Monday 23 September 2019

Tigers stroll puts them in pool control

Champions Cup Round-up

Leicester Tigers' Matt Smith celebrates with Peter Betham
Leicester Tigers' Matt Smith celebrates with Peter Betham Newsdesk Newsdesk

Leicester took control of their European Rugby Champions Cup pool with a bonus-point 36-3 win at Treviso. Telusa Veainu scored twice, Peter Betham and Greg Bateman followed while the Tigers also claimed a first-half penalty try.

The victory rubber-stamped Leicester's place at the top of Pool Four with maximum points from their opening two games.

For Treviso, this marked a 16th consecutive loss in the Champions Cup. They failed to register early points when Ambrosini missed a drop-goal effort and Tommaso Iannone went close in the corner after strong work by Francesco Minto, but it was Leicester's strength in the scrum that created the game's first try.

Prop Matteo Zanusso was sin-binned in the 18th minute for collapsing the set-piece and French referee Mathieu Raynal awarded a penalty try following from the next scrum. Then two tries in the five minutes before half-time helped the Tigers take control of the tie.

Leicester kicked a penalty to the corner and thought they had the bonus point but Veainu was ruled to have lost control of the ball over the line.

Veainu finally clinched the fourth try in the 67th minute when he stepped through three defenders to cross between the posts. Replacement hooker Bateman then followed in the last minute, shrugging off tackles to score Leicester's fifth try.

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Racing 92 claimed a bonus point before half-time and survived 35 minutes with 14 men to make a winning start to their Pool Three campaign in Llanelli.

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Scarlets were stunned by tries from Maxime Machenaud, Joe Rokocoko, Chris Masoe and Marc Andreu as Racing opened a 26-0 lead in the opening 40 minutes.

Flanker Bernard Le Roux was sent off for a stamp on Phil John within five minutes of the re-start. But Scarlets managed only two tries through Aled Thomas and Lewis Rawlins.

Even when reduced to 13 men by Ben Tameifuna's yellow card in the 65th minute, Racing conceded only seven points and managed a penalty through full-back Johannes Goosen and held on comfortably to inflict a first home defeat of the season on the Welsh region.

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Toulouse earned a hard-fought 24-18 win over Oyonnax in their Pool One clash at Stade Ernest Wallon. The four-time champions fell behind to a couple of Regis Lespinas penalties as the underdogs started brightly, but they responded through Luke McAlister's penalty and a Timoci Matanavou try, which McAlister converted.

Maxime Medard crossed to give Toulouse some breathing space, with McAlister adding the extra points once more, but Oyonnax would not go away and Vincent Martin went over for a try.

Gael Ficou's superb 50-metre sprint to touch down looked to have won it, but there was still time for Fabien Cibray to bring the visitors back into it again and set up a tense finale.

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Samoan Ahsee Tuala plundered two tries as Northampton claimed a comfortable 26-15 win over Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun.

It was the ideal way for Saints to follow up last week's home success over Scarlets, and improves their prospects of coming through Pool Three in the European Champions Cup.

Glasgow, who are already in a state of uncertainty regarding when their postponed game against Racing 92 will be played, are now under qualification pressure having lost at home.

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Olly Woodburn scored a brace of tries on his European debut as Exeter secured a bonus point win over Bordeaux in Pool Two.

The teams exchanged early tries through Woodburn and Nans Ducuing, but Exeter stretched clear through the boot of Henry Slade and Moray Low's try.

Ian Whitten scored Exeter's third try early in the second half.

And they secured the bonus as Woodburn finished off a counter-attack, Bordeaux bracketing that try with scores from Julien Rey and Yann Lesgourgues.

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