Leicester set up showdown with Toulouse
Heineken Cup round-up:Leicester will need to beat four-time European champions Toulouse at Welford Road next Sunday in their quest for a prized Heineken Cup quarter-final place. The Tigers lie two points behind the French heavyweights in Pool Two following an absorbing 15-15 draw that saw Ospreys substitute Jonathan Spratt score a 77th-minute try to deny Leicester victory.
The visitors looked to have done enough through quickfire second-half touchdowns from scrumhalf Ben Youngs and Irish wing Niall Morris after they trailed 10-3 for much of the contest after Ospreys posted a 34th-minute Joe Bearman touchdown.
Dan Biggar and his opposite number, Leicester’s Toby Flood, each kicked a conversion and penalty, but the Ospreys would have won had Biggar not missed four penalties — three of them either hit the post or bar — and a late conversion.
It was rough justice on the Ospreys, who are now out of the competition for another season, yet Leicester summoned all their trademark resilience to secure two priceless points away from home that sets up a mouthwatering encounter in seven days’ time. The winner of that meeting will progress with the loser unlikely to scrape through as a best runner-up.
A bonus-point win over Benetton Treviso saw the four-time winners Toulouse leapfrog Leicester to go three points clear in the pool. Tobias Botes’ early penalty gave Treviso the lead at the Stade Ernest Wallon. But after Gary Botha got over in the sixth minute, Toulouse would not look back.
Tommaso Benvenuti dotted down four minutes later to level the scores but further tries from Patricio Albacete, Vincent Clerc and Florian Fritz sent the hosts well clear.
Luke McAllister made no mistake with the boot and Treviso scrum-half Botes managed to kick two more penalties but, when Yohan Huget got over in the 80th minute, McAllister converted the points to rubberstamp a comfortable win.
The French club are now guaranteed a quarter-final place if they can avoid defeat at Welford Road next Sunday.