Leicester 17-6 Munster: Tigers continue 100% record in the Champions Cup to tighten grip on Pool 4
Ed Slater’s try plus five points from Freddie Burns gave Leicester a 10-6 lead at half-time
Tigers ended the first half down to 14 men after Dom Barrow was sin-binned just before the break
Two penalties from Ian Keatley in the opening 40 kept the Irish province in the game
Niki Goneva’s second-half converted try sealed the win for the hosts
Leicester Tigers continued their unbeaten run in the Champions Cup Pool 4 with a hard-earned 17-6 victory against Irish province Munster at Welford Road on Sunday.
Tries from Ed Slater and Vereniki Goneva combined with three successful kicks from Freddie Burns earned the Tigers their fourth straight win of the campaign.
Two-time champions Munster could respond with only two first-half penalties from fly-half Ian Keatley.
Leicester now have established an eight-point lead at the top of the group, ahead of Stade Francais in second, while Munster’s hopes of progression look to be over.
The Irish province, who are third in the pool, suffered only their fifth home defeat in 67 European games against Leicester last weekend, and they were downed once again by the Premiership side in the reverse fixture.
In the East Midlands, Keatley had kicked the visitors ahead after six minutes, but Tigers captain Slater pounced shortly after for the first try of the game, touching down from close range after a succession of powerful drives for the line.
Burns, making his first appearance of the season, converted before going on to extend their lead to seven points with a penalty, before team-mate Dom Barrow was sin binned for infringing at the ruck.
Keatley kicked the resulting penalty to make it 10-6 but that was as good as it got for Munster as they were shut out thereafter.
Leicester were lucky not to concede after an error at the scrum saw Francis Saili intercept and run 80 metres, but Telusa Veainu’s tireless chase back saw him hauled down with the tryline at his mercy.
That proved to be something of a reality check as Tigers regained their composure and Goneva touched down beneath the posts after a searing run from the pacy Peter Betham. Burns kicked the goal for an 11-point lead which Munster never overcame.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Leicester: Telusa Veainu
The fullback was in inspired form once again as he patrolled back play with ease. His never-say-die attitude, epitomised by his remarkable collaring of Francis Saili, proved to be a turning point in the game which Leicester never looked back from.
Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Matt Smith, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Ed Slater, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Dom Barrow, 20 Tom Croft, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Thomas Bell, 23 Seremaia Bai.
Munster: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Denis Hurley, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Dave O’Callaghan, 6 Robin Copeland, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Mark Chisholm, 3 John Ryan, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Mario Sagario, 19 Dave Foley, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Tomas O’Leary, 22 Rory Scannell, 23 Lucas Amorosino.
Date: Sunday, December 20
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant Referees: Thomas Charabas (France), Salem Attalah (France)
TMO: Jean-Marie Piraveau (France)