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Heineken Champions Cup: Leicester 16-6 Edinburgh – Tigers hold off spirited fightback
|Leicester (3) 16|
|Try: Wiese Pens: Pollard 3 Con: Pollard|
|Edinburgh (0) 6|
|Pens: Boffelli 2|
Leicester Tigers held off a spirited Edinburgh fightback to win 16-6 and book their place in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup.
Jasper Wiese came off the bench to show power and poise to score the only try of the game at Welford Road.
Edinburgh held a narrow lead after a couple of Emiliano Boffelli penalties in the second half, but Handre Pollard kicked Tigers clear after Wiese’s try.
The English champions will visit either Leinster or Ulster in the last eight.
Resilient Tigers have enough
Tigers came into the game with four consecutive victories to breathe life into their season after a disappointing start, and there was plenty of that spirit on display at a soggy Welford Road.
With the rain pouring down in the East Midlands all day, the script was written for a damp affair with limited attacking rugby.
Edinburgh slowed the ball at every opportunity and frustrated their hosts, who had to rely on Jack van Poortvliet’s box-kicking to gain territory.
The England scrum-half lacked the accuracy to challenge the Edinburgh back three, but Pollard was on target from the tee to hand them the advantage.
More Edinburgh ill-discipline at the breakdown resulted in further Leicester penalties but the hosts favoured the kick for touch over the shot at goal option, which proved fruitless.
Edinburgh shot out of the blocks at the start of the second half and Boffelli reversed the scoreline in their favour, before Wiese smashed his way through Jamie Ritchie and nimbly remained in field to ground the ball in the corner.
That was the shot in the arm Tigers needed to kill off the Edinburgh challenge as another two Pollard penalties sailed over the posts for victory.
Five victories in a row puts Tigers in the frame to challenge in Europe and defend their domestic title just at the right time of the season.
More to follow.
Leicester Tigers: Steward; Watson, Porter, Gopperth, Potter; Pollard, Van Poortvliet; Cronin, Montoya (c), Cole, Martin, Henderson, Liebenberg, Reffell, Cracknell.
Replacements: Clare, West, Heyes, Synman, Wiese, Wolstenholme, Atkinson, Kelly.
Edinburgh: Boffelli; Graham, Bennett, Lang, Van der Merwe; Kinghorn, Pyrgos; Schoeman, McInally, Nel, Skinner, Gilchrist (co-captain), Ritchie (co-captain), Watson, Mata.
Replacements: Cherry, Venter, De Bruin, Sykes, Crosbie, Vellacott, Hutchison, Hoyland.
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