Ulster end Leicester Tigers European hopes

Ulster knocked Leicester Tigers out of the European Rugby Champions Cup with a 26-7 victory at the Kinsgpan Stadium in Belfast on Saturday evening.

A hat trick of tries from Ulster back Darren Cave ensured that Leicester’s European campaign came to an end.

There was a try bonus point for good measure as the Ulsterman blew the English giants hopes of a European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final place out of the water in no uncertain manner.

The Tigers needed a bonus point win themselves to keep themselves in with any chance of qualification, but they failed to even win the game and Cave’s first half brace of tries put paid to any ambitions the Tigers had in Europe this season.

Ulster, who had won only one of their Pool 3 games, were a different proposition to the side which had struggled so badly in Europe during this campaign.

The home side also maintained their record of never having lost to Leicester at home to the English side.

Coach Richard Cockerill has implored his players throw the kitchen sink at Ulster to ensure they got a bonus point win.

But Ulster, who only had pride to play for, had other ideas and set their stall out early doors with their trademark physicality in defence and attack.

The Tigers lost key lineout general Geoff Parling when the lock limped off early on adding to England coach Stuart Lancaster’s second row injury problems.

Lancaster is already without Northampton’s Courtney Lawes ahead of the Six Nations due to injury and will be hoping Parling’s injury is not serious.

But Leicester’s hopes of starting with a bang were hit early on when they conceded a try to the home side.

Centre Cave crossed for a try in the corner after the Tigers defence buckled under the pressure exerted by Ulster after a series of attacks on the visitor’s line.

The Tigers had plenty of ball and territory against the Ulsterman but they failed to breach a formidable defensive effort by the home side.

Things went from bad to worse for the English giants when Cave crossed for is second try after a superb break by fly-half Ian Humphreys.

Cave ran in under the posts and Springbok scrum-half Ruan Pienaar converted to make it 12-0 at half-time to Ulster.

Cave crossed for his third try just after the break to add to the Tigers misery and to put paid to any hopes of Euro silverware.

Wing Craig Gilroy crossed for Ulster fourth bonus point try before Wing Adam Thompstone crossed for a consolation try for the Tigers.

Final Score Ulster 26 (12) Leicester Tigers 7(0)


Tries : Cave 3, Gilroy
Pen :
Con : Pienaar
Drop :

Leicester Tigers
Tries : Thompstone
Pen :
Con : Burns
Drop :

Match Officials
: Pascal Gauzere (France),
Assistant ref: Cyril Lafon (France),
Assistant ref: Stephane Boyer (France),
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France),
Citing Commissioner: Iain Goodall (Scotland)


Ulster Rugby: Jared Payne; Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy; Ian Humphreys, Ruan Pienaar; Callum Black, Rory Best (c), Wiehahn Herbst, Alan O’Connor, Franco Van Der Merwe, Iain Henderson, Mike McComish, Roger Wilson

Replacements: Rob Herring, Andy Warwick, Bronson Ross, Lewis Stevenson, Clive Ross, Neil McComb, Paul Marshall, Michael Allen

Leicester Tigers: Matthew Tait; Adam Thompstone, Vereniki Goneva, Seremaia Bai, Miles Benjamin; Freddie Burns, Ben Youngs (c); Marcos Ayerza, Tom Youngs, Logovii Mulipola, Graham Kitchener, Geoff Parling, Tom Croft, Julian Salvi, Jordan Crane

Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Michele Rizzo, Fraser Balmain, Sebastian De Chaves, Robert Barbieri, Sam Harrison, Owen Williams, Niall Morris

With thanks to EPCRugby.

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