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Report | Win over Ulster takes Tigers into final

Leicester Tigers booked a place in the European Challenge Cup Final with a 33-24 victory over Ulster Rugby at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Friday evening.

Coming back from a half-time deficit with a big second half, Tigers will play in the club’s sixth European Final, at Twickenham on May 21 against either Bath Rugby or Montpellier.

Scores from Ireland internationals Iain Henderson and Billy Burns in a 10-minute spell when Tigers were a man down to a yellow card gave Ulster a 17-6 lead midway through the first half and neither side added anything more in the remaining 20 minutes of the opening period.

But Tigers made a brisk start to the second half with 20 unanswered points including tries from Jasper Wiese and Ellis Genge before a score by Nick Timoney in reply set up a fascinating final 10 minutes at 26-24.

Guy Porter ran in a third try for Tigers who then stood resolute in defence to secure the victory.

Before the game got under way, the teams observed a minute’s silence in respect of former Tigers player and BBC broadcaster Bleddyn Jones who died earlier this week.

Ulster arrived in Leicester chasing a third win at the home of a Gallagher Premiership club after beating Harlequins and Northampton Saints in the last two rounds and they started brightly in possession but met stubborn defence before Nemani Nadolo, back in the starting line-up following two tries from the bench last week, earned a penalty at a breakdown upfield. George Ford, though, was narrowly off-target with his kick from 40 metres.

The fly-half instantly had a second chance after a superb take of high ball by Freddie Steward earned another penalty and this time he landed the first points of a bright but chilly evening.

Ulster had a chance to respond when Tigers were adjudged offside and John Cooney landed the 40-metre kick to level the scores with nine minutes played.

Another penalty gave Ulster a chance to kick for territory on the left and create what looked like the opening try for Rob Baloucoune. But the officials spotted a knock-on in the build-up and the points were chalked off.

Instead, play went back for a penalty and, although Tigers resisted the lineout drive and a series of phases on their own line, they lost skipper Tom Youngs to a yellow card as the penalties mounted up.

Referee Pascal Gauzere spoke to stand-in captain George Ford when the whistle went again and, following a tap-penalty five metres out, second-rower Henderson managed to force his way over. Cooney’s extras made it 10-3 to the visitors.

Ellis Genge had to take over lineout delivery and, at his first attempt, the whistle went in Tigers’ favour and Ford landed a perfect kick from fully 50 metres to make it 6-10.

But Ulster returned to add the Burns score, building pressure up front and moving the ball quickly to left where the fly-half made use of extra men outside to go through a gap and dive in. Cooney’s conversion pushed the visitors 11 points in front.

A lineout drive as Youngs returned set up a promising platform for Tigers and then Ellis Genge made a superb turnover in contact on halfway and Steward angled a grubber into the right-hand corner where Guy Porter forced Jacob Stockdale to dot down behind his own tryline.

The five-metre scrum presented the best opportunity so far and Tigers did have the benefit of a penalty as they pushed forward. But when play came back for another set-piece, this time the whistle went in Ulster favour five metres out from their own posts.

A clever delayed pass from Ford found George Martin just inside enemy territory but Stuart McCloskey won a penalty at the next breakdown to allow Ulster to kick clear.

Calum Green then picked up ball off his toes to find Ford near halfway and he pushed Ulster back into the corner but they were able to claim the resulting lineout and take the clock down to half-time with a 17-6 advantage.

Cyle Brink, Charlie Clare and Joe Heyes joined the Tigers pack for the start of the second half, and they built some promising phases with Genge, Nadolo and Jasper Wiese on the ball but were kept 40 metres out.

There was a delay in play after Cooney was hurt in contact with Nadolo, but when the game restarted, it was Tigers who came flying out of the traps with Genge carrying again and Steward almost scoring in the left-hand corner after a link-up with Liebenberg.

Although the full-back was brought down, Tigers retained ball until eventually providing the chance for Wiese to barge over the line. Ford’s kick brought the score back to 13-17 with 45 minutes gone.

That gap was brought down to a point shortly afterwards when, with Ben Youngs introduced at the restart, Tigers built another attack and Ford landed his penalty kick.

The momentum had swung back in the home side’s favour and they made the most of it, playing the ball wide to the right where Steward almost reached the tryline, and recycling quickly to find Genge out on the opposite flank where he ran in the score.

Tigers led for the first time and Ford added a touchline kick to make it 23-17 on 55 minutes.

The fly-half then made a big contribution in defence as he flew out of the line to meet a long throw from Ulster and force an error, ansd he was quickly prompting at the other end of the pitch, landing a drop goal to push the lead beyond a converted score at 26-17.

Matias Moroni threw himself into contact to win a vital penalty on the ground in front of his own posts and worked hard off the ball again to track down Burns on halfway.

But Ulster played their way back into the game with No8 Timoney racing through on to a short pass in midfield and running 30 metres in on the left. Michael Lowry added the kick to make it 26-24 approaching the final 10 minutes.

An error from Will Addison, misjudging a kick from Steward and then kicking out on the full, gave Tigers some relief from a spell of pressure.

They made the most of it too, with Youngs and Ford manoeuvring play and the forwards carrying until Moroni released Porter to score in the right-hand corner. Ford’s touchline conversion kick made it 33-24 with less than five minutes to play.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 6-17 ULS

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 33-24 ULS

Attendance

Not available

Referee

Pascal Gauzère

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
33

Full Time

Ulster Rugby
Ulster Rugby
24
Leicester Tigers
P
P
T
C
P
T
C
D
T
C
KOHTFT
Ulster Rugby
P
T
C
T
C
T
C

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Ulster Rugby
Possession
42%
58%
Territory
41%
59%
Penalties Conceded
8
10
Yellow Cards
1
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
180/206 87%
108/131 82%
Scrums Won
4/5 80%
2/2 100%
Lineouts Won
13/13 100%
10/12 83%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Ulster Rugby
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Freddie Steward
14Guy Porter1T
13Matias Moroni
12Matt Scott
11Nemani Nadolo
10George Ford3C1D3P
9Richard Wigglesworth
1Ellis Genge1T
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Harry Wells
5Calum Green
6George Martin
7Hanro Liebenberg
8Jasper Wiese1T
16Charlie Clare
17Luan de Bruin
18Joe Heyes
19Tomas Lavanini
20Cyle Brink
21Ben Youngs
22Zack Henry
23Kini Murimurivalu

Commentary

80

A WORD FROM THE HEAD COACH...

Steve Borthwick gives his assessment of tonight's performance...

"There was no question of effort from our players tonight at any time, but in the second half we were smarter in how we used it. 

"People have different roles to play. We’ve talked about it before, it’s always a 23 man effort for the full 80 minutes and a squad wide effort in the week."

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FAN REACTIONS

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FAN REACTIONS...

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FAN REACTIONS...

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FAN REACTIONS...

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TIGERS V ULSTER | MATCH ACTION

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TIGERS V ULSTER | MATCH ACTION

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TIGERS V ULSTER | MATCH ACTION

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RELIVE TONIGHT WITH MATCH REPORT

Coming back from a half-time deficit with a big second half, Tigers will play in the club’s sixth European Final, at Twickenham on May 21 against either Bath Rugby or Montpellier.

READ THE FULL MATCH REPORT HERE 

80

CHALLENGE CUP FINAL TICKET INFO

Organisers EPCR and the RFU have announced that Twickenham Stadium will host the 2021 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals on consecutive days with a limited crowd of 10,000 permitted to attend each match.

The European Challenge Cup Final is on Friday, May 21 (8.00pm) with the Heineken Champions Cup the following afternoon (4.45pm).

FULL DETAILS HERE 

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FANS REACTION AT FULL-TIME...

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FANS REACTION AT FULL-TIME...

 

 

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FANS REACTION AT FULL-TIME...

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LOOK AT THAT RESULT...

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MDL NOT GOING ANYWHERE

We're not going anywhere as we share match action, reaction and fan messages as Tigers return to a European final. 

FULL-TIME | TIGERS 33-24 ULSTER

And Jasper Wiese nudges into touch to end the game and it's a trip to Twickenham for Steve Borthwick's men. Three tries and a huge second half effort are enough for Tigers as they reach the Challenge Cup final!

79

TIGERS PENALTY AT THE SCRUM

The Tigers scrum on top and winning another penalty with just a few seconds left on the clock. Ford finds touch and that should be that, from the Ulster line-out. One final play for Ulster 

79

TIGERS PRESSURE REAPS REWARDS

Tigers defence once again being called upon, and we have the Tigers scrum thanks to some excellent work at the breakdown when it was needed. 

78

ULSTER BACK AT TIGERS FROM RESTART

Tigers having to work hard in defence as Ulster realise time is running out for the away side. 

Tigers competing and tighting packed, as Addison comes forward. Lowry tries the slip. But the ball is ripped by Matt Scott and Ben Youngs can kick clear. 

FORD CONVERTS

Tigers lead extended by the boot of George Ford. Tigers 33-24 Ulster. 

TRY FOR PORTER

Fordy with an incredible pass finds Moroni outwide with Guy Porter the man over and Tigers have their third try of the night. 

73

TIGERS BACK AT ULSTER

Clare's line-out unlocks the ball carriers for Tigers, as the home side move quickly across the pitch from left to right.

Youngs goes short to the Tigers props. Brink and Green get involved. Tigers have the penalty advantage, and Murimurivalu and Tigers drive forward once again...Tigers with the man over from a delightful George Ford pass...

70

FINAL TEN MINUTES

Both teams with extra vigour with only two points in it with ten minutes left of the semi-final. 

Tigers don't contest at the line-out and Ulster play out the back. Murimurivalu cleans up for Tigers. Stockdale and Addison looking for gaps. McIlroy goes to ground. Ulster upping the pace. It's kicked and Steward returns fire. 

Addison forced into the kick, but its mis-judged and Tigers gain the ground. 

LOWRY KICKS FOR ULSTER

Michael Lowry kicks the extras as two points in it with almost 10 minutes left. 

TRY FOR ULSTER

The Ulster No.8 Nick Timoney finds the gap and turns on the burners to run the diagonal line in for a try against the run of playy. 

68

TIGERS UP THE FIELD QUICKLY

No time for Ulster as the Tigers kick-chase game forces the mistake for the away side. Play continues, but out of nowhere Nick Timoney runs the hard line and has one thing on his mind... 

TIGERS REPLACEMENT

Tomas Lavinin comes on for Harry Wells at lock. 

66

BIG HIT FROM WIESE

Ford kicks high from the Tigers line-out. And Jasper Wiese thumps Sean Reidy into touch as the Ulster backline tries to get things moving. 

TIGERS REPLACEMENT

Try-scorer Ellis Genge makes way for Luan De Bruin in the front row for Tigers. 

65

TIGERS HOLDING STRONG

Tigers work the line-out from the penalty and Ben Youngs can kick clear. Claimed by McIlroy. Ulster begin to move the ball and have the man over, Addison is knocked into touch by Liebenberg. 

Ulster have the line-out, and they don't mess about. A quicker tempo as Hume and McCloskey see the ball in-hand. Burns bursts forward, but the Tigers defence hold strong.

Ulster on the half-way line, as Tigers drive the defensive line forward. The away team back in their own half now. 

TIGERS REPLACEMENT

Nemani Nadolo makes way for Kini Murimurivalu. 

60

MASSIVE MORONI MOMENT

Ulster come back at Tigers, and win the line-out following the restart. Hume and Herring have a run at the Tigers defence. 

Will Addison breaks the line, and Ulster think they are in behind. Matias Moroni with a huge jackle at the breakdown and wins the turnover!

DROP GOAL FOR FORD

Tigers lead extended as George Ford with the drop goal as Tigers work the ball into position. 26-17. 

58

NADOLO BREAKING ONCE AGAIN

The big wing is seeing a lot of the ball, as Tigers heavy runners help shift momentum. 

A series of phases and George Ford finds a bit of space in the centre, and attempts the drop-goal..

57

TIGERS SCRUM

Ben Youngs with the feed, it finds Ford who goes long. Ulster collect, but it fires back to Tigers. A high ball from Tigers won by Stockdale. Ulster box-kick from Mathewson. Tigers penalty as Henderson goes in early. 

55

TIGERS ON TOP SO FAR...

Tigers relentless at the moment, as they continue to give Ulster a sniff. The pressure sees the ball move forwards again, and scrum for Tigers. 

FORD EXTENDS TIGERS LEAD

George Ford does the business from the tee. Tigers lead 23 points to 17. 

TRY FOR GENGE | TIGERS LEAD

Ellis Genge with the try for Tigers that gives them the lead once again in this semi-final. 

53

TIGERS BREAK

Ford into touch. Clare throw in. Liebenberg wins in the air. The drive of the maul is held up by Ulster, Ben Youngs breaks and Scott and Moroni in support. Tigers almost over the Ulster tryline.

Brink involved and Tigers with the penalty advantage. Ford keeps things moving and its a man over with GENGE!...

50

TIGERS NOT SLOWING DOWN

An exchange of kicks from the Ulster restart. Harry Wells almost presses the Irish clearance. Ulster still coming back at Tigers, with a number of short phase plays. 

Steward collects the high ball, Wiese exploding forward as Tigers grow in confidence. Ford finally opts to kick, Baloucoune struggles with the high ball, and Nemani Nadolo does the business at the breakdown. Penalty Tigers. 

FORD KICKS | ONE POINT IN IT

George Ford narrows the gap to just one point of Ulster, with a kick from the tee from a central position. 

48

TIGERS PHASE PLAY

Tiger seeing much more of the ball in-hand in this opening 10 minutes of the second half. 

Jasper Wiese again in the thick of it, and Nadolo once again getting involved in the midfield. A penalty goes Tigers way, and Ford with the chance from the tee. 

47

TIGERS REVITALISED

Tigers playing the ball out from the back, as they soak up the Ulster pressure. 

Steward finally kicks, and the early kick pressure from Tigers sees Stockdale slice his clearance. 

TIGERS REPLACEMENT

Ben Youngs comes on for Richard Wigglesworth at scrum-half. 

FORD ADDS EXTRAS

George Ford keeps things ticking over as the Ulster lead is cut to just four points. 

WIESE TRY FOR TIGERS

Just the start Tigers needed to this second half, as Jasper Wiese gets the try for Tigers!

44

QUICK TIGERS BREAK

Tigers ball from the restart. Clare with his first line-out, quick hands and Nadolo nearly breaks the line. Genge and and Matt Scott link up, before Steward breaks wide. He nearly gets the one-two and Tigers held up.

The play swings the left and Tigers look to have broken their duck for the evening...

ULSTER REPLACEMENT

John Cooney will be replaced by Alby Mathewson at scrum-half, following the collision. 

43

ULSTER SCRUM

The Ulster pack see out the challenge, Cooney finds space out the back. Ball is finally kicked clear, but we've had a collision between Nadolo and Cooney and it's a serious one, as the game is halted. 

 

42

TIGERS FAST START TO SECOND HALF

Three fresh Tigers helping with a fast start by Tigers. Nadolo and Wiese involved and Joe Heyes drops a shoulder. Ford finds Scott, who finds Moroni and then Steward, but its a forward pass.

Ulster let off the hook. 

TIGERS REPLACEMENTS

Dan Cole and Tom Youngs make way for Joe Heyes and Charlie Clare. Cyle Brink comes on for George Martin in the back row. 

40

UNDERWAY IN THE SECOND HALF

George Ford kicks off the second half of this European Challenge Cup semi-final. 

40

MATCH ACTION

 

 

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MATCH ACTION

 

 

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MATCH ACTION

 

 

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HALF-TIME | TIGERS 6-17 ULSTER

Tigers behind at the break as Ulster score two tries to extend their lead. Two kicks from the tee for Ford, after Tigers down to 10 in the early stages as Tom Youngs shown the yellow. 

40

LATE PRESSURE

Rob Herring goes to the front with the line-out. Maul forms and times up on the clock. Cooney collects and it's kicked out to end the half. 

39

NADOLO BREAKING FORWARD

Ulster try to go long with the kick to touch, but it's mis-judged. Steward boots it back in their direction. Fordy tests their hands at the back, Nadolo working hard to pressure the chase.

Ulster with the ball in-hand. Cooney finally kicks and Nadolo collects and runs forward to the half-way.

Scott steps and Wiese joins in, Ford kicks to touch and gains the territory bouncing out in the Ulster half. 

37

TIGERS PRESSURE FORCES KNOCK-ON

Quicker pressure sees the knock-on forced and Tigers with the scrum. Wigglesworth collects from the base, and Moroni finds space to drive forward. 

Genge has a go, and Wiese joins the ranks. George Martin on the charge and Genge back involved. Moroni keeps things moving, but Tigers off their feet at the breakdown and Ulster have the penalty. 

35

ULSTER CLEAR LINES

Billy Burns gets Ulster off their try line, but the ball still in the Irish outfits half. Herring throws in, won by the away side. The mauk drives, but is held up.

Cooney opts for the high ball, Steward is bundled into touch and some much needed metres gained by Ulster. 

34

ULSTER WIN SCRUM

Another scrum for Tigers and the forwards doing their bit, but the referee spots the Tigers penalty and the packs come together. 

The referee will take a look closer at the shoving.

33

MORE SCRUMMING

HEEEEAAVE. Tigers with the scrum on the Ulster five metre line. We reset. Wigglesworth feeds in and the Tigers pack up for this.

The penalty advantage goes their way, Wiese finds Wigglesworth and Ford kicks out to the left to Nadolo. Stockdale collects before the Fijian, but we go back for the penalty advantage, 

 

30

GAME'S FIRST SCRUM

We have the game's first scrum, as both sets of forward pack down. Cooney with the feed, and collects out the back. McCloskey comes forward and the Ulster back line move forward.

Genge steals the ball at the breakdown and Tigers now with possession. A slow ball for Ford and Nadolo is able to break the line. Wiese has a drive, as does Youngs.

Steward sees a chance to nudge the ball forward and Stockdale does his best, but the advancing Moroni and Porter force him onto his own tryline. Scrum for Tigers. 

27

TIGERS SEE BALL IN-HAND

Tigers kick clear and a chance to catch their breathe from the Ulster attack. Tom Youngs back with the ball in hand for a line-out on the Ulster left flank.

Liebenberg collects high and the maul rumbles forward. Quick hands from Scott to Ford and Tom Youngs plays a forward pass, after a slick move. Unlucky for the Tigers there. 

25

HIGH-BALL CHALLENGE

Steward collects the high-ball following an exchange of ball from the restart. Genge gets involved, and George Ford sends it high. Nadolo quick on the defence as Ulster try to come out with the ball in hand.

Another great take from the young full-back. Jasper Wiese sees ball in hand, but its loose and John Cooney kicks for touch. 

Tom Youngs returns from the sin bin. 

ULSTER EXTEND LEAD

John Cooney kicks the extras for Ulster. 

TRY FOR ULSTER

Billy Burns goes over for Ulster's second try of the game. Some quick hands and speed of ball sees the backline get the man-over once again.  

21

ULSTER BACK AT TIGERS

Liebenberg under the restart, Wigglesworth kicks clear and Stockdale secures possesion.

Ulster begin to go through the phases. Henderson gets involved and Cooney finds space on the blindside. Ulster gaining huge metres and are on the Tigers five metre mark. 

FORDY KICKS THE PENALTY POINTS

George Ford kicks from the tee with a huge kick from a few metres shy of the half-way line. 

18

TIGERS PENALTY

Tigers line-out from the restart and it's Ellis Genge to throw in with skipper Tom Youngs in the bin. Interference in the air penalty for Tigers, and Fordy points to the posts...

COONEY CONVERTS

John Cooney adds the two points and Ulster extend their lead. 

TRY FOR ULSTER

Ian Henderson gets the game's first try as he picks up the second phase move, after the pick and drive. 

15

TIGERS DEFENCE STRETCHED

With the man-advantage, Ulster looking to stretch the Tigers backline. Tigers concede another penalty and Ulster have the penalty, they opt to tap and go. 

Herring hurtles towards the tryline, held up and the balls out wide...

TOM YOUNGS SHOWN YELLOW

Tom Youngs is shown the yellow card and will see 10 minutes in the bin for repeat infringements. 

13

PRESSURE FROM ULSTER

Billy Burns kicks for touch and we'll have a line-out drive. Alan O'Connor collects and the maul forms. Hume brings in the forwards, as Tigers having to defend on their five metre line.

George Martin with the tackle, penalty advantage spotted by the referee, but Ulster press on. Cooney tries to dig the ball out, but Tigers may be penalised here. 

12

NO-TRY FOR ULSTER

Rob Baloucoune thought he had the game's first try as Ulster work the man over, but the TMO spots the knock-on in the build. 

Try disallowed, and we go back for the Ulster penalty. 

12

ULSTER MAKING METRES

Ulster looking dangerous in the attack, as the ball flows from left to right and the patient build up sees Rob Baloucoune as the man over...

11

BOTH TEAMS EXCHANGE POSSESSION

Fordy kicks the restart, collected by Ulster and they begin to play out from the back.

Cooney sends a box-kick high, slapped back by McIlory, but Tigers retain possession with the turnover. Wigglesworth sends another ball high, but Pascal Gauzere spots a high tackle on McIlory. Billy Burns kicks to touch. 

COONEY LEVELS SCORES

It's a successful penalty kick by John Cooney as he levels the scores at 3-3. 

8

THAT'S A WRAP FROM MDL

Thanks to all for tuning in this evening on a historic night at Mattioli Woods Welford Road. 

A safe trip home to the travelling Ulster Rugby team. It was one hell of a game...

8

ULSTER PENALTY

Liebenberg collects from the restart and ball back with Tigers from the restart. Wigglesworth clears and Jacob Stockdale is there to keep possession for Ulster.

Ian Henderson gets involved, ball is dislodged in the tackle and Ulster have the earlier penalty advantage, 

John Cooney lining up for the posts...

FORD KICKS OPENING POINTS

It's second time lucky for George Ford as he kicks the games opening points as Tigers take the lead in the semi-final fixture. 

6

TIGERS PENALTY

Burns with the restart and Ulster clear their lines. Another exchange of kicks and Fordy sends a ball high, which Steward is under and collects to keep the pressure. 

The referee pulls it back for a penalty advantage and a chance for George Ford from the tee...

4

FORD MISSES EARLY PENALTY

George Ford kicks for the game's opening points but it's wide and the scores remain 0-0. 

3

ULSTER LINE-OUT STOLEN

Rob Herring throws in for the line-out but Tiger steal it in the air. Richard Wigglesworth box-kicks, but it's taken by Ethan McIIroy. An exchange of kicks as both teams looking to gain some territory.

Tigers win the penalty at the breakdown, and an early chance at the posts for George Ford...

2

EARLY ULSTER PRESSURE

Ulster keep the pressure on Tigers from the kick-off, but Tigers are able to clear their lines. 

WE'RE OFF AT MATTIOLI WOODS WELFORD ROAD

Ulster get things underway in the Challenge Cup semi-final...

0

TEAMS FALL SILENT FOR BLEDDYN JONES

A minutes silence in memory of the former Tigers and commentator Bleddyn Jones. 

0

TIGERS READY...

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WARM-UPS DONE | TEAMS HEAD IN

We're less than 10 minutes away from kick-off here at Mattioli Woods Welford Road. Follow all the action as it happens.

 

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A SIMPLE MESSAGE...

 

 

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WARM-UPS UNDERWAY

 

 

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MEDIA DUTIES PRE-MATCH

Words from the head coach Steve Borthwick ahead of this evening's kick off...

“We want to stick to our plan tonight and play at a good intensity for the full 80 minutes.

“It’s a squad wide effort, with every player contributing whether you start or come off the bench.”

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TIGERS AT HOME – SEND YOUR SNAPS

Upload your photo in your Tigers kits to the TigersFamily screen which can be found in the ‘SEND A PHOTO’ tab on the main menu.

Everyone who shares their Tigers At Home photos (or videos) will be automatically entered into our prize draw ahead of each home fixture to win a Matchday Pack worth £100.

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THE ULSTER TEAM

Tonight's opposition...

Ulster Rugby: 15 Jacob Stockdale, 14 Rob Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 John Cooney; 1 Eric O'Sullivan, 2 Rob Herring, 3 Marty Moore, 4 Alan O'Connor, 5 Iain Henderson (c), 6 Matt Rea, 7 Jordi Murphy, 8 Nick Timoney

Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Andy Warwick, 18 Tom O'Toole, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Sean Reidy, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Michael Lowry, 23 Will Addison

0

TIGERS SEMI FINAL XV

TEAM CONFIRMED - How Leicester Tigers will line up this evening...

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TRIBUTE TO BLEDDYN...

We will pay tribute to former Leicester Tigers player and BBC Radio Leicester commentator Bleddyn Jones with a minute's silence ahead of kick-off in tonight's European Challenge Cup semi-final. 

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TODAY'S MATCHDAY MASCOT

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EURO PREVIEW | INTO THE FINAL FOUR

A place in the European Challenge Cup Final awaits the winners tonight’s Friday evening match-up between Leicester Tigers and Ulster Rugby at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

European champions in 1999 and finalists in 2012, Ulster only played their first-ever game in the Challenge Cup in the knockout stages this season, while Tigers reached the semi-finals in their debut season last year.

Tigers are bidding to reach a sixth final in Europe, following appearances in the Heineken Cup showpiece in 1997, 2001, ’02, ’07 and ’09. Read all the important facts and stats in our full match preview here.

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BORTHWICK ON THE OPPOSITION

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GAME DAY!

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WELCOME TO MATCHDAY LIVE!

We’re LIVE for Leicester Tigers’ European Challenge Cup semi-final from Ulster Rugby (KO 8.00pm).

Follow all the action with our Matchday Live coverage, right here on the Tigers App and LeicesterTigers.com.


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Jacob Stockdale
14
Robert Baloucoune
13
James Hume
12
Stuart McCloskey
11
Ethan McIlroy
10
Billy Burns
9
John Cooney
1
Eric O'Sullivan
2
Rob Herring
3
Marty Moore
4
Alan O'Connor
5
Iain Henderson
6
Matthew Rea
7
Jordi Murphy
8
Nick Timoney

Subs

16
John Andrew
17
Andrew Warwick
18
Tom O'Toole
19
Kieran Treadwell
20
Sean Reidy
21
Alby Mathewson
22
Michael Lowry
23
Will Addison

Team news | Leicester Tigers line-up for European semi-final

Steve Borthwick has named the Leicester Tigers matchday squad to take on Ulster Rugby in the European Challenge Cup semi-final at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Club captain Tom Youngs starts alongside Ellis Genge and Dan Cole in the front row, with Harry Wells and Calum Green making up an unchanged Tigers tight-five from last weekend’s Gallagher Premiership game against Northampton Saints.

George Martin returns at blindside flanker, which sees Hanro Liebenberg move to openside and Jasper Wiese retain his place at No.8 in the Leicester back row.

“We have made a few changes, as competition for places in this squad intensifies.”

Richard Wigglesworth, who missed last weekend’s derby, comes into the Tigers side at scrum-half to partner fly-half George Ford. Matt Scott is joined by Matías Moroni in the midfield.

Nemani Nadolo, who came off the bench to score two tries against Northampton, and Guy Porter are the wings and Freddie Steward is at full-back.

Charlie Clare, Luan de Bruin, Joe Heyes, Tomás Lavanini and Cyle Brink are the forwards replacements, with Ben Youngs, Zack Henry and Kini Murimurivalu the backs on the Tigers bench.

Speaking about the matchday squad, head coach Borthwick said: “The players selected for Friday have the privilege of representing their fellow squad members and our supporters in this exciting fixture.

“We have made a few changes, as competition for places in this squad intensifies.”

Previewing the fixture, he added: “Ulster are a very good team, who finished their PRO14 season in second place on their conference table and come to Mattioli Woods Welford Road on the back of two impressive away wins in Europe against English sides.

“They began the season in the Champions Cup and have made no secret of wanting to achieve success in this competition.

“They have an experienced squad, including many current internationals, and have a top-quality coaching team, who have done a very good job with Ulster Rugby in the past few seasons together.”

TIGERS XV
[club appearances in brackets]

15 Freddie Steward [29]

14 Guy Porter [15]

13 Matías Moroni [12]

12 Matt Scott [20]

11 Nemani Nadolo [10]

10 George Ford [102]

9 Richard Wigglesworth [11]

1 Ellis Genge [83]

2 Tom Youngs (c) [210]

3 Dan Cole [258]

4 Harry Wells [118]

5 Calum Green [56]

6 George Martin [11]

7 Hanro Liebenberg [29]

8 Jasper Wiese [13]

REPLACEMENTS

16 Charlie Clare [28]

17 Luan de Bruin [14]

18 Joe Heyes [64]

19 Tomás Lavanini [32]

20 Cyle Brink [13]

21 Ben Youngs [257]

22 Zack Henry [21]

23 Kini Murimurivalu [16]

 

Ulster Rugby: 15 Jacob Stockdale, 14 Rob Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 John Cooney; 1 Eric O'Sullivan, 2 Rob Herring, 3 Marty Moore, 4 Alan O'Connor, 5 Iain Henderson (c), 6 Matt Rea, 7 Jordi Murphy, 8 Nick Timoney

Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Andy Warwick, 18 Tom O'Toole, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Sean Reidy, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Michael Lowry, 23 Will Addison

Form Guide
Form
WLLWL
Last Match
Lost to Sale Sharks 10-26
Past Meeting
Won 33-24
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLWWL
Last Match
Lost to Leicester Tigers 24-33
Past Meeting
Lost 24-33

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers33
Leicester Tigers
Ulster Rugby24
Ulster Rugby
Full Time