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Leicester seeking home quarter-final

Thursday 16th January 2020

9:34 am (GMT)

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Leicester seeking home quarter-final

George Ford, a key player in Leicester Tigers' march to the top of Pool 5 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup with 34 points and four try assists

There is plenty at stake in the European Rugby Challenge Cup tie at Stade du Hameau on Saturday, with Pau seeking a win to be among the top three runners-up and Leicester Tigers wanting a victory to clinch a home quarter-final.

The English club clinched Pool 5 with their Round 5 home win over third-placed Cardiff Blues last weekend.

Key facts

  • Leicester have won four of the clubs’ five European meetings, including the Round 1 fixture at Welford Road.
  • Pau have won their last nine home ties in the Challenge Cup.
  • Pau have the best lineout success rate in the competition this season (93%) and have scored the most tries along with Bristol Bears (26).
  • Leicester have the best tackle success rate in the tournament this term (88%).

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Hardwick seals home quarter-final for Leicester

Saturday 18th January 2020

3:20 pm (GMT)

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Hardwick seals home quarter-final for Leicester

Noel Reid, scorer of Leicester Tigers' first try at Pau on Saturday

A last-minute penalty from Leicester Tigers fly-half Tom Hardwick earned the English club a losing bonus point and a home quarter-final in their debut European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign.

Pau looked as though they were strolling towards the last eight as they opened up a 24-7 interval lead, but those hopes were eventually dashed after the Pool 5 winners staged a gritty second-half comeback.

The French club stretched their winning home sequence in the competition to 10 matches with two tries from wing Vincent Pinto and one from prop Teddy Leffler, plus nine points from fly-half Antoine Hastoy.

Pau had lost four of their previous five games against Leicester, but a fifth defeat never looked likely, with Pinto speeding over for his double inside five minutes and Hastoy converting both.

The Tigers hit back in the 15th minute via a try from centre Noel Reid following a rolling maul that was improved by Hardwick from the touchline.

However, a yellow card for a high tackle by full-back George Worth in the 35th minute swung the match back Pau’s way and they capitalised with a try four minutes later by Leffler that was converted by Hastoy.

Leicester held out at the start of the second half, though, and rallied superbly with a 62nd minute try from replacement Ben White that was converted by Hardwick, who then added that vital late penalty.

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