European Champions Cup: Leicester 25-21 Toulon

Brad Thorn scores for Leicester
Leicester (13) 25
Tries: Thorn Con: Williams Pens: Williams 6
Toulon (13) 21
Tries: Habana, Mitchell Con: Sanchez Pen: Sanchez 3

Owen Williams kicked 20 points as Leicester secured a famous win over defending champions Toulon in the European Champions Cup.

The hosts led 13-0 after a rare try by veteran lock Brad Thorn but Toulon were level at half-time following an interception try by wing Bryan Habana.

Drew Mitchell crossed to give Toulon the lead but three more penalties from Williams secured Tigers' victory.

Toulon still lead Pool Three, with nine points to Leicester's eight.

Richard Cockerill's side play Toulon again at the Stade Felix Mayol next Saturday.

European Champions Cup Pool Three
TeamPWDLFABPts
Toulon3201725619
Leicester3201535408
Ulster3102555726
Scarlets3102425504

Leicester started strongly at Welford Road and 22-year-old Williams gave the hosts the lead after Toulon infringed at the scrum.

Williams doubled the hosts' advantage after former Tigers player Martin Castrogiovanni charged shoulder-first into a ruck.

And when Mitchell failed to cope with a speculative kick from Mathew Tait, hooker Tom Youngs picked up the loose ball and fed former All Black Thorn for a try.

Nicolas Sanchez reduced Toulon's deficit with two penalties before Habana seized on a loose pass by Williams and sprinted home from 50 metres.

The visitors went ahead after scrum-half Sebastien Tillous-Borde broke through the Tigers defence and sent Mitchell over unopposed.

A fourth Williams penalty edged Leicester back in front, before the Welshman added another.

Sanchez reduced the deficit to one point with a three-pointer of his own before Williams made sure of a Tigers win with a kick from the halfway line.

Leicester rugby director Richard Cockerill: "It's a great win. It is the best we have probably played for 18 months.

"It will be twice as hard to go there and win next week. Toulon will be really cheesed off, and it really doesn't get any more difficult than that."

Toulon prop Martin Castrogiovanni: "Everyone wants to win against us. We are the best. We have won everything, and it is normal for other teams to raise their game.

"Leicester played a very good game, but they have only won a game. Now they need to come to us, and we will see. We will see next week what is going on."

Leicester: Tait, Scully, Smith, Allen, Goneva, O. Williams, B. Youngs, Ayerza, T. Youngs, Cole, Thorn, Kitchener, Gibson, Salvi, Crane.

Replacements: Harrison for B. Youngs (80), Ghiraldini for T. Youngs (59), Parling for Kitchener (59), Barbieri for Crane (59).

Not Used: Rizzo, Balmain, Burns, Benjamin.

Toulon: D. Armitage, Mitchell, Bastareaud, Mermoz, Habana, Sanchez, Tillous-Borde, Chiocci, Guirado, Castrogiovanni, Botha, Williams, Gordodze, S. Armitage, Masoe, Taofifenua.

Replacements: Escande for Sanchez (55), Fresia for Chiocci (58), Orioli for Guirado (71), Hayman for Castrogiovanni (52), Taofifenua for Botha (58), J. Smith for Gordodze (68), Suta for Taofifenua (72).

Not Used: Wulf.

Att: 22,114

Ref: Nigel Owens (Wales).

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