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Leicester Tigers finish Heineken Cup on a high


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Article Published: Sunday 22 January 2012


Leicester Tigers ended their Heineken Cup campaign on a high when they beat Aironi 33-6 at Welford Road on Saturday.

Leicester Tigers used the match to bounce back from their heavy defeat to Ulster last weekend.

The former champions, who lifted the trophy in 2001 and 2002, didn't have it all their own way against the Italian new boys but they dominated the second half and recorded a bonus point victory.

Geordan Murphy, the Tigers skipper and veteran full back, was one of the Premiership outfit's four try scorers and crossed for his 25th try in the Heineken Cup against the Italian side.

Aironi, who caused one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament when they beat Biarritz in the Pool stages last season, lost all of their Pool 4 games in the tournament.

It was the Italians who drew first blood in the Midlands when South African fly-half Naas Olivier landed a 14th penalty to stun the home crowd into silence to give the visitors a 3-0 lead.

The Tigers dominant scrum soon rewarded when the Aironi pack were penalized in the shadow of their own posts and fly-half Billy Twelvetrees converted the three points to draw the home side level.

Olivier and Twelvetrees swapped penalties in a closely contested first half to give the Tigers a narrow 9-6 lead over a stubborn Italian side, who made the home side scrap for every point, at half-time.

After the break, the Tigers scored two early tries at the start of the second half by No 8 Thomas Waldrom and fellow backrower and flanker Ben Woods crashed over to make it 21-6 to the home side.

Murphy then got in on the act to cross for the Tigers third try to extend his record and as the club's record try-scorer in Europe before fly-half George Ford crossed for the fourth try for the bonus point.

Final Score Leicester (9) 33 Aironi (6) 6

Scorers

Leicester
Tries: Waldrom, Woods, Murphy, Ford
Cons: Twelvetrees, Ford
Pens: Twelvetrees 3

Aironi
Pens: Olivier 2

Referee: Jerome Garces (France)

Teams

Leicester Tigers: G Murphy [capt]; H Agulla, B Twelvetrees, A Allen, A Tuilagi; J Staunton, M Young; M Ayerza, G Chuter, M Castrogiovanni, E Slater, G Skivington, T Croft, B Woods, T Waldrom

Replacements: J Stevens, B Stankovich, D Cole, K Kitchener, S Mafi, S Harrison, G Ford, S Hamilton

Aironi Rugby: A Benettin; G Toniolatti , R Quartaroli, G Pizarro, G Venditti; N Olivier, T Tebaldi; A de Marchi, R Santamaria, F Staibano, Q Geldenhuys, M Bortolami [capt], M Bergamasco, S Favaro, J Sole

Replacements: T D'Apice , S Perugini, L Romano, C del Fava, F Ferrarini, G Bronzini, G Pavan, M Pratichetti

With thanks to ERRugby.

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