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Tigers top Euro pool with bonus-point win

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Leicester Tigers secured top spot in Champions Cup Pool 4 and a home quarter-final with a professional 47-7 victory over Benetton Rugby.

Tigers scored seven tries in all, securing the four-try bonus point before half-time. Mike Fitzgerald opened the scoring after 90 seconds, before the scrum won a penalty try and wings Vereniki Goneva and Adam Thompstone crossed for a try each in the opening 40 minutes.
 
Ben Youngs scored a trademark try from long range in the second period before Freddie Burns and Laurence Pearce completed the try-scoring.
 
The win made it five in a row for Tigers who now cannot be caught at the top of Pool 4. They finish their Champions Cup pool campaign away to Stade Francais in Paris next Sunday.
 
Dan Cole made his 100th start for Tigers becoming the 211th Tiger to reach a century of starts for the club. Manu Tuilagi made his first start of the season as he continued his comeback from injury.
 
There was also a start for Logovi’i Mulipola while Jordan Crane came into the back row alongside Fitzgerald and Tom Croft.
 
Robert Barbieri, the former Tigers back-rower, lined up at No8 on his first return to Welford Road since moving to Treviso in the summer.
 
Munster’s victory over Stade Francais at Thomond Park earlier in the day meant that a victory for Tigers would guarantee top spot in Pool 4 and a home quarter-final.
 
And Richard Cockerill’s men got off to the perfect start with a try after just two minutes. Tigers began the game at a high tempo, and when Tuilagi broke a tackle on the left he had Fitzgerald on his outside to run in unopposed. Burns added the extras to put Tigers 7-0 ahead.
 
Treviso had an opportunity to put points on the board through a long-range penalty but James Ambrosini’s kick landed under the bar.
 
Tigers signalled their intent to go for tries by pumping their first kickable penalty to the corner. Kitchener expertly set up the maul and as Tigers drove on Jordan Crane was held up over the line.
 
However, they did have their second try at the resulting scrum. The Tigers eight had Treviso under huge pressure and as the scrum splintered referee Ben Whitehouse awarded the penalty score. Burns added the conversion.
 
A threatening attack then came to halt as Burns’s inside pass picked out the referee on the edge of the Treviso 22. Tigers attacked again from the scrum, and after Ben Youngs went close, Crane dotted down but was pinged for a double movement.
 
It was all Tigers with any Treviso clearances returned with interest. One such attack, started by Tommy Bell on the Leicester 10m line, ended with Burns chipping over an advancing Treviso defence for Goneva to collect and cross for the third try. Burns’s conversion put Tigers 21-0 up after 30 minutes.
 
Treviso gave themselves a foothold in the game when Andrea Pratichetti came off his wing to collect Filo Paulo’s pop pass at the back of a lineout and score under the posts. Ambrosini converted to leave Tigers 21-7 ahead.
 
Tigers threatened immediately through Ben Youngs’s break but Crane was pulled back off the ball and prevented from collecting the offload. The offence was spotted by television match official Derek Bevan, and Tigers made it count scoring their fourth and bonus-point try moments later.
 
Mulipola’s barrelling run off the back of the lineout was somehow stopped on the line but Thompstone crossed at the next phase for his 19th try in Leicester colours. Burns maintained his 100 per cent kicking record to give Leicester a 28-7 lead at half-time.
 
Tigers were quick out of the blocks again at the start of the second period, Bell caught Treviso napping with a quickly-taken throw-in on the Leicester 22 and Ben Youngs went the length of the field to score at the right-hand corner.
 
It was Youngs’s last contribution and he was replaced by Kitto, one of a number of replacements by the Tigers with the game securely won.
 
It was all Tigers now, and Freddie Burns scored their sixth try, kicking behind the Treviso defence and dotting down the bouncing ball for his first of the season. Burns converted his own try to give Tigers a 40-7 lead.
 
Tigers hammered away in search of more points. And their cause was aided by a yellow card on 69 minutes for Treviso replacement Simone Ferrari.
 
A sparkling break by Tait almost created a try for Kitto, but the Treviso defence scrambled back to close the space. Instead play was switched to the right where Crane tidied up at the back of a ruck, offloaded to Croft who passed of the tackle for replacement back-rower Pearce to score.
 
And with Burns replaced by Seremaia Bai for the closing stages, Bell landed the conversion to set the seal on Tigers’ 47-7 victory.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 28-7 BEN

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 47-7 BEN

Attendance

19,076

Referee

Ben Whitehouse

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
47

Full Time

Benetton Rugby
Benetton Rugby
7

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Benetton Rugby
Possession
55%
45%
Territory
64%
36%
Penalties Conceded
8
15
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
94/98 96%
128/144 89%
Scrums Won
6/6 100%
4/8 50%
Lineouts Won
20/20 0%
14/14 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Benetton Rugby
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Tommy Bell1C
14Adam Thompstone1T
13Mathew Tait
12Manu Tuilagi
11Vereniki Goneva1T
101T5C
9Ben Youngs1T
1Logovi'i Mulipola
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Dom Barrow
5Graham Kitchener
6Michael Fitzgerald1T
7Tom Croft
8
16Harry Thacker
17Marcos Ayerza
18Fraser Balmain
19
20Laurence Pearce1T
21Jono Kitto
22Seremaia Bai
23Peter Betham

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Subs

Marcos Ayerza
17
Marcos Ayerza
Fraser Balmain
18
Fraser Balmain
19
Laurence Pearce
20
Laurence Pearce
Jono Kitto
21
Jono Kitto
Seremaia Bai
22
Seremaia Bai
Peter Betham
23
Peter Betham

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Jayden Hayward
14
Andrea Pratichetti
13
Sam Christie
12
Alberto Sgarbi
11
Simone Ragusi
10
James Ambrosini
9
Alberto Lucchese
1
Alberto De Marchi
2
3
Salesi Manu
4
5
Jean-Francis Montauriol
6
Marco Lazzaroni
7
Francesco Minto
8
Robert Barbieri

Subs

16
Davide Giazzon
17
Cherif Traore
18
Simone Ferrari
19
Marco Fuser
20
Alessandro Zanni
21
Braam Steyn
22
Enrico Bacchin
23
Luke McLean
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI6501185919424113023
4
Benetton Rugby
Benetton RugbyBEN600653233-180833000
Form Guide
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Lost 10-26
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LDDWL
Last Match
Lost to Montpellier Hérault Rugby 25-31
Past Meeting
Won 26-10

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers47
Leicester Tigers
Benetton Rugby7
Benetton Rugby
Full Time