Heineken Cup Pool 5: Leicesters Tigers fight back to see off Treviso
Leicester came from behind to secure a crucial bonus-point 34-19 victory at Treviso in Saturday's Heineken Cup clash.
Last Updated: 11/01/14 5:23pm
The result leaves Tigers two points behind Pool 5 leaders Ulster and sets up a decider against the Irish Province at Welford Road next Saturday.
Treviso led 13-8 at half time but two tries from Miles Benjamin and a penalty try after the interval secured the result that keeps Leicester's quarter-final ambitions alive.
After a win for pool leaders Ulster against Montpellier on Friday, the Tigers managed to avoid an upset in Italy, but had to work had for their success.
Despite going behind to an early penalty, Leicester showed their intent when given a penalty in the Treviso 22. Owen Williams kicked to the corner, and the visitors' pack rumbled over from the maul with Julian Salvi the man with the ball in his hands.
Any suggestions of Leicester running away with the game were put to an immediate halt when Lorenzo Cittadini held off the attentions of two Tigers players to scramble over and give the Italians a five point lead. Mat Berquist added another penalty soon after, but Williams cut the hosts' lead at the 40 minute mark as Treviso headed in with a shock 13-8 lead.
Work to do
The Tigers had work to do. Whatever the Leicester team talk had been at half time, it seemed to have worked. Despite conceding a penalty moments into the second period, Benjamin put the Tigers right back into the match with a strong, confident run which saw him slide over in the corner.
Treviso kept their side of the scoreboard ticking over nicely though, Berquist maintaining a 100 percent kicking record to keep the visitors at arm's length.
Leicester's adventurous exploits in the first half were seen less so early on in the second, with David Mélé given the responsibility to kick three points, rather than go for the corner, as Leicester sensed they needed to get ahead on points first and think about a bonus point second.
The Frenchman then levelled the scores with another penalty. The Tigers had the momentum going into the last quarter with the scores at 19-19.
That helped them drive over the line for their third try, the bonus point now within touching distance. A penalty try was awarded as Treviso collapsed a rolling maul.
With the win all but secured, Leicester then had to go all out for the fourth try. The extra point was confirmed with 13 minutes left still to play, Benjamin the beneficiary of a massive overlap.
As he easily touched down, a quick check by TMO Bruno Bessot confirmed what most observers already knew.
Richard Cockerill now has seven days to prepare his men for a colossal encounter at their own stadium, though the extra point could mean they advance as one of the best runners up if they lose next week.