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Leicester look to bounce back against in-form Edinburgh

Wednesday 29th March 2023

12:00 pm (GMT)

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Leicester look to bounce back against in-form Edinburgh

Leicester Tigers fly-half Handré Pollard

Leicester Tigers will be hoping for a return to winning ways in front of their home fans when they host Edinburgh Rugby in the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 on Friday night.

The English club suffered their first defeat of this year’s competition in their final pool match, losing 26-27 at home to Ospreys.

The defeat meant Leicester finished fourth in Pool B and now face a difficult tie against a strong Edinburgh side.

After losing their opening game of this year’s competition at Saracens, the Scottish side won their remaining three fixtures to qualify in fifth from Pool A.

In their two previous meetings in the tournament, back in the 2007/08 pool stage, they each won their home game.

The match kicks off at 8pm UK time at Mattioli Woods Welford Road and can be watched on BT Sport, beIN SPORTS, SuperSport and FloRugby.

Key quotes

Leicester Tigers head coach Richard Wigglesworth: “We only have one thing to think about now and that is Edinburgh coming here next Friday night. We can only control preparing properly for a game against a side packed with Scotland internationals.”

Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair: “We all understand that we have to be at the top of our game physically and mentally to challenge top quality teams. I believe that we have the quality of player, we’ve shown in our performances in Europe that we can do it, so we need now to turn it around for Friday.”

Leicester Tigers

  • Handre Pollard was the top points-scorer in the last round of matches with 16 with Lyon’s Leo Berdeu.
  • Harry Simmons made four clean breaks in Round 4 – as many as any other player.
  • The Tigers have made the most box kicks in the tournament with 56.

Edinburgh Rugby

  • Pierre Schoeman made more carries than everybody except Zach Mercer (Montpellier Hérault Rugby) in the Round 4 match against Saracens. His total of 21 was the most of any tight-five player in a single match this season.
  • Viliame Mata made the most contact metres in the last round of matches with 37. Mata has also made the most dominant carry contacts in the competition (25).
  • Edinburgh’s rate of carry dominance (32%) is the highest in the tournament.


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Leicester battle past Edinburgh

Friday 31st March 2023

10:05 pm (GMT)

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Leicester battle past Edinburgh

Leicester‘s Jasper Wiese scored the only try of the game

Leicester booked their place in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals as they saw off Edinburgh Rugby 16-6 in an enthralling, physical battle at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Friday night.

Jasper Wiese’s superb try proved a decisive moment for the hosts, while Handré Pollard contributed 11 points from the tee in testing conditions.

The unrelenting drizzle made for a scrappy affair and Leicester were on top during the opening exchanges, fly-half Pollard slotting a penalty on four minutes to give the hosts the lead.

Leicester’s forwards would largely be in command for the first 20 minutes, though Pollard couldn’t take advantage of his second kick at the posts after a scrum penalty.

Edinburgh began to gain possession more frequently at the breakdown as the half wore on and went into the break in the ascendancy, but they were unable notch any points after a mounting series of attacks in the final 10 minutes.

But the United Rugby Championship outfit carried that momentum into the second half and full-back Emiliano Boffelli kicked two penalties in 10 minutes to hand them the lead as they began to regularly cross the gainline.

However, No.8 Wiese, who came off the bench half-time, produced a momentum of magic for Leicester after Edinburgh wing Duhan van der Merwe lost the ball in contact five metres from his own line.

With his back to the whitewash, Wiese scooped up, looped round and ploughed through Edinburgh flanker Jamie Ritchie before tiptoeing down the touchline and crossing.

That score took the sting out of Edinburgh somewhat, and Pollard, who had added the extras, hit the target again from a penalty to take Leicester seven points clear on the hour mark.

Handling errors continued to litter the contest and Edinburgh let another ball spill forward before Ritchie was penalised for not rolling away, allowing Pollard to kick Leicester 10 points clear with 10 minutes to go.

Edinburgh’s quarter-final hopes faded as a combination of their inaccuracy and Leicester’s physicality allowed the Gallagher Premiership side to see the game out.

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