Mon, Apr 13, 2009 - Page 18 News List

HEINEKEN CUP: Leicester set up a semi-final clash with Cardiff Blues

REUTERS , LONDON

Toulouse’s Byron Kelleher passes the ball from a ruck during the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.

PHOTO: AP

Julien Dupuy scored a late try to give Leicester a 20-15 victory over Bath on Saturday to set up a Heineken Cup semi-final with Cardiff Blues, who earlier beat Toulouse 9-6 at the Milliennum Stadium.

With two old English rivals locked at 15-15 at the Walkers Stadium and everyone expecting a drop-goal attempt, the French replacement scrumhalf instead broke through the Bath defense to score a superb try for Leicester.

Leicester, twice winners, and Bath, who lifted the trophy in 1998, battered each other to a standstill in a game that started as a tight battle, but ended like a Sevens match.

Sam Vesty, a late replacement at fly-half after Toby Flood was injured in the warm-up, had a great game, landing all five of his penalty attempts.

Bath were always in the game, scoring tries through Shaun Berne and Joe Maddock, but Butch James was not so accurate with his goal kicking and paid a heavy price.

Cardiff Blues gained revenge for defeat by Toulouse at the same stage last season as New Zealander Ben Blair kicked three penalties in a defense-dominated game.

Toulouse were the only French team left in the tournament and their defeat means France will not have a semi-finalist for only the second time in the 14-year history of Europe’s premier club competition.

It also means that England will gain an extra representative in next year’s competition at France’s expense.

Toulouse hammered Cardiff 41-17 in last season’s last eight en route to the final, but they were unable to release their dangerous backs in Saturday’s physical battle.

Frederic Michalak and David Skrela kicked a penalty apiece for Toulouse, who had the better of the first half, but trailed 6-3 at the break.

They piled on the pressure in the closing stages, but Cardiff defended their line to hold out.

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