European Rugby Champions Cup: Leicester 17-6 Munster

By Caroline ChapmanBBC Sport
Leicester celebrate beating Munster
Vereniki Goneva scored Leicester's second try against Munster
European Rugby Champions Cup
Leicester Tigers (10) 17
Tries: Slater, Goneva Pens: Burns Cons: Burns 2
Munster (6) 6
Pens: Keatley

Leicester beat Munster to keep up their 100% record in Pool Four of the European Champions Cup.

Tries from Ed Slater and Niki Goneva and three kicks from Freddie Burns earned the Tigers their fourth win of the campaign.

Two-time champions Munster could respond with only two first-half penalties from fly-half Ian Keatley.

Leicester have an eight point lead at the top of the group, but Munster's hopes of progression look all but over.

The Irish province, who are third in the pool, suffered only their fifth home defeat in 67 European games against Leicester last weekend, and they were downed once again by the Premiership side.

Keatley had kicked them ahead after six minutes at Welford Road, but Tigers captain Slater pounced for the first try, dabbing down from a metre out after a succession of drives for the line.

Match stats
16Defenders beaten18
18Tackles missed16

Burns, making his season debut, converted and then extended their lead to seven points with a penalty, before team-mate Dom Barrow was sent to the sin-bin for infringement at the ruck.

Keatley kicked the resulting penalty to make it 10-6 and it was to be the final points on the board for Munster.

However, Leicester were lucky not to concede after an error at the scrum saw Francis Saili intercept and run 80 metres before being caught by Telusa Veainu.

The Tigers regrouped and Goneva touched down underneath the posts after a dazzling sprint from Peter Betham, and Munster were unable to respond.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill: "We have got to win the group, that is key. We have got Treviso here next and we would like to get as many points as we can.

"If we can get to 22, 23 points with one game to go you would like to think we get a home quarter-final, but we will see.

"I thought Munster played really well. They put us under huge pressure and there were three bits of defensive play that saved us.

"The attitude of the players was outstanding and they should take huge credit for that."

Munster head coach Anthony Foley: "We thought we should have won last week and we will leave here thinking we probably should have won this one.

"Why didn't we? We are not scoring. We have to be ruthless in that area.

"It wasn't as frustrating as last week but I'm annoyed at the way we turn over ball and how loose we are around it.

"We worked hard to get into positions to create opportunities and we just let it go."


Leicester Tigers: Veainu; Thompstone, Betham, Smith, Goneva; Burns, Youngs; Ayerza, Youngs, Cole; Fitzgerald, Kitchener; Slater (c), O'Connor, McCaffrey.

Replacements: Bai for Goneva (72), Bell for F. Burns (66), Harrison for B. Youngs (75), Aguero for Ayerza (44), H. Thacker for T. Youngs (71), Balmain for Cole (57), Croft for Fitzgerald (51), Barrow for Kitchener (36)

Sin Bin: Barrow (40).

Munster: Conway; Earls, Saili, Hurley, Zebo; Keatley, Murray; Cronin, Sherry, Ryan; Chisholm, Ryan; Copeland O'Callaghan, Stander (c).

Replacements: Amorosino for Hurley (74), R. Scannell for Keatley (66), O'Leary for Murray (59), Kilcoyne for Cronin (66), N. Scannell for Sherry (69), Sagario for J. Ryan (74), O'Donoghue for D. O'Callaghan (51).

Att: 21,645

Ref: Jerome Garces (France).