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Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Saturday, 25 April 2009 16:55 UK

Leicester 73-3 Bristol

Leicester (33) 73
Tries: Vesty, White, Hipkiss, Crane, G Murphy 2, Flood, Varndell, Woods, J Murphy, Erinle Cons: Dupuy 4, G Murphy 2, Vesty 3
Bristol (3) 3
Pen: Arscott

Johne Murphy goes over for Leicester
Leicester crossed Bristol's tryline with ease at the Walkers Stadium

Leicester clinched top spot and a home tie against Bath in the play-offs with a crushing 11-try victory over relegated Bristol on Saturday.

The league table showed 49 points separating the sides, and that gulf in class was apparent as the Tigers scored two tries in the opening 10 minutes.

Dan Hipkiss, Jordan Crane, Julian Dupuy and Geordan Murphy added tries as the Tigers opened up a 33-3 half-time lead.

And Leicester put Bristol to the sword after half-time with five more tries.

It was a sad way for Bristol to bow out of the league and for their veteran hooker Mark Regan to call time on his career, while scrum-half Shaun Perry, winger David Lemi and number eight Dan Ward-Smith were also playing their last games for the club.

But the victory - the most one-sided of the Premiership season - will send Leicester into the play-offs brimming with confidence.

Leicester set the tone early on as Sam Vesty and Julian White scored the tries to reflect the home side's sustained pressure.


Bristol's sole points came from a Luke Arscott penalty after 16 minutes, but it was one-way traffic from then on as a ruthless Tigers side quickly moved out of range.

Vesty and Toby Flood combined to send Hipkiss over the line, Crane crossed from close range for the bonus-point try after just 31 minutes and Murphy strolled through some weak tackling for a fifth before half-time.

Things got worse for Bristol early in the second half as former captain Matt Salter was sin-binned for obstruction, with Leicester taking advantage through Flood's try.

Murphy also converted his own try before being replaced and Vesty took over the kicking duties when he converted a brilliant try from Tom Varndell which Johne Murphy created.

Ben Woods touched down within seconds of coming on as a replacement after and Johne Murphy then skipped through for another try.

And replacement Ayoola Erinle completed the rout with the last play of the match to bring down the curtain on a miserable season for Bristol.

Leicester coach Richard Cockerill on the upcoming play-off semi-final against Bath:

"Bath are a good team and it could have gone either way last time we were here.

"It will be a typical Leicester-Bath game I have no doubt. But they can have a week off first which helps them.

"We have got a Heineken Cup semi-final against Cardiff first which is a massive game."

Bristol coach Paul Hull:

"I'm just really pleased that we can draw a line under this season and start preparing for next season.

"I'm determined that we will bounce back and bounce back stronger.

"We knew we would be up against it and it was probably a game too far for us. It's disappointing we ended up with that scoreline."

Leicester: Murphy (capt); Smith, Hipkiss, Vesty, Murphy; Flood, Dupuy; Stankovich, Kayser, White; Croft, Kay; Newby, Moody, Crane.Replacements: Chuter, Castrogiovanni, Wentzel, Woods, Ellis, Erinle, Varndell.

Bristol: Arscott; Robinson, Eves, Fatialofa, Lemi, Barnes, Perry; Irish, Linklater, Crompton, Sambucetti, Sidoli, Phillips, Pennycook, Ward-Smith.
Replacements: Regan, Thompson, Winters, Pennycook, Salter, Thomas, Barden.

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see also
Sale to contest point deduction
24 Apr 09 |  Sale
Regan ready for emotional goodbye
24 Apr 09 |  Bristol
Tiger Tuilagi given four-week ban
23 Apr 09 |  Leicester
Rabeni completes Gloucester move
20 Apr 09 |  Gloucester
Cockerill secures Tigers position
17 Apr 09 |  Leicester
Saracens 13-16 Leicester
19 Apr 09 |  English
High-profile trio leaving Bristol
23 Apr 09 |  Bristol
Bristol 18-36 Wasps
19 Apr 09 |  English

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