• Heineken Cup

Tigers battle to victory as rampant Bath keep hopes alive

ESPN staff
January 15, 2011
Ben Youngs produced a man-of-the-match display as Leicester beat Scarlets © Getty Images

Heineken Cup Gallery

Leicester kept their Heineken Cup quarter-final hopes alive with a hard-fought 32-18 victory over the Scarlets in Llanelli.

Tries from winger Alesana Tuilagi, man of the match Ben Youngs and replacement Steve Mafi powered the Premiership side to a much-needed win with fly-half Toby Flood weighing in with a crucial 17 points. The brave Scarlets grabbed the lead at the break thanks largely to a try from speedster Morgan Stoddart and boot of Stephen Jones but in the end they had no answer to the Tigers' superior physicality and a second half score for winger Sean Lamont was too little, too late.

Bath did their chances of a place in the last eight no harm with a bonus-point victory against Aironi. Steve Meehan's side recorded the four tries they needed for maximum points inside the first 30 minutes of their match, building a comfortable advantage that would end in a 55-16 demolition.

Tom Biggs scored twice early in the contest, but he was soon overshadowed by fellow winger Matt Banahan who went on to cross the line on no fewer than four occasions. Forward Josh Sole got what was ultimately a consolation try for the Italians, whose competition was effectively over long before Luke Watson added the last of his two tries.

Bath now face an important game against Biarritz next week to decide whether they will progress to the knockout stage, after the French side were beaten at the death by Ulster in a fraught defensive battle that produced only five penalty kicks between the two sides.

Fly-half Ian Humphreys grabbed both of Ulster's kicks in the second half to wipe away the 6-0 advantage Dimitri Yachvili had given Biarritz before the break and, with the final 20 minutes a fraught defensive battle, Humphreys again threaded a kick between the uprights with three minutes remaining to clinch an important 9-6 victory and give the 1999 competition winners the advantage in Pool 4's race for the next phase.

Dominic Ryan stretches to score against Saracens as Leinster booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup © PA Photos

Leinster marched into this season's Heineken Cup quarter-finals with a 43-20 bonus point victory over Saracens at the RDS.

The Irish province hit their English rivals for six in a clinical display that saw them guarantee top spot in Pool 2 and sound an ominous warning to the rest of Europe. Man of the Match Sean O'Brien put his side on course for victory with a brace from flanker Dominic Ryan and further scores from centre Fergus McFadden, fullback Isa Nacewa and replacement Eoin O'Malley completing Saracens' misery. An assured display from fly-half Jonathan Sexton in testing conditions contributed 13 points to the delight of a capacity home crowd.

Perpignan closed in on a place in the last eight of the competition by picking up a bonus point in their ultimately straightforward 44-9 victory over Benetton Treviso at the Stadio Comunale di Monigio on Saturday afternoon.

After an even start to the game, the visitors made a decisive breakthrough shortly after the restart, with blindside flanker Gregory le Corvec forcing his way over the whitewash for the game's opening try. Treviso's resistance now broken, the Catalans then racked up two tries in the space of four minutes before the hour mark, through winger Farid Sid and fly-half Nicolas Laharrague, to put the result beyond all doubt. Two late tries for Julien Candelon were more than enough for the side to get the bonus point that leaves them just needing to beat Scarlets at home next week to secure their quarter-final place.

Toulouse beat the Dragons 17-3 at the Stade Ernest Wallon to also remain on course for qualification for the quarter finals.

First-half tries from Thierry Dusautoir and Vincent Clerc established a 10-3 half-time lead for the hosts with James Tovey scoring the Dragons' solitary penalty. Dusautoir then scored his second try of the afternoon and David Skrela converted to seal the win, although they failed to claim the bonus point.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.