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Tigers go down to first defeat in Euro cup

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Leicester Tigers hopes of going unbeaten through the pool stages of this season's Champions Cup were ended by Stade Francais as Tigers went down 36-21 in Paris.

Tigers had topped Champions Cup Pool 4 regardless of the result at Stade Jean Bouin on Sunday afternoon after winning their first five fixtures in Europe.
 
But they were looking to win all six pool-stage fixtures for the first time, and they got off to a flying start scoring the game’s first try through Manu Tuilagi.
 
But Stade took control with three tries before half-time through Jules Plisson, Waisea Nayacalevu and Rabah Slimani. Stade scored the bonus-point fourth to secure their passage into the quarter-finals as one of the best runners-up through Raphael Lakafia early in the second period.
 
Tigers fought back through Dom Barrow’s close-range try and fashioned a wonderful score for Tommy Bell, which was chalked off for a forward pass, before Harry Thacker finished a lineout drive to bring Tigers to within eight points.
 
But an interception try for Geoffrey Doumayrou on full-time ended Tigers’ hopes of a comeback and saw Stade secure their place in the last eight.
 
Telusa Veainu and Matt Smith returned to the Tigers backline, Veainu coming onto the wing and Smith partnering Manu Tuilagi at centre. Lachlan McCaffrey came into the pack, which included Tom Croft and Dan Cole on the occasion of their 150th Tigers’ appearance. Marcos Ayerza made his 60th appearance in Europe.
 
Tigers began the game brightly, making early inroads into the Stade defence through Mat Tait and Tuilagi. A break by Adam Thompstone earned a penalty for offside but Freddie Burns was wide with his kick.
 
A clever chip by Ben Youngs was dotted down in-goal by Jeremy Sinzelle under pressure from Tuilagi and Tom Youngs as Tigers dominated the early exchanges.
 
However, Tigers survived a scare when Nayacalevu and Djibril Camara combined down the left flank but Camara knocked on the return pass with the Tigers defence stretched.
 
Tigers had the Stade pack back-pedalling with a maul that took them 30m into the French side’s half. There they won an offside penalty that Burns pumped to the corner. Kitchener set up the drive, which was pulled down by Stade. Tigers went to the corner again, but this time Stade held up the drive.
 
Tigers had Stade under pressure again at a 5m lineout. Mike Fitzgerald and Tuilagi went close before Jules Plisson stepped out of the line and appeared to knock-on Ben Youngs’s pass with men outside.
 
But Tigers were not to be denied moments later. Smith claimed his own up-and-under on the Stade 10m line, found Fitzgerald who had Tuilagi on his shoulder to run under the posts from 30m. Burns added the conversion as Tigers led 7-0 after 12 minutes.
 
Stade scored through their first real attack three minutes later. Jonathan Danty fended off Ayerza’s tackle before Plisson arced his run to score to the right of the posts. Plisson kicked the conversion to level the scores.
 
Danty was at the centre of things on the half hour to create Stade’s second try. His pass picked out Nayacalevu on the left flank and the centre scooted over at the corner to put the defending Top 14 champions 12-7 ahead.
 
It needed brilliant thinking by Ben Youngs to prevent a third try moments later. Intricate passing between Julien Dupuy, Nayacalevu and Plisson put the fly-half away down the right but his final pass inside was picked off by Youngs.
 
Stade did have their third try on 34 minutes. Danty was stopped just short but play was moved inside where Rabah Slimani burrowed over from close range. Plisson added the extras.
 
Burns was unable to cut the deficit with a touchline penalty right on half-time as Tigers trailed 19-7 at the break.
 
Tigers were called on in defence early in the second period. Tigers repelled wave after wave of Stade attacks before Plisson’s ambitious pass beat Camara into touch on the left.
 
But Tigers weathered the storm and took play into Stade territory where they earned a lineout in the hosts’ 22. Peter Betham, Laurence Pearce and Logovi’i Mulipola came on for Tuilagi, McCaffrey and Ayerza respectively. Pearce’s first involvement was to peel off the back of the lineout but he got isolated and gave away a holding-on penalty.
 
Tigers went down to 14 men on 52 minutes when Tom Youngs was shown a yellow card following an incident on the floor with Slimani.
 
Stade made their man advantage count straight away. Plisson’s pass gave Jono Ross go-forward and he had fellow back-rower Raphael Lakafia in support to score by the posts. Plisson’s conversion moved Stade 26-7 ahead.
 
Tigers claimed a try of their own in the 59th minute. Veainu’s dart punched a hole in the home defence and at the next phase Barrow was in support to crash his way up to the line and reach out to score. Referee George Clancy consulted his television match official before awarding the score. Bell added a simple conversion to leave Leicester 26-14 down going into the final quarter.
 
Tom Youngs returned to the fray with no further addition to the score.
 
Stade were awarded a penalty when Matt Smith knocked on as he was lifted in the tackle and Tigers collected the loose ball in an offside position. But Plisson’s kick was wide and short.
 
The Stade fly-half had another penalty moments later from a similar position but this time he landed the kick to give the hosts a 29-14 lead with 11 minutes remaining.
 
Tigers responded with a stunning attack, started with a brilliant back-of-the-hand pass by Sam Harrison to put Veainu away. He danced past a couple of tackles and offloaded for Bell to cross. However, as Bell was lining up the conversion Clancy decided to consult his TMO, who ruled that Harrison’s initial pass went forward and the try was disallowed.
 
Tigers did have their third try with three minutes remaining. De Chaves, on for Graham Kitchener, set up the lineout drive and Tigers rumbled over for Harry Thacker to score. Bell converted.
 
Tigers chased a bonus-point fourth try as the clock ticked past 80 minutes. Thacker broke Sergio Parisse’s tackle to take them up to the Stade 10m line. However, de Chaves tried to force the issue and his pass was intercepted by Doumayrou, who had a clear run from halfway to score.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

STA 19-7 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

STA 36-21 LEI

Attendance

12,074

Referee

George Clancy

Stade Francais
Stade Francais
36

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
21

Match Stats

Stade Francais
Leicester Tigers
Possession
44%
56%
Territory
45%
55%
Penalties Conceded
13
9
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
113/124 91%
79/94 84%
Scrums Won
5/6 83%
4/4 100%
Lineouts Won
8/8 0%
16/16 0%

Player Stats

Stade Francais
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Mathew Tait
14Adam Thompstone
13Manu Tuilagi1T
12Matt Smith
11Telusa Veainu
101C
9Ben Youngs
1Marcos Ayerza
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Dom Barrow1T
5Graham Kitchener
6Michael Fitzgerald
7Tom Croft
8Lachlan McCaffrey
16Harry Thacker1T
17Logovi'i Mulipola
18Fraser Balmain
19
20Laurence Pearce
21Sam Harrison
22Tommy Bell2C
23Peter Betham

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Subs

Fraser Balmain
18
Fraser Balmain
19
Laurence Pearce
20
Laurence Pearce
Tommy Bell
22
Tommy Bell
Peter Betham
23
Peter Betham

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Hugo Bonneval
14
Jérémy Sinzelle
13
Waisea Nayacalevu
12
Jonathan Danty
11
Djibril Camara
10
Jules Plisson
9
Julien Dupuy
1
Sakaria Taulafo
2
Laurent Sempere
3
Rabah Slimani
4
Hugh Pyle
5
Paul Gabrillagues
6
Jono Ross
7
Raphael Lakafia
8
Sergio Parisse

Subs

16
Laurent Panis
17
Emmanuel Felsina
18
Paul Alo-Emile
19
Pascal Papé
20
Antoine Burban
21
Julien Tomas
22
Morne Steyn
23
Geoffrey Doumayrou
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI6501185919424113023
2
Stade Francais
Stade FrancaisSTA64021861186825173019
Form Guide
Form
LLLDD
Last Match
Draw with Benetton Rugby null-null
Past Meeting
Lost 13-41
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Won 41-13

Matchday Live

Stade Francais36
Stade Francais
Leicester Tigers21
Leicester Tigers
Full Time