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Leicester Tigers and Scarlets looking to bounce back

Wednesday 17th October 2018

1:26 pm (GMT)

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Leicester Tigers' Matt Toomua

Two-time European Cup winners Leicester Tigers and last season’s semi-finalists, Scarlets, will be looking to bounce back from Round 1 defeats in the Heineken Champions Cup on Friday night at Welford Road, live on BT Sport from 19:45 BST.

The Welsh region were narrowly beaten 14-13 by Racing 92 last Saturday, while Leicester Tigers were brushed aside by Ulster Rugby in Belfast as they fell to a 24-10 loss.

  • This will be the 10th clash between Leicester and Scarlets. The Welsh region have won just twice before against the English side and have lost on all four occasions at Welford Road.
  • Last season, Leicester lost two of their three home games in the pool stage for the first time in their European Cup history. However, they are unbeaten at home against Welsh opposition.
  • Scarlets picked up 11 points from their three away games in the pool stage last season, their best return since 2007.
  • Tigers have now lost five consecutive Champions Cup matches – their worst tournament run.
  • Leicester also conceded more penalties than any other side in Round 1.

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Leicester earn first Heineken Champions Cup win after dominant second half display

Friday 19th October 2018

9:52 pm (GMT)

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Guy Thompson celebrates scoring a first half try for Leicester Tigers against Ulster Rugby

Leicester Tigers ended a run of five consecutive Champions Cup defeats with a 45-27 bonus-point victory over Scarlets at Welford Road on Friday evening.

Dan Cole got Leicester off to a perfect start with a textbook turnover inside the Scarlets half, with the Welsh region eventually conceding a penalty as a result. George Ford pointed to the posts and made no mistake from 40 metres out.

A free kick for Leicester meant the ball would bounce deep in the Scarlets 22, allowing Harry Wells to dive over for the opening try at the posts after advantage was being played by Romain Poite. Stand-in captain Ford, who kicked 20 points in the victory, slotted over the conversion.

The Welsh region were on the back foot in the opening 15 minutes but hit back through the in-form Gareth Davies who was able to slide all the way over the line after two delightful inside passes following a Scarlets ruck.

Halfpenny then drew the sides level from the kicking tee after 30 minutes but Scarlets fell behind again through Leicester back-row Guy Thompson.

Wells won the initial turnover and the home side made ground with a delightful inside pass to George Ford, creating the overlap for Thompson who held off his man and dived over in the corner.

Halfpenny then scored his 500th point in European Cup action just before half-time with a late penalty kick, but Leicester Tigers proved to be the dominant side in the second half.

Sione Kalamafoni powered over the try line first after an excellent break from Manu Tuilagi, who was awarded Heineken Man of the Match by BT Sport’s Austin Healey.

Tries from Steff Evans and Blade Thomson put the Welsh region in front for a short period, but the latter try sparked Leicester into life as they ran in scores through Tuilagi and Jonny May in the final 20 minutes to kill off any hope of a Scarlets fightback.

The home side travel to face Racing 92 in Round 3, while Scarlets will host Ulster Rugby.

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