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Leicester seek to upset formbook

Friday 8th April 2022

11:00 am (GMT)

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Leicester seek to upset formbook

George Ford in Heineken Champions Cup action

Leicester Tigers will need to go against the trend if they are to beat ASM Clermont Auvergne in the first leg of their Round of 16 Heineken Champions Cup tie at Stade Marcel-Michelin on Sunday.

In the seven previous Heineken Champions Cup encounters between the clubs, the home side have triumphed six times, with the one anomaly being Leicester’s 40-27 win at Clermont in January 2006 (27-40).

However, Leicester approach the game as Pool B winners following four victories from four games, whereas Clermont grabbed the last qualifying slot in Pool A after a win, a draw and two defeats.

The match, which kicks off at 15:15 UK and Irish time, will be televised live on FR2, BT Sport and beIN SPORTS.

Other key facts:

• Clermont have won both of their previous home knockout ties against English opposition, including a quarter-final victory against Leicester in the 2013/14 season (22-16).

• Clermont have lost their three most recent Heineken Champions Cup knockout games at home, after winning each of their previous four. Leicester have also lost all three of their most recent away games in the knockout stages, although none of them came by more than a seven-point margin.

• Leicester have won on just two of their last 16 trips to France in the Heineken Champions Cup, with both of those victories coming by a margin of three points or fewer.

• Leicester have won just one of their last seven games in the Heineken Champions Cup knockout stage (L5 D1). However, that sole win came against French opposition, beating Stade Français Paris 41-13 in the quarter-final in 2015/16.

• Clermont have the second-best attacking ruck success rate among all teams in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup, having lost only five of their 224 rucks (98%).

• Clermont are one of just three teams to have averaged 150+ successful tackles per game in the Heineken Champions Cup this season, while only three teams have missed fewer tackles per game than Leicester (14).

• Leicester have the slowest average ruck speed of any side left in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup (3.9 seconds), while Clermont have the fifth fastest average ruck speed in the competition (3.13 seconds).

• Leicester fly-half George Ford has averaged 38 kicks from open play and 1,571 meters per game in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup, with both averages being over double that of any other player in the competition.

• No forward has beaten more defenders in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup than Leicester No.8 Jasper Wiese (13). His 17 dominant contact carries are also a tournament-high this term.

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14-man Leicester win at Clermont

Sunday 10th April 2022

5:40 pm (GMT)

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14-man Leicester win at Clermont

Leicester captain Ellis Genge celebrates scoring his side's opening try against Clermont

Leicester Tigers produced an impressive display to win 29-10 at ASM Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 first leg on Sunday.

The Gallagher Premiership side led with an hour played thanks to tries from Ellis Genge, Julian Montoya, Jack van Poortvliet and Hosea Saumaki, and added a fifth try through Harry Potter when playing with 14 men after Guy Porter was sent off.

Clermont went over through Cheik Tiberghien early on, but Leicester fought back and will take a healthy lead into the second leg at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday.

A 50-22 from scrum-half Morgan Parra put Clermont on the front foot on 10 minutes, and moments later they scored the first try of the game, piecing together a beautiful move to exploit space out wide and send wing Tiberghien over.

Leicester responded with a try on their first meaningful visit to the Clermont 22m, prop Genge powering over from close range.

Parra extended Clermont’s lead with a penalty on 28 minutes, but Leicester had their second try shortly after as hooker Montoya squeezed over after a maul went to ground.

With Parra adding the extras to Clermont’s score and fly-half George Ford unable to convert either of Leicester’s efforts, the two teams when into the break level – a speculative drop-goal from fly-half Camille Lopez drifted wide for the hosts in the closing stages of the half.

Leicester started brightly in the second half and they took lead when scrum-half van Poortvliet darted down the blind side and over the whitewash following a maul.

A fourth score came on 54 minutes as wing Saumaki was found in acres of room out wide, Ford’s first conversion of the afternoon extending Tigers’ advantage to 12 points.

However, centre Porter was sent off after clashing heads with Clermont No.8 Fritz Lee off the ball, and Leicester were left to play the remaining 20 minutes with 14 men.

But the visitors were undeterred, scoring a fifth try moments later as full-back Freddie Steward, who was dominant in the air all afternoon, claiming a high ball and offloading to wing Potter who finished superbly.

Montoya almost grabbed his second of the game and Leicester’s sixth on 70 minutes, but he grounded the ball just short of the line following a maul.

Clermont were unable to threaten over the remainder of the game, and Leicester will take a 19-point lead into the second leg next week.

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