Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Tigers strongarm Ospreys, Toulouse break Bath hearts

AFP , PARIS

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

PHOTO: AP

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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