Leicester beat Stade and reach Semi-finals

Freddie Burns celebrates for Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers became the third English team to book a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup Semi-finals by beating Stade Francais 41-13 at Welford Road

The result means that Saracens will play Wasps at the Madejski Stadium while Leicester will play  Racing 92 who beat Toulon in their quarter final.

Leicester Tigers victory also means that the Tigers are into the European Semi-finals for the first time since 2009.

Manu Tuilagi kicked off the try fest after four minutes, before Freddie Burns and Vereniki Goneva got in on the act in the first-half.

And the Tigers cut-loose after the break. Goneva crossed for a second after Julien Dupuy scored for Stade, before Mike Fitzgerald and Telusa Veainu capped off a sensational performance.

The Tigers got off to the perfect start in pursuit of a first Champions Cup semi-final since 2009. Freddie Burns, who set the early pace, sent a grubber kick towards the corner which Djibril Camara failed to handle. The Stade full-back was forced into touch, before Burns snatched the ball and found Tuilagi with a quick throw-in.

The England centre crashed over and Burns converted to send Leicester 7-0 ahead after four minutes.

Morne Steyn got Stade back in it with a pair of penalties, before the pink wall finally gave way again after 33 minutes. After some resolute defence, Ben Youngs looked up and saw Vereniki Goneva in space. He found him with an inch perfect pass and the Fijian flyer waltzed home at the posts for a seven point score.

Leicester were in dreamland moments later when Burns intercepted Steyn’s pass in midfield to streak home for a third first-half score. The outside-half converted his own score to give the Tigers a comfortable 24-6 half-time lead.

But former Tigers favourite Dupuy came back to haunt his old side after the break. He scampered over after some hard graft from the forwards to give the Parisians hope. But his score was quickly wiped out by Goneva. The wing exploited a yard of space and sprinted home for his side’s fourth score.

And the home side wrapped up a place in the Champions Cup semi-finals with a flourish. Matt Tait started an explosive counter attack on his 22, before Telusa Veainu and Brendon O’Connor continued the charge. The ball was worked wide to Goneva, who found Mike Fitzgerald with the scoring pass.

It got even better Veainu hit Stade for six. The man with the dancing feet jinked his way around two defenders and sprinted in at the corner to make it 41-13 with 15 minutes remaining.

Final Score Leicester Tigers 41 (24) Stade Francais 13 (6)

Scorers

Leicester Tigers
Tries – Tuilagi, Goneva 2, Burns, Fitzgerald, Veainu
Pen – Burns
Con – Burns 4
Drop –

Stade Francais
Tries – Dupuy
Pen – Steyn 2
Con – Steyn
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales),
Assistant ref: George Clancy (Ireland),
Assistant ref: Leighton Hodges (Wales),
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales),
Citing Commissioner: Douglas Hunter (Scotland)

Teams

Leicester Tigers: Matthew Tait (c); Telusa Veainu, Peter Betham, Manu Tuilagi, Vereniki Goneva; Freddie Burns, Ben Youngs; Marcos Ayerza, Harry Thacker, Dan Cole, Dom Barrow, Graham Kitchener, Michael Fitzgerald, Brendon O’Connor, Lachlan McCaffrey

Replacements: Greg Bateman, Logovii Mulipola, Fraser Balmain, Sebastian de Chaves, Tom Croft, Jono Kitto, Owen Williams, Adam Thompstone

Stade Français Paris: Djibril Camara; Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Jonathan Danty, Jérémy Sinzelle; Morné Steyn, Julien Dupuy; Zurabi Zhvania, Remi Bonfils, Rabah Slimani, Hugh Pyle, Alexandre Flanquart, Jonathan Ross, Raphael Lakafia, Sergio Parisse (c)

Replacements: Craig Burden, Dany Priso, Paul Alo Emile, Paul Gabrillagues, Willem Alberts, Julien Tomas, Jules Plisson, Hugo Bonneval

With thanks to EPCRugby

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