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Tigers go down to heavy defeat in Limerick

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Leicester Tigers went down to a heavy 38-0 defeat in the Champions Cup to Munster Rugby at Thomond Park on Saturday afternoon.

Tigers had won on their two previous visits to Munster’s famous home but the hosts scored four unanswered tries to claim a bonus-point victory.
 
Tigers had three players sent to the sin bin on a torrid afternoon in Limerick, and they returned home empty-handed ahead of next weekend’s return fixture at Welford Road.
 
Tyler Bleyendaal kicked Munster into a 12-0 lead before Simon Zebo scored the opening try shortly before half-time. It got worse for Tigers in the second period as Jaco Taute scored twice and a penalty try condemned Leicester to their heaviest defeat in European competition.
 
Manu Tuilagi returned to the Tigers line-up after his recovery from a groin injury, while scrum-half Ben Youngs made his first club appearance since being named England's Man of the Series in the autumn international period.

Fellow England international Dan Cole, though, was ruled out after suffering a leg injury in the victory over Australia last weekend.
 
Owen Williams joined Tuilagi in the centres, with Peter Betham moving to the wing. Club captain Tom Youngs returned to the front row after missing the Derby Day win over Northampton Saints last Saturday.
 
It was a noisy atmosphere at kick-off, with Munster roared on by the majority in a huge Limerick crowd.
 
The hosts were the first to show through CJ Stander, their stand-out No8, who made a superb break from a ruck on halfway. He was well tackled by Owen Williams but Munster flooded forward into the Leicester 22. Tigers stood firm and in the face of a huge onslaught won a holding-on penalty in the shadow of their posts.

It set the tone for a relentless Munster performance.
 
Munster looked to their half-backs Conor Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal to test George Worth on his European debut. And it was from one of Murray’s kicks that Munster gained a foothold in the Leicester half. Brendon O’Connor went off his feet as he tried to win possession and Bleyendaal kicked the penalty to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.
 
Munster had the edge in the opening quarter, with Bleyendaal in particular kicking them into good areas. The fly-half landed a second penalty, this time for offside, to double the Munster lead on 15 minutes.
 
Kitchener was pulled down at a lineout close to halfway by Billy Holland and Freddie Burns went for goal, however, his kick landed just under the bar.
 
Instead, Tigers, who fell foul of referee Romain Poite throughout the first half, went further behind in the 24th-minute when Bleyendaal punished a ruck offence with his third penalty of the contest.
 
Munster continued to dominate and threatened through Zebo’s kick to the corner that Thompstone shepherded into touch under pressure from Keith Earls. Play came back for another penalty and Bleyendaal booted Munster into a 12-0 lead after 28 minutes.
 
It got worse for Tigers eight minutes before the break. Ed Slater was whistled for not rolling and received a yellow card as the team offences mounted. However, Bleyendaal, with arguably his simplest penalty, dragged the kick wide.
 
Tigers were unable to exit their half and back Munster came. Eventually the pressure told with a try four minutes before the break. Murray’s clever reverse pass picked out Zebo’s angled run and sent him over next to the posts. Bleyendaal converted to give Munster a 19-0 lead.
 
Munster almost caught Tigers napping with a tap penalty on halfway. They sent the ball down the narrow side, where Murray’s pass for Earls went forward. It left Tigers trailing 19-0 at half-time.
 
Slater returned from his sin bin period early in the second half with no change to the score. But as he returned Mike Fitzgerald went off for a HIA, with Luke Hamilton introduced for his European debut for Tigers.
 
Munster continued to pressure Tigers all over the pitch. Their lineout drive had Tigers on the back foot in their own 22 and it gave the perfect platform for centre Taute to latch on to Murray’s pass and drive over for the second try. Bleyendaal converted to move Munster 26-0 ahead.
 
Taute then finished off a sweeping Munster move to score their third try in the 57th minute. Tigers were caught shorthanded on their left and Munster exploited the space, with Taute collecting the offload to score.
 
Tigers went down to 14 men again just before the hour mark. Tuilagi was shown a yellow card after an offence at a ruck.
 
Tigers put together a sweeping move to create space for replacement centre Jack Roberts to test Zebo’s defence. He had O’Connor in support but the flanker's inside pass was knocked-on.

Tigers were camped on the Munster line after pumping a penalty to the corner. But they were unable to find a way through and Munster captain Stander, the Heineken Man of the Match, eventually emerged with the ball on his own line to clear.
 
Tom Brady replaced Tuilagi at the end of his sin bin period. Brady went to the wing with Betham going to centre.
 
But no sooner were Tigers back to strength than Munster scored a bonus-point fourth try.

Taute beat Worth to the ball and hacked into the in-goal area before the Munster man was taken down by the Leicester full-back. Worth was shown a yellow card and referee Poite awarded the penalty try. And Bleyendaal’s conversion set the seal on Munster’s emphatic win.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

MUN 19-0 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

MUN 38-0 LEI

Attendance

25,600

Referee

Romain Poite

Munster Rugby
Munster Rugby
38

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
0

Match Stats

Munster Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Possession
60%
40%
Territory
67%
33%
Penalties Conceded
5
11
Yellow Cards
0
3
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
87/89 98%
108/126 86%
Scrums Won
6/8 25%
5/5 0%
Lineouts Won
7/7 100%
9/9 100%

Player Stats

Munster Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15
14Adam Thompstone
13Manu Tuilagi
12Owen Williams
11Peter Betham
10
9Ben Youngs
1Ellis Genge
2Tom Youngs
3Logovi'i Mulipola
4Ed Slater
5Graham Kitchener
6Michael Fitzgerald
7Brendon O'Connor
8Lachlan McCaffrey
16George McGuigan
17
18Greg Bateman
19
20Will Evans
21Sam Harrison
22Jack Roberts
23Tom Brady

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Simon Zebo
14
Darren Sweetnam
13
Jaco Taute
12
Rory Scannell
11
Keith Earls
10
Tyler Bleyendaal
9
Conor Murray
1
Dave Kilcoyne
2
Niall Scannell
3
John Ryan
4
Donnacha Ryan
5
Billy Holland
6
Peter O'Mahony
7
Tommy O'Donnell
8
CJ Stander

Subs

16
Rhys Marshall
17
18
Stephen Archer
19
Jean Kleyn
20
Jack O'Donoghue
21
Duncan Williams
22
Ian Keatley
23
Andrew Conway
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Munster Rugby
Munster RugbyMUN650116064961843124
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI620461190-129323008
Form Guide
Form
DWLLW
Last Match
Beat Ospreys Rugby 33-6
Past Meeting
Won 25-16
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Lost 16-25

Matchday Live

Munster Rugby38
Munster Rugby
Leicester Tigers0
Leicester Tigers
Full Time