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Pontypridd captain Paul John
gives his post-match reaction
 real 14k

banner Saturday, 28 October, 2000, 22:40 GMT 23:40 UK
Leicester take revenge on Ponty
Austin Healey breaks for the line
Austin Healey breaks for the line
Heineken Cup, Pool Six
Leicester 27-19 Pontypridd

Leicester Tigers took their revenge for last week's Heineken Cup defeat at Pontypridd with a hard-fought victory in wet conditions at Welford Road.

Western Samoan winger Freddie Tuilagi, playing in his first game for Leicester, made an instant impact following his switch from rugby league.

His new employers looked to use his powerful running at every opportunity as they repeatedly brought him in from the left wing to make large in-roads into the Pontypridd defence.

Leicester's pack, with captain Martin Johnson at the head, were in fine form and it was their work up front which earned Leicester victory.

Entertaining
Healey: Man of the match
Healey: Man of the match

But Pontypridd played their part in an entertaining, though not always free-flowing, match.

They pushed the English Premiership champions all the way and were still in the game in the last 10 minutes, before Leicester's pack took control and snuffed out any chances of a late comeback.

Tigers coach Dean Richards said afterwards: "I thought we played well in parts, but again I thought we failed to adapt to the conditions particularly well. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

"But I thought Fereti did very wel. He has pace and power. He had a good game and showed what he can do."

Collins


We kept ourselves in the game until towards the end, when Leicester stuffed the ball up their jumpers
  Richie Collins

Pontypridd coach Richie Collins was reasonably happy with his team's performance, despite their defeat.

He said: "We kept ourselves in the game until towards the end, when Leicester stuffed the ball up their jumpers and we didn't see it again after that.

Pontypridd dominated the opening stages of the match and took the lead in the second minute through a Lee Jarvis penalty.

Tigers full-back Tim Stimpson levelled the score three minutes later with a penalty from in front of the posts.

Rampaging

Leicester began to settle and, in the 14th minute, they were awarded a penalty try after some good work from the rampaging Tigers pack.

Stimpson added the conversion before extending his side's lead to 13-3 in the 19th minute with another penalty.

But Pontypridd fought back just two minutes later when some quick ruck ball was spun left to second-rower Robert Sidoli. He out-stripped the Leicester cover to touch down in the corner, but Jarvis missed the conversion.

Stimpson tried his luck with a penalty from deep inside his own half four minutes before half-time, but the kick sailed wide and the Tigers entered the break with a 13-8 lead.

Blow

Ponty were dealt a blow five minutes into the second period when, deep in the Tigers' half, Jarvis saw his kick charged down.

Leicester fly-half and man-of-the-match Austin Healey was the first to react as he punted the loose ball down the field before out-pacing the visitors' defence to touch down in the right corner.

Stimpson failed with a conversion attempt but he added a penalty in the 50th minute to give Leicester a 21-8 lead.

Pontypridd hit back moments later when open side flanker Richard Parks rounded off a fine attacking move by running in for a try in the corner, but Jarvis missed the conversion.

Easy

A hand in the ruck from Pontypridd gave Stimpson an easy penalty chance in the 59th minute, which he kicked to increase Leicester's lead to 24-13.

Jarvis reduced the deficit with a couple of three-pointers in quick succession and, with 12 minutes to go, the visitors looked capable of snatching victory.

But Healey gave Leicester some breathing space in the 74th minute with a drop goal.

Pontypridd's hopes were finally dashed as the Leicester forwards took control of the ball deep in the visitors' half and ground out the remaining minutes of the match.


Scorers - Leicester: Tries: Penalty, Healey. Con: Stimpson. Pens: Stimpson 4. Drop Goal: Healey

Pontypridd: Tries: Sidoli, Parkes. Pens: Jarvis 3

Teams

Leicester: Stimpson, Murphy, Lloyd, Howard, Tuilagi, Healey, Hamilton, Rowntree, Cockerill, Garforth, M Johnson, Kay, Gustard, Back, Corry
Replacements: Goode, Smith, Nebbett, Jelley, Short, Moody, West

Pontypridd: B Davey, L Woodard, S Parker, J Bryant, J Colderley, L Jarvis, P John, C Loader, J Evans, P Graham, B Cockbain, R Sidoli, D McIntosh, R Parkes, M Owen.
Replacements: Neville, C Williams, J Lewis, G Thomas, N Tau, W James, M Lloyd

Ref: David McHugh (Ireland)

Att: 13,913

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