Sunday 25 September 2016

Leicester get off to an impressive start

John Fallon

Published 20/11/2015 | 02:30

Leicester Tigers' Lachlan McCaffrey (second left) is tackled by Stade Francais' Patrick Sio during the Champions Cup, pool four match at Welford Road, Leicester
Leicester Tigers' Lachlan McCaffrey (second left) is tackled by Stade Francais' Patrick Sio during the Champions Cup, pool four match at Welford Road, Leicester

The task which Munster will face in the back-to-back matches next month was laid out in no uncertain terms at the weekend when Leicester Tigers secured a bonus point win against Stade Francais and sent the French champions home empty-handed.

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And Leicester did it the hard way, coming from eight points down to score 20 without reply before winning 33-20 in the end.

A crowd of 20,286 packed into Welford Road for the opening game of the Champions Cup and they were not disappointed with a game which produced seven tries.

The match took place on Friday night before the atrocities in Paris and Stade Francais raced into an early lead when Julien Tomas got over for a try and Morne Steyn landed a penalty.

But Leicester, bidding to bounce back from the opening loss of the season to Exeter the previous week, took over.

Winger Vereniki Goneva and centre Matt Smith got through for tries for the Tigers to lead 12-8 at the break.

Brendon O'Connor struck just after the restart to extend the lead and an Owen Williams had Leicester coasting to victory.

But a converted try from Paul Williams cut the gap to 20-15 before English scrum-half Ben Youngs tapped and went with a penalty from 18 metres to secure the bonus point and the win. There was still time for Stade winger Julien Arias to grab a third try for the French but Leicester kept them at bay and denied them a bonus point.

Leicester will now travel to Italy where they will meet Treviso tomorrow afternoon.

Irish Independent

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