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First Bordeaux-Leicester clash could be a classic

Thursday 9th December 2021

11:00 am (GMT)

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First Bordeaux-Leicester clash could be a classic

Leicester Tigers fly-half George Ford

Union Bordeaux-Bègles’ and Leicester Tigers’ first ever meeting in Europe, at the Stade Chaban Delmas on Saturday, promises to be a cracker, as it pits the TOP 14 front runners against the runaway leaders of the Gallagher Premiership.

Bordeaux will be the 39th different side that the Tigers, two-time European champions, have faced in Europe and the 36th different side in the Heineken Champions Cup.

The Pool B tie, which kicks off at 15:15 UK and Irish time, will be televised live by beIN SPORTS, FR2 and BT Sport.

Other key facts:

• Bordeaux won all three of their home games in the Heineken Champions Cup last season, scoring 10 tries and conceding just two in the process.

• Leicester Tigers are 18 points shy of becoming the fourth side to score 4,000 points in the Heineken Champions Cup after Stade Toulousain, Leinster Rugby and Munster Rugby. They are also 22 points shy of becoming the eighth side to concede 3,000points in the competition.

• Bordeaux fly-half Matthieu Jalibert finished as the top points-scorer in the Heineken Champions Cup last season, notching 72 points thanks to two tries, seven conversions and 16 penalty goals.

• Leicester were the top points (204) and try (24) scorers in the EPCR Challenge Cup last season, and also made the most carries, metres, breaks, tackles and offloads of any side.

Key quote:

Steve Borthwick (Leicester Tigers head coach): “If we’re a team that’s hard to beat in this competition, that will be a big step forward, because if we are, then we’re in with a shot of winning it.”

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Leicester top Bordeaux with late Ford penalty

Saturday 11th December 2021

5:47 pm (GMT)

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Leicester top Bordeaux with late Ford penalty

George Ford in Heineken Champions Cup action

A 77th minute penalty from Leicester Tigers fly-half George Ford was ultimately the deciding factor as the two-time Heineken Champions Cup winners left the South of France with a 16-13 win over Union Bordeaux-Begles.

In a tightly contested Pool B matchup, it took until the final stages to separate the sides. Outside centre Guy Porter crossed the whitewash for the visitors to help open a 10-3 lead, but Jean-Baptiste Dubié responded on the brink of half time to level the score at 10.

The second half was a battle of the kickers, Ford and Bordeaux scrum-half Maxime Lucu went kick-for-kick until the final moments, where the Leicester man broke the deadlock for good with just four minutes remaining.

Bordeaux opened the scoring with a third minute penalty after Leicester committed an infringement in the lineout. Lucu called his shot dispatching the first of two penalties in the contest.

Further chances were at a premium, however, and it wasn’t until the mid-way point of the first half Leicester responded – Ford dissecting the posts with a penalty of his own.

A minute later, Bordeaux were reduced to 14-men – Kane Douglas was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle on lock Ollie Chessum.

Leicester took full advantage as Ford, Bryce Hegarty and Porter showcased quick hands to create an opening for the latter to break through for the go-ahead try.

With time winding down in the first half, Leicester looked set to attack the Bordeaux flank with Ford lofting a high kick towards the corner. The ball was claimed in the air by Bordeaux’s Nans Ducuing – Tigers’ Hosea Saumaki committing an illegal tackle in the air, earning himself 10 minutes in the sin bin.

The hosts made use of the extra man in added time at the end of the first period. Lucu the conductor as he picked the ball at the back of the scrum, finding Yoram Moefana with a quick pass, the inside centre finding his midfield partner Dubié who rushed through the defensive line to score.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first, with both teams eager to gain territory through the kicking game.

Tigers’ thought they’d scored an early second half try when wing Harry Potter dotted down in the corner, unfortunately a knock-on from Porter in the build-up nullified the try.

Lucu and Ford exchanged penalties – and missed kicks – during the second half before Ford’s late, late penalty earned victory for the visiting English side.

Leicester host Connacht Rugby in round two next weekend, while Bordeaux face a trip to Wales to take on Scarlets – both fixtures scheduled to take place on Sunday.

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