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Leicester 25-9 Leinster

Andy Goode tackles Brian O'Driscoll around the head to earn a yellow card
Andy Goode earned a yellow card for a high tackle on Brian O'Driscoll
Leicester (15) 25
Tries: B Deacon, Rabeni, Herring
Cons: Goode 2
Pens: Goode 2

Leinster (6) 9
Pens: Contepomi 3

Leicester ended Leinster's interest in this year's Heineken Cup as they restored some pride with victory in a pulsating encounter at Welford Road.

After their own early exit last week, the Tigers raced into a 15-6 lead with tries from Brett Deacon and Seru Rabeni after an early exchange of penalties.

The hosts were reduced to 13 men with Julian White and Andy Goode sin-binned.

But they held out until half-time and despite Leinster's best efforts, Ben Herring's late try sealed victory.

The Irish province held the early advantage with two penalties from Contepomi to one from Goode.

But the hosts quickly started to dominate possession and territory and it wasn't long before their control paid dividends.

A breathless passage of play featuring incisive contributions from Ayoola Erinle, a late replacement for Ollie Smith, and Rabeni finished with Brett Deacon crashing over in the left corner.

Two minutes later another lovely Tigers handling move brought a second try, this time the dangerous Rabeni profiting from a deft inside pass from South African lock Marco Wentzel.

Leinster captain Brian O'Driscoll tries to break through the Leicester defence
Brian O'Driscoll tries to break through the Tigers' defence
Goode converted for a 15-6 lead after 23 minutes, but Leicester then found themselves reduced to 13 men in the space of five minutes.

First former England prop Julian White, no stranger to the disciplinary chiefs throughout his career, took exception to Malcolm O'Kelly appearing on the wrong side of a ruck and unleashed a flurry of punches at the Ireland lock.

White could count himself fortunate to only receive a yellow card, and Goode swiftly joined him in the sin-bin for a high tackle on Brian O'Driscoll.

The referee spoke to both teams as the temperature reached boiling point, but Leicester survived the handicap and kept their line intact.

Contepomi missed a penalty on the resumption for the visitors but then found his range again to bring the visitors to within six points, before Goode pushed Leicester out to 18-9 with his second penalty.

Leinster missed a golden chance to bring themselves right back into it when Ollie le Roux's pass eluded Jamie Heaslip when the Ireland hopeful had a clear run to the line up the left flank.

And it was Leicester who finished the match on top, flanker Herring applying the coup de grace after another onslaught on the visitors' line.

  • Leicester coach Marcelo Loffreda

    "The players showed a lot of pride. That was one of the things we asked for during the week and we have to be pleased with the answer.

    "The team showed they can play well in great adversity. They were encouraged to play on the front foot and they did that for most of the game.

    "Leinster are one of the biggest teams in Europe and we dominated them but we had a lack of discipline in some parts of the game."

  • Leinster head coach Michael Cheika

    "We should have put at least one chance away when they were down to 13 men. We weren't clinical enough and that summed up our campaign.

    "We haven't been able to pick up away wins and bonus points because we haven't been clinical enough.

    "In the first half we sat back, they got opportunities and made more of them than we did."

    Leicester: Geordan Murphy; Johne Murphy, Ayoola Erinle, Seru Rabeni, Tom Varndell; Andy Goode, Frank Murphy; Martin Castrogiovanni; Benjamin Kayser, Julian White, Louis Deacon, Marco Wentzel, Brett Deacon, Ben Herring, Jordan Crane.
    Replacements: George Chuter, Marcos Ayerza, Dave Young, Ben Kay, Ben Youngs, Ian Humphreys, Sam Vesty.

    Leinster: Girvan Dempsey; Luke Fitzgerald, Brian O'Driscoll (capt), Gordon D'Arcy, Rob Kearney; Felipe Contepomi, Guy Easterby; Stan Wright, Bernard Jackman, Stephen Knoop, Leo Cullen, Malcolm O'Kelly, Stephen Keogh, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip.
    Replacements: Ollie le Roux, Cian Healy, Cameron Jowitt, Keith Gleeson, Chris Keane, Jonathan Sexton, Gary Brown.

    Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)

    see also
    Heineken Cup permutations
    17 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
    Heineken Cup as it happened
    19 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
    Toulouse 34-10 Edinburgh
    19 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
    Edinburgh 17-12 Leicester
    12 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
    Leinster 20-13 Toulouse
    12 Jan 08 |  Leinster
    Heineken Cup 2007/8
    23 May 07 |  Rugby Union
    Heineken Cup tables
    09 Aug 06 |  Tables

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