were rampant as they thrashed Stade Français 41-13 to qualify for the Champions Cup semi-finals on Sunday.

An early try from Manu Tuilagi was followed by Vereniki Goneva and Freddie Burns both carrying over before the half-time break.

Stade Français hit back through Julien Dupuy on 43 minutes, before Leicester ran away with the tie, as Goneva added his second and Michael Fitzgerald and Telusa Veainu also touched down.

The victory at Welford Road means Leicester join fellow Premiership sides Wasps and Saracens in the semi-finals, while the defending French champions slumped to their fifth loss in six games.

With just two minutes on the clock, Stade Français full-back Djibril Camara misjudged a grubber kick from Freddie Burns before carrying it in to touch. Having given the ball to Ben Youngs, the scrum-half took a quick lineout just five metres out, allowing Tuilagi to score the opening try.

A quick exchange of kicks saw Burns add the conversion, before Morné Steyn opened Stade’'s account with a penalty, to which Burns replied immediately.

With half an hour gone, a poor clearance from Steyn allowed Goneva to collect, before a quick exchange of passes saw the Fijian winger run home unchallenged before heading under the posts, meaning Burns would convert with ease.

Almost immediately after the restart, Leicester struck again through Burns, after he intercepted a Steyn pass on the halfway line to score from 50 metres, before adding the extras.

Shortly after the break Stade Français hit back with a try, as Parisse found Dupuy with an offload from the floor, before the scrum-half sold a dummy to run home unchallenged. Steyn slotted the conversion, making the score 24-13.

Despite restoring hope with Dupuy’'s try, they conceded a fourth almost immediately after as Goneva scored his second of the game after a bruising run from full-back Tait. Burns added the extras from the touchline.

On the hour mark flanker Fitzgerald found himself on the left wing to slide over the whitewash to finish off a well-worked team try from the Tigers.

With 15 minutes remaining, Veainu added his name to the scoresheet after collecting a pass one handed and diving emphatically over the try line.

Having replaced Freddie Burns, Owen Williams saw his two conversion attempts and a penalty all rebound off the post, but the 41-13 victory means Leicester secured their first European semi-final since 2009.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Tuilagi, Goneva 2, Burns, Fitzgerald, Veainu
Cons: Burns 4
Pen: Burns

For Stade Français:
Try: Dupuy
Con: Steyn
Pens: Steyn 2

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait (c), 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Marcos Ayerza 
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Tom Croft, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Adam Thompstone

Stade Français: 15 Djibril Camara, 14 Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Jérémy Sinzelle, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Raphaël Lakafia, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Remi Bonfils, 1 Zurabi Zhvania
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Paul Alo Emile, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Julien Tomas, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Hugo Bonneval

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: George Clancy (Ireland), Leighton Hodges (Wales)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)