Sunday 25 February 2018

Season finally kicks into life for Reds' rivals

Champions Cup
Champions Cup

John Fallon

The league season kicks off in earnest across Europe this weekend with the Pro12 and Top 14 sides resuming their competitions and the Premiership finally starting in England.

Leicester Tigers completed their preparation with a 35-17 win over Sale Sharks in the inaugural Kings of the North tournament that they ran off with Newcastle Falcons.

The Tigers needed to win by 36 points and prevent Sharks from getting a bonus point if they were to claim the crown but tries from Peter Betham, Tom Croft, Tommy Bell and academy winger Paulo Odogwa were not enough to secure the title.

Over 10,000 turned up at Welford Road for the game but they will have to wait until next week before getting their first taste of the Premiership as Tigers are away to London Irish in their opening game.

It's been a happy hunting ground for them and Leicester will be looking for their seventh win in a row at the Madejski Stadium, and also a win in their opening game of the season for the fourth season in a row.

In France, champions Stade Francais will bid to get off the bottom of the Top 14 when they entertain Castres.

They have won only one of their opening four games while Castres are fifth in the table with two wins from four.

And Munster's first Champions Cup opponents Treviso will be hoping for their first win in the Pro12 when they host Ospreys tomorrow. They lost away to Munster and Ulster and were pipped 27-24 by Edinburgh in their only home game.

Irish Independent

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