Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Tigers strongarm Ospreys, Toulouse break Bath hearts


Wasps’ Danny Cipriani, left, is tackled by Castres’ Gideon Lensing during their European Cup match on Sunday at Adams Park, in High Wycombe, England.


Leicester outmuscled the Ospreys 12-6 in the European Cup on Sunday while Toulouse edged a nail-biting 18-16 win over Bath. In the day’s third match, Wasps beat Castres 25-11.

Leicester produced a dominant first-half display, with their forwards laying the foundation for victory.

In a game in which chances were far and few between, the Ospreys were subjected to a blistering start by the home side.

Ill-discipline cost the Welsh team dear, Leicester outside-half Toby Flood booting three penalties in the first 22 minutes.

Shane Williams cut the deficit with an opportunistic drop-goal for the Ospreys just on the stroke of half-time and the Welsh side started the second-half with more drive than they had shown in the first period, when they had struggled with Leicester’s superior physicality and the surging support play of their forwards, notably man-of-the-match Tom Croft.

Hook reduced the lead with another penalty but it was not enough in the end.

There was heartbreak for Bath in Toulouse, where France outside-half David Skrela kicked a magnificent injury-time touchline penalty, his sixth of the game, to seal victory.

Just minutes earlier, Bath full-back Nick Abendanon had burst through three tackles to touch down for what looked like a winning score for the English club.

But Butch James missed the conversion, leaving the score at 16-15, and the three-time former European champions used all their experience to battle back and win the decisive penalty call when James was caught offside at a tackle.

“It was a difficult match,” Toulouse’s Byron Kelleher said. “They stuck to their guns, and made it difficult for us.”

In a Pool 2 showdown, Wasps built up a 20-3 lead at half-time over Castres thanks to tries from Paul Sackey and Tom Voyce, both converted by Danny Cipriani, who also hit two penalties.

Josh Lewsey scored a third try for the English club while France captain Lionel Nallet replied with one of his own, Cameron McIntyre scoring two penalties.

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