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banner Saturday, 27 October, 2001, 21:36 GMT 22:36 UK
Leicester triumph in France
Leicester celebrate their win
Leicester celebrate their win
Perpignan 30-31 Leicester

Leicester equalled the Heineken Cup record of nine successive wins with a last-gasp win in Perpignan.

A fine try when all seemed lost gave Dean Richards' trophy-holders a wonderful win in a game dominated by kicks.

Leicester saw Perpignan ease into a 24-15 lead after 10 minutes of the second half.

But then Jamie Hamilton handed onto Tim Stimpson, who passed to winger Steve Booth to score under the posts.

My main motivation is to use self-hatred in my mental preparation
Tim Stimpson
Stimpson added the two points, Thierry Lacroix converted another and then, five minutes into injury time, Stimpson kicked a magnificent penalty from the most awkward of angles from just inside the Perpignan half to snatch the win.

"It was not a spectacular game and Lacroix stole the show," said Stimpson, whose personal haul was 23 points.

"Thierry deserved the man of the match award because Perpignan played the better rugby and were a bit unlucky to lose.

"But our strength is that we do not panic and when they put pressure on us, we played our most consistent rugby in the last 20 minutes.

"I made sure of the last kick by following the routine of head down and a clean follow through with the leg.

"My main motivation is to use self-hatred in my mental preparation. I did not want to let my team down when in the first half I missed a couple of kicks and I had to redeem myself.

"I could not forgive myself if we had lost by just a few points."

Unfairly tackled

It had all looked so different for the visitors after a below-par opening period.

Leicester's outside-half Andy Goode began an extraordinary sequence of penalties when he was unfairly tackled and Stimpson opened the score with a penalty under the posts.

Lacroix replied when Leicester infringed at a drop-out and kicked Perpignan into the lead two minutes later.

Andy Goode then equalised with a hopeful drop-goal from open play.

Chance from 40 metres

Lacroix took the lead yet again at 12 points to nine, only for Stimpson to equalise two minutes later.

Six minutes later Lacroix took the lead again only for Stimpson to land another penalty to make it 15-15.

With three minutes of first half injury time played, Lacroix had another chance from 40 metres and his kick sent Perpignan into the lead at the break.

When the Frenchman added another three shots at goal after the interval, it looked as though Leicester were doomed.

But the defiant Tigers had other ideas.

Links to more Heineken Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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