Stade Francais 36-21 Leicester: Manu Tuilagi scores for Leicester as they lose out France
Stade Francais earned a 36-21 bonus point win over Leicester to join them in the Champions Cup quarter-finals
Tigers had already secured a home tie in the last eight after finishing top of Pool Four, and Stade progress as one of three best runners-up.
England centre Manu Tuilagi gave the Aviva Premiership the lead
The hosts though ran in 26 unanswered points to earn the crucial bonus point victory
It was a case of job done for Stade Francais as they scored five tries to beat Leicester Tigers 36-21 and secure their place in the quarterfinals.
The French side are however now on course to meet the Tigers once again in the knockout rounds due to how things currently sit in terms of the best runners-up.
England centre Manu Tuilagi continued his comeback as he scored his side’s first try to hand the visitors the lead.
However, French champions Stade, who needed victory to qualify, took charge in the latter end of the first half. Tries from Jules Plisson, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu and Rabah Slimani though gave the hosts a strong half time lead.
However, to secure qualification, a bonus point victory was required and after the break the hosts achieved just that through further scores from Raphael Lakafia and Geoffrey Doumayrou.
The Tigers mounted a late rally but Dom Barrow and Harry Thacker’s tries could not dash Stade Francais’ dreams as it finished 36-21.
Leicester got the first try of the match in the 19th minute through returning centre Tuilagi and Freddie Burns put over the conversion to give the Tigers a seven-point lead.
The hosts pulled themselves level just three minutes later, a fantastic drive from Jonathan Danty stretching the Tigers’ defence before Plisson found a gap to touch down with the number 10 converting his own score.
Stade then pulled ahead as Vuidarvuwalu touched down just before the half hour but this time Plisson was unable to convert, 12-7.
The hosts took their all-important try tally to three just before the break as Prop Slimani crossed the whitewash. Fly-half Plisson was on target this time to give his side into a commanding 19-7 half-time lead.
The second half didn’t start any better for the Tigers as they were reduced to 14 men in the 52nd minute after captain Tom Youngs was yellow carded for an altercation with Slimani.
Stade capitalised on their man advantage as some brilliant offloading set Lakafia in to score his side’s all-important bonus point try.
The Tigers though clawed a try back in the 59th minute, with Barrow touching down using all of his 6″7 height to touch down under the Stade Francais posts. Thomas Bell converted to cut the gap to 12 points.
With five minutes to go, a driving line out earned the Tigers another consolation try with replacement hooker Thacker thus time touching down.
However, Stade had the final say as with the last act of the match Doumayrou scored an interception try for the home side and took the final score to 36-21 after Plisson scored his conversion.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Stade Francais: Jules Plisson
Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Jérémy Sinzelle, 13 Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Djibril Camara, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse (c) 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Jonathan Ross, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Laurent Sempéré, 1 Zak Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Laurent Panis, 17 Emmanuel Felsina, 18 Paul Alo Emile, 19 Pascal Papé, 20 Antoine Burban, 21 Julien Tomas, 22 Morné Steyn, 23 Geoffrey Doumayrou
Leicester Tigers: 15 Matthew Tait, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Matt Smith, 11 Telusa Veainu, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Tom Croft, 6 Michael Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza,
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Logovii Mulipola, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Thomas Bell, 23 Peter Betham
Date: Sunday, January 24
Venue: Stade Jean Bouin
Kick-off: 14.00 local (13.00 GMT)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland), Mark Patton (Ireland)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)