Tigers pounce for victory
Tigers triumph at Welford Road to secure five-point haul
By Rachel Griffiths. Last Updated: 16/01/10 5:07pm
Hamilton: Scored two tries
Leicester Tigers notched seven tries on their way to delivering a 47-8 thrashing of Viadana to keep their Heineken Cup Pool Three hopes alive.
Full-back Scott Hamilton claimed two scores in the Welford Road clash, including the all-important fourth try to secure a maximum five-point haul.
After conceding a late losing bonus point to Clermont Auvergne before Christmas, Leicester were in desperate need of a full-house victory to keep their European ambitions afloat.
And drama was rife from the opening whistle as fly-half Pierre Hola sent the kick-off straight into touch.
The visitors looked promising early on as full-back Garry Law signalled their intent by going for a penalty from 60 yards in the third minute, but his effort faded right of the posts.
The Tigers were awarded their first penalty minutes later and Toby Flood opted to go for touch. The subsequent lineout was won and a smart move saw Dan Hipkiss touch down a sixth-minute opening try, which Flood converted from wide on the right.
Law replied in the ninth minute with a penalty from a more reserved 25 yards to put the Italian side on the scoreboard following an offside infringement by Hamilton.
Leicester seized their second try on 20 minutes when Flood ran a penalty given for offside and Ben Woods punished a somewhat relaxed defensive effort from Michele Sepe to ground the ball, with Flood posting another conversion.
The Tigers did suffer a blow shortly before the half-hour mark as flanker Tom Croft was carried off in the 27th minute with an injury to his left knee and replaced by Craig Newby.
The third try arrived after 32 minutes when Alesana Tuilagi stormed through the Viadana defence and off-loaded to Flood who scored by the posts and completed the score by converting once again.
Hamilton wrapped up the job for the Tigers just two minutes later when he snatched a loose ball and sprinted clear of the cover to score on the right and secure the crucial bonus point. Flood converted to make it four out of four.
Viadana were unravelling fast and it was no surprise when the home side touched down again on the stroke of half-time, with Hamilton capitalising on a short inside pass from Flood, who nailed his fifth conversion.
The visitors' fortunes went from bad to worse when Law was sin-binned in the 49th minute for continual offending at rucks, but the Italian side responded with a shock try from scrum-half Pablo Canavosio after 55 minutes.
Despite a reshuffled Viadana line-up and some clumsy mistakes by Leicester, the visitors were unable to do further damage and the Tigers managed to compensate for a scrappy second half with their sixth try as Hipkiss claimed his second in the 71st minute, which Sam Vesty converted.
Another storming run from Tuilagi on 74 minutes put the final nail in Viadana's coffin as Aaron Mauger scored on the left to wrap up the victory for the Tigers.