Sunday 18 February 2018

Leicester miss bonus

Leicester kicked off their Heineken Cup campaign with a well-earned victory over Aironi but failed to secure what could be a crucial bonus point.

The two-time European champions would have targeted a maximum-points haul in northern Italy but despite dominating the first half they failed to grab the necessary four tries.

Tom Croft and Alesana Tuilagi crossed for tries in the rampant first half but Leicester took their foot off the gas and it was not until the 80th minute that Niall Morris crossed for their third try.

Leicester got off to a flying start in Monza and surged into a 13-0 lead within 15 minutes thanks to a pair of quick-fire penalties from the boot of Toby Flood and a try from Croft.

Richard Cockerill's men continued to threaten in attack and they clinched a second try after 25 minutes when Tuilagi took a short ball off Flood and crashed over. The England fly-half dissected the posts to take the score to 20-0 but Aironi hit back with two penalties to leave it 20-6 at the break.

Luciano Orquera struck his third penalty and following sustained pressure he slotted another on 68 minutes to make it 23-12. Leicester then hammered away at the hosts but could not break Aironi's defence until it was too late.

Following some work by Thomas Waldrom, the visitors worked the overlap and captain Geordan Murphy threw a miss pass to fellow Irishman Morris for a late touchdown.

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