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Tigers Snatch Late Victory

Tuesday 13th December 2005

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 13/12/2005 16:41

- 13/12/2005 16:41

Graham Rowntree is delighted to have ended a two-month injury lay-off after making his return for Leicester Tigers’ development side on Monday evening and is looking forward to what he describes as a ‘do or die’ match at Ospreys on Sunday (kick off 1pm).

The 34-year-old started the match against Gloucester – which Tigers won 32-23 – and played for 40 minutes as he finally put an end to his injury-enforced absence.

His return will be a major boost to head coach Pat Howard, who has been without his England and British Lions prop since he suffered head injuries against Newcastle in October.

“I came through Monday night and played 40 minutes which is more than I expected and its great to be back playing again. I enjoyed myself,” said Rowntree.

“I’ve come through 40 minutes of that game and a training session which was like trench warfare, so I’m raring to go! There will be no more problems with this injury; the neck feels fine, I’ve done all the right things and I’ve been well led by our physio in rehab. It’s just a case of forgetting about it now and cracking on.”

While still able to do certain training and keeping himself involved with the team, Rowntree admits his spell on the touch lines was frustrating.

“It is hard, especially when you get a point where you know there aren’t that many seasons left and you want to be out there as much as possible. I’m not a bad watcher but I’m a player and I miss playing.

“But I’ve been involved. I’ve been water boy and I’ve been around the dug out. I want to get into coaching eventually so watching from the side I could pick up on a few things especially in the front row and the forwards.”

However, with his injury now behind him Rowntree can once again concentrate on his own form in the front row and he is hoping to play some sort of part at Liberty Stadium against Ospreys on Sunday.

“It’s a must win game but the problem is we put four tries past them last week and they won’t be too happy about it. At half time it wasn’t looking good but we knew we scuppered a couple of try scoring chances and gave them two soft tries so we weren’t panicking.”

Even though Tigers earned a bonus point victory over Ospreys, Rowntree was impressed by what he saw of the Welsh outfit and he knows if the Welford Road side get off to another sluggish start their opponents will capitalise on their home ground.

“We know if we start how we did last time we will have problems. I was impressed with their ability to move the ball and Gavin Henson was instrumental in all of that, I thought he had some fantastic touches.

“But it’s all about us doing what we do better we know if we let them in the game early we might as well go home early. It’s a do or die game.

“If you drop two games in this competition you’re going to struggle and we got through last year by the skin of our teeth and we don’t want to be in the same situation this time.”

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Tigers Snatch Late Victory

Tuesday 13th December 2005

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 26/09/1998 14:30

- 26/09/1998 14:30

Leicester Tigers earned themselves one of the most dramatic victories in their Heineken Cup history as they grabbed an 84th minute try to steal the points at the Liberty Stadium.

At 15-3 eight minutes into the second half the Tigers looked dead and buried. And to make matters worse they lost two men to the sin-bin in the space of five minutes after conceding a sneaky try to Shaun Conner.

But instead of building on their lead while Leicester were reduced in number, the Ospreys found themselves thwarted at three successive scrums on their visitors line and actually conceded a try when Leicester were still down to 14 men.

That 64th minute try from right wing Leon Lloyd, superbly converted off the right touchline by Andy Goode, suddenly gave Leicester some hope of clawing their was back into the contest

It took them 20 minutes to fulfil their ambition, but with the last move of the game they worked their way into the Ospreys 22 and somehow created enough space for replacement centre Hipkiss to waltz his way over for a try which Goode converted to complete a memorable fight back.

There were only two scores in the opening 40 minutes as Conner and Goode swapped penalties in the first quarter, but the Ospreys went into the interval with their tails in the air thanks to a well constructed try from a lineout in the Tigers’ 22.

James Bater won the ball at the tail, Jason Spice drove for the line, but it was home skipper Barry Williams who bagged the try at the posts.

Conner kicked the simple conversion to make it 10-3 and then his try extended the leads to 15-3.

But the Tigers refused to lie down and hit back in dramatic fashion to hold onto the top spot in Pool 3.

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