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Leicester Tigers v Ulster – Preview

Thursday 17th November 2011

12:00 am (GMT)

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Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers, the only side to successfully defend their Heineken Cup crown, will be hoping to cement their place at the top of Pool 4 when the host Ulster on Saturday evening.

The two-times champions, who have a 16-game unbeaten run in Europe at their Welford Road fortress, recorded a 28-12 victory over Italians Aironi in the first round but failed to return home to the midlands with a bonus point.

The Tigers, who lifted the Heineken Cup in 2001 and 2002, and Ulster won their opening Pool games and something will have to give when the pair lock horns this weekend.

Ulster, who lifted the European Cup in 1999, rattled off an impressive 16-11 home victory over the highly fancied French outfit Claremont Auvergne at Ravenhill last weekend.   

But the Irish province, who have lost their last eight away games in the tournament, will fancy their chances against a Tiger side who still haven’t won a home game in this season’s Premiership.

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Tigers top Pool 4

Saturday 19th November 2011

12:00 am (GMT)

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Once again these teams lock horns in the pool stages of Europe for what is fast-becoming an intriguing rivalry. - 16/10/2014 16:19

Once again these teams lock horns in the pool stages of Europe for what is fast-becoming an intriguing rivalry. - 16/10/2014 16:19

The Tigers hadn’t been beaten at home in the Heineken Cup since the opening game of the 2006/7 campaign and this gritty triumph extended their unbeaten run at Welford Road to 17 matches.

The 20-9 win was just what the doctor ordered for a side that had struggled at home prior to this game, winning only one of their five games to date and that in the LV= Cup. But there was no denying their desire and once they took the lead of the first time five minutes after the break they never looked back.

Ulster came into the game on the back of a big home win over crack French outfit ASM Clermont Auvergne and really took the game to their hosts in a first-half that ended as it started, all square.  There were three penalties apiece to the respective outside halves, Tigers old boy Ian Humphreys and home hero Toby Flood. Two of the strikes from Humphreys were from inside his own half, while Flood missed one from that range.

Ulsterused their big forwards to try to create holes in the home defence and Irish back row man Stephen Ferries managed to make a few dents. On the other side it was Alesana Tuilagi who made the most headway with his battering ram runs.

Flood picked up where he left off in the first-half by landing a penalty from inches inside his own territory and that gave Tigers a real confidence boost. So, too, did the introduction on 57 minutes of England scrum half Ben Youngs.

He injected real urgency into the proceedings and had a hand in the game-breaking try in the right corner after 67 minutes through his quick service. The wave of pressure created in the Ulster 22 eventually got converted into a score for Matt Smith as he raced onto a neat grub kick over the line by Flood to bag the points that finally created some breathing space.

Ulstertried to increase the tempo of their game, but the home defence stayed strong and in the final minute Flood closed out the game with his fifth penalty. That stretched the Tigers' lead at the top of the Pool to two points and the Smith try was vital in denying Ulster a point for their efforts.

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