Heineken Cup: Leicester claim bonus-point win over Italian side Treviso
Last Updated: 10/12/12 8:27am
Julian Salvi grabbed a brace of tries as Leicester collected the bonus-point victory over Treviso they required to stay in contention for a Heineken Cup quarter-final place.
Centre Manu Tuilagi and substitute wing Matt Smith also touched down in the 33-25 win at Welford Road, with fly-half George Ford kicking four conversions, including the extras to a 17th-minute penalty try.
But it proved far from plain sailing as Treviso scored three tries of their own through flanker Dean Budd, prop Lorenzo Cittadini and wing Christian Loamanu, while Alberto Di Bernardo landed two conversions and two penalties.
Leicester, who closed the gap on unbeaten Pool 2 leaders Toulouse to three points with the win, took the lead after spurning a kickable penalty, opting for a scrum instead.
Skipper Geoff Parling's decision was justified as the Treviso pack retreated at an alarming rate of knots. When they attempted to halt Leicester's charge by illegal means, referee George Clancy had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try that Ford converted.
Tuilagi added a second try eight minutes later after capitalising on a combination of Ford's half-break and poor defence by Treviso centre Tommaso Benvenuti.
Treviso had no answer to Leicester's pace and attacking verve and their third try arrived 10 minutes before half-time after Ben Youngs burst clear from inside his own 22, sparking some pinpoint handling work that ended with Salvi powering over.
Ford again converted, but although Treviso already found themselves in damage-limitation mode, they breached Leicester's line when Budd touched down one-handed in the corner and Di Bernardo added the extras.
Salvi, though, restored normal service with his second try of the game, securing a bonus point and putting Tigers clear with a 26-7 interval advantage.
Treviso reduced the arrears soon after the break when scrum-half Edoardo Gori stormed upfield, scattering Leicester's defence in the process, and the visiting forwards then exerted sufficient pressure for Cittadini to touch down.
Leicester regrouped impressively, though, with Smith rounding off a crisp move after Treviso flanker Simone Favaro was sin-binned for deliberate offside.
Ford slotted his fourth successful conversion and Leicester entered the final quarter 33-14 ahead, but Treviso responded with 11 unanswered points as Di Bernardo kicked penalties either side of Loamanu touching down.