Leicester Tigers go top of Pool 4 after recording a bonus-point away victory against Benetton Treviso in the European Champions Cup
Seven points from the boot of Tommy Bell added to a penalty try plus scores from Telusa Veainu and Peter Betham gave the Tigers a 22-3 lead at the break
Veainu touched down his second after the restart to secure the bonus-point before replacement Greg Bateman crossed for Tiger’s fifth try in the dying seconds
It may only be two games into the European Champions Cup, but Leicester Tigers already appear to be heading for the knockout rounds after completing another bonus-point triumph away against Treviso today at Stadio di Monigo..
Their attacking flair and powerful scrum give indication from the very start that this was going to be the visitors day, with the Italian hosts struggling to deal with international quality embedded throughout Leicester’s starting XV.
The Tigers are guaranteed to lead the way in Pool 5 going into round three due to the clash between Stade Francais and Munster being postponed this weekend due to the attacks in Paris last Friday.
Leicester led comfortably 22-3 at the break, firstly being awarded a penalty try before neat finishes from Telusa Veainu and Peter Betham put the visitors clear. Tommy Bell chipped in with the other seven points from the tee, made up of a pair of conversions and a penalty.
Veainu, who had a score written off earlier in the second half, then touched down his second to complete the bonus-point triumph for the Tigers 12 minutes from full time before replacement Greg Bateman added gloss to the scoreline. Bell converted both tries to complete the game’s scoring.
Before the match, there was an impeccably observed minute’s silence for rugby legend Jonah Lomu and the victims of the attacks in Paris a week ago.
The Tigers, attacking into a stiff wind, dominated the early exchanges before eventually taking the lead through fly-half Tommy Bell, who struck a penalty between the posts after seven minutes to give the visitors a three-point lead.
Leicester’s powerhouse scrum was camped on the Italian hosts 5m line for three minutes before the referee lost his patience, sending Rupert Harden to the sin-bin for consistently being penalized at the scrum.
Referee Mathieu Raynal then awarded a penalty try following another big scrum from the Tigers with Bell, who joined from Jersey in the summer, adding the extras, 0-10.
It took until the 36th minute for Leicester to scored their second try with Telusa Veainu being the one to touch down in the right corner following an exception grubber kick from Bell. The number 10 was not able to add the extras but the Tigers held a convincing 15-point advantage.
Treviso then got on the board after James Ambrosini smashed over a penalty seconds before the break, however, from the restart the visitors were able to race in for try number three.
This time, Peter Betham was the one to supply the near finish following some lovely quick ball between the Tigers backs. Bell then added a magnificent conversion to edge Leicester even further clear going into half-time, 3-22.
Leicester applied pressure from the restart and following the Referee consulting his TMO over an off-the-ball barge on Sam Harrison, the visitors again had a man advantage as this time Jean-Francois Montauriol saw yellow.
The Tigers thought they had their elusive bonus-point score soon after through Veainu, however, following a trip to the TMO the score was not given as the referee ruled the Leicester man had knocked it on as he attempted to ground the ball.
Veainu though would not be denied as he did secure the bonus-point with his second try after 68 minutes. The score was an incredible individual try with the fullback sidestepping around a Treviso defender before racing in for the touchdown. Bell then slotted the ball between the posts and Tigers finally could breathe easy, 3-29.
Despite Treviso’s best effort’s Leicester were able to penetrate the hosts defense for a fifth time when Greg Bateman touched down and Bell converted to confirm the visitors were convincing winners.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Leicester Tigers: Tommy Bell
The Tigers fly-half, who joined from Championship side Jersey in the summer, ran the show with his impressive all-around game. Bell worked hard to keep Tigers going and also kicked impressively in difficult conditions. Fullback Veainu could have also been the star man with two well-taken scores.
Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Enrico Bacchin, 12 Sam Christie, 11 Tommaso Iannone, 10 James Ambrosini, 9 Edoardo Gori (c), 8 Abraham Steyn, 7 Francesco Minto, 6 Marco Barbini, 5 Jeff Montauriol, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Matteo Zanusso.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Filippo Filippetto, 19 Dean Budd, 20 Marco Lazzaroni, 21 Andrea de Marchi, 22 Chris Smylie, 23 Andrea Pratichetti.
Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Mathew Tait (c), 12 Matt Smith, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Tommy Bell, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Seremaia Bai, 23 George Catchpole.
Date: Saturday, November 21
Venue: Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Kick-off: 14:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Referees: Sébastien Minery (France), Vivien Praderie (France)
TMO: Hervé Dubes (France)