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Report | Frustrated Tigers fall in tough Dublin battle

Figure image

Leicester Tigers have fallen to Leinster 36-22 in the Investec Champions Cup knockout stages at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. 

A dogged, determined Tigers performance was undone by some electric long-range tries from the home side, Tigers forced to regret missed opportunities to draw the contest closer. 

Tigers shot out of the gates, Handré Pollard taking an offload off Jack van Poortvliet to score under Leinster’s posts.

Pollard converted to give Leicester an early lead.

The visitors had more early opportunities, but Leinster’s defence was solid, and their lightning attack began to make inroads.

Leicesters defence was breached three times through on linebreaks and scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park was the beneficiary for a first half hat-trick.

Pollard would add three from the tee, and it would be 22-10 at the break.

Tigers came out with more belief in the second 40, and were first to score through prop James Cronin.

Leicester were on top, with James Lowe in the sin-bin, but a loose pass saw Robbie Henshaw restore Leinster’s margin.

That try broke Tigers momentum and as Lowe returned to the field, Leinster stepped on the accelerator.

Leicester continued to fight, Charlie Clare scoring off an overthrown lineout, though it would be ultimately Leinster's day, the final score 36-22. 

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 22-10 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 36-22 LEI

Attendance

Not available

Referee

Pierre Brousset

Leinster Rugby
Leinster Rugby
36

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
22
Leinster Rugby
P
T
C
T
T
C
T
C
T
C
KOHTFT
Leicester Tigers
T
C
P
T
T
C

Match Stats

Leinster Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Possession
43%
57%
Territory
37%
63%
Penalties Conceded
10
9
Yellow Cards
1
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
132/156 85%
95/127 75%
Scrums Won
3/4 75%
8/10 80%
Lineouts Won
8/11 73%
13/15 87%

Player Stats

Leinster Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Jamie Shillcock
14Freddie Steward
13Dan Kelly
12Solomone Kata
11Ollie Hassell-Collins
10Handre Pollard1T2C1P
9Jack van Poortvliet
1James Cronin1T
2Julian Montoya
3Dan Cole
4Harry Wells
5Kyle Hatherell
6Hanro Liebenberg
7Olly Cracknell
8Jasper Wiese
16Charlie Clare1T
17Francois van Wyk
18Will Hurd
19Finn Carnduff
20Emeka Ilione
21Tom Whiteley
22Phil Cokanasiga
23Mike Brown

Commentary

TIGERS DEFEATED IN DUBLIN

Leinster edge a hard-fought contest at the Aviva Stadium as Tigers now turn to the Gallagher Premiership Run-In.

Our 2023/24 Investec Champions Cup campaign comes to an end; but we'll always have Paris.

Full time score: Leinster Rugby 36 - 22 Leicester Tigers

78

INTO THE FINAL MOMENTS

Tigers throw the kitchen sink as the final minutes tick down, Mike Brown inches away from collecting a tempting crossfield kick but the veteran fullback can't quite make it.

CONVERSION | Handré Pollard

The springbok slots the extras from the right hand side, a tricky kick coolly slotted.

TRY | LEICESTER TIGERS

Charlie Clare touches down from a line-out (not in the way you expect!) to give Leicester a slim lifeline.

A long clearance by the visitors handed Leinster a line-out just five metres from their own line. However, Kelleher's overthrow sees Clare collect at the tail of the line and splash down.

CONVERSION | LEINSTER RUGBY

The extras are added and the hosts extend their lead.

TRY | LEINSTER RUGBY

Long way back for Tigers now.

Ireland backrow Jack Conan makes an impact from the bench, collecting a pop and finding space to touch down beneath the posts.

Ilione works incredibly hard to almost stop the score but can't quite make it.

70

SUBSTITUTES | LEICESTER TIGERS

Young flanker Emeka Ilione comes on for Cracknell, while Tom Whiteley is on for van Poortvliet.

67

Tigers applying pressure

Buoyed by Liebenberg's vital knock down, Leicester have spent the last 10 minutes trying to break down the hosts defence, Tigers camped well within the Leinster half.

Leinster look to clear their lines but Air Steward is clear for takeoff and the fullback-cum-winger collects and gets Tigers back into the opposing half, where his side collect a penalty.

56

TRY DISALLOWED | LEINSTER RUGBY

Incredible workrate here from Hanro Liebenberg.

With Leinster camped on the Tigers line, substitute hooker Ronan Kelleher crashes over to touch down; however, video replay shows that flanker Liebenberg has somehow swung around the mass of bodies and smashed the ball out of Kelleher's hands mid-dive.

Phenomenal.

SUBSTITUTIONS | LEICESTER TIGERS

Two switches in the front row as Cole and Cronin make way for Hurd and van Wyk

CONVERSION | LEINSTER RUGBY

Byrne extends the lead from another conversion in front of the posts.

TRY | LEINSTER RUGBY

A dream turnover well into Leinster territory quickly turns into a nightmare for Leicester.

Olly Cracknell does brilliantly to steal possession just outside the Leinster 22 and Tigers look to play quickly and expolit the man advantage.

A huge looping miss-pass out wide looks to find Hassell-Collins who would almost certainly score; but, the ball is picked out of the air by Leinster hands and Tigers have poured bodies forward.

Robbie Henshaw has clear space ahead of him and the centre has the gas to make it over the line from considerable range.

46

CONVERSION MISSED | Handré Pollard

From the far right corner, Pollard cruelly strikes the upright to keep it at a seven point game.

TRY | JAMES CRONIN

And Tigers are back into it!

With the penalty given for the knock on, Tigers kick to the corner and assume the classic rolling maul, which is stopped right on the tryline.

With the maul dragged down, an ingenious bit of play from Cronin sees the prop astutely identify the single blade of grass between the mass of bodies ahead of him, forcing the ball through and touching the turf.

YELLOW CARD | LEINSTER RUGBY

Tigers have begun the half with impetus, spreading the ball around the field whilst there are heavy carries in midfield from Cole and captain Julián Montoya.

As the side are just metres from the line, it's a straight sin bin for wing James Lowe for a delibrate knock on as the last line of defence as Tigers went wide.

THE SECOND HALF GETS UNDERWAY

Leinster get the second half underway; 40 minutes left in this Investec Champions Cup round of 16 clash.

HALF TIME AT THE AVIVA

The whistle blows and a topsy-turvy first half comes to an end.

Tigers took an early lead through a well taken Pollard try before Leinster bit back with a Gibson-Park hat-trick.

Half time score: Leinster Rugby 22  - 10 Leicester Tigers

35

HASSELL-COLLINS ALMOST IN

It's almost a wonder try for wing Hassell-Collins who perfectly times his run to catch a crossfield kick at full speed.

The Leinster defence has hard across to cover home but a lovely attempted grubber is intercepted by the opposite wing who manages to get their leg in the way and block.

Like a prime Robert Huth that kind of block.

CONVERSION | LEINSTER RUGBY

Byrne gets his hat-trick of kicks (hat-kicks?) as he slots a simple shot from virtually beneath the posts.

TRY | LEINSTER RUGBY

That's the hat-trick for Gibson-Park.

The Ireland 9 is having a storming game and he kicks off this move with a wide, flat pass that is then given inside to find the smallest gap in the Tigers defence.

Once again, the ball is played back inside to Gibson-Park on the shoulder, who steps a defender and dives over beneath the posts.

PENALTY | Handré Pollard

Tigers narrow the gap with a well-struck penalty by Pollard.

26

CONVERSION MISSED | LEINSTER RUGBY

A more difficult kick for Byrne sees the 10 pull the ball to left of the post.

TRY | LEINSTER RUGBY

Just as Tigers had gained strong field position, the hosts strike back.

It's centre Robbie Henshaw who makes the intial gainline break, covered well by Harry Wells.

However, the damage has been done by the half-break. That allows Gibson-Park to spot space on his inside; the 9 draws the remaining defender out wide and puts hooker Dan Sheehan into space, with then mirrors pack-pal McCarthy in executing a two on one to put the scrum half over for his second score.

17

DYNAMITE DANS

Dan Kelly has done brilliantly to bring down his opposite number before getting right over the ball and winning a vital turnover, much to the delight of his teammates.

Dan Cole has just sent a Leinster backrow flying at the ruck and has got a smile on his face as he gets ready to pack down for a scrum.

CONVERSION | LEINSTER RUGBY

Leinster extend their lead to three points as Byrne knocks over a simple conversion.

TRY | LEINSTER RUGBY

And the hosts take the lead.

In a fashion not too dissimilar to Andy Farrell's Ireland, Leinster's backs have a multitude of options as they wing the ball wide and it's lock Joe McCarthy who finds a gap and gallops through.

He then executes a two on one and puts over scrum half Jamison Gibson-Park.

PENALTY | ROSS BYRNE

Leinster narrow the gap, flying back up the field and winning a penalty in front of the posts which fly half Byrne puts over for 3 points.

CONVERSION | Handré Pollard

He adds the extras aswell as Leicester extend their lead at the Aviva.

TRY | Handré Pollard

And Tigers get the opening score!

It's James Cronin who gets the side on the front foot, the Irishman marking a return home by sitting down his opposite number, plodding into space and offloading to Wiese.

From there, Tigers play to the left hand side before Pollard runs a lovely short line a few metres out. It's a giant carry from Handré and the Springbok bumps off one tackle and rides another to touch down.

3

Tigers on top in early exchanges

Successive successful line outs for Tigers grant the side strong intiial field position, with Leinster infringing at the second attempt and allowing Pollard to kick to touch well into the hosts' half.

KICK OFF

Handré Pollard gets us underway!

-5

FIVE MINUTES TO GO!

Not long till kick off now.

Pockets of Tigers fans can be spotted throughout the stadium and are in fine voice to roar on their side.

AJ5I9809.jpg

-15

WATCH US LIVE!

Whether you're at home, out and about or on the go, you can follow along with all the action LIVE!

We are live on TV on TNT Sports 2 as well as text updates coming right here from Matchday Live.

So pop the kettle on and prepare a brew, settle down on the sofa and get ready for knockout rugby!

-30

30 MINUTES TO GO!

There's just half an hour till Leicester Tigers get their Investec Champions Cup knockout campaign underway!

Tigers travel to Dublin's Aviva Stadium tonight, set to face old foes Leinster in this Round of 16 clash.


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Hugo Keenan
14
Jordan Larmour
13
Robbie Henshaw
12
Jamie Osborne
11
James Lowe
10
Ross Byrne
9
Jamison Gibson-Park
1
Andrew Porter
2
Dan Sheehan
3
Tadhg Furlong
4
Ross Molony
5
Joe McCarthy
6
Ryan Baird
7
Josh van der Flier
8
Caelan Doris

Replacements

16
Ronan Kelleher
17
Cian Healy
18
Michael Alaalatoa
19
Jason Jenkins
20
Jack Conan
21
Ben Murphy
22
Harry Byrne
23
Ciaran Frawley

Team News | Cole starts as Steward shifts to the wing

Figure image

Leicester Tigers have named their side for Saturday’s Investec Champions Cup Round of 16 clash at 8pm against Leinster at Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Tigers have made three changes to the team from last week’s victory away to Newcastle, with Dan Cole returning at tighthead prop.

Dan Kelly will wear number 13 while Jamie Shillcock comes in at fullback. Freddie Steward shifts to the wing.

Leicester Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar said: “We’re excited to get over to Dublin and rip into this challenge.”

“Their record speaks for itself but, like any game of rugby, if you can apply pressure and deny opportunity consistently, you’ll give yourself a great chance to be in the contest.

“We’ve got a lot of experience and fight in this group so outside of these walls is irrelevant to us; we’ll turn up to the Aviva on Saturday night ready to go with a bucket load of belief.”

STARTING XV

15 Jamie Shillcock [23]

14 Freddie Steward [83]

13 Dan Kelly [76]

12 Solomone Kata [15]

11 Ollie Hassell-Collins [17]

10 Handré Pollard [29]

9 Jack van Poortvliet [68]

1 James Cronin [30]

2 Julián Montoya [55]

3 Dan Cole [318]

4 Harry Wells [194]

5 Kyle Hatherell [18]

6 Hanro Liebenberg [103]

7 Olly Cracknell [38]

8 Jasper Wiese [74]

REPLACEMENTS

16 Charlie Clare [90]

17 Francois van Wyk [48]

18 Will Hurd [38]

19 Finn Carnduff [10]

20 Emeka Ilione [21]

21 Tom Whiteley [26]

22 Phil Cokanasiga [14]

23 Mike Brown [23]

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1
Leinster Rugby
Leinster RugbyLEI440012353701753019
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI420284122-381016109
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