Richard Cockerill warns that Leicester have to win at Ospreys next week to keep their hopes of Heineken Cup glory alive.
Leicester Tigers ready for lift off
Richard Cockerill warned that Leicester have to win at Ospreys next week to keep their hopes of Heineken Cup glory alive following their comprehensive demolition of Viadana yesterday. The Guinness Premier League leaders won the game comfortably, 47-8, over their Italian visitors, and with Ospreys losing 27-7 at Clermont Auvergne in the group's other game, the scene has been set for a winner-takes-all-match for Leicester in Wales when they travel to Ospreys next Saturday.
Leicester lead Pool Three on 17 points, one point ahead of Ospreys and Clermont, and coach Cockerill said all eyes were on next weekend in his team's camp. "We scored seven tries, took the maximum points from the tie and we start planning for Ospreys immediately," he said. "We must win there if we are to win our group." Scott Hamilton and Dan Hipkiss both scored two tries each for Leicester, with Ben Woods, Toby Flood and Aaron Mauger also scoring.
Fly-half Flood added five conversions for a personal haul of 15 points. Seventeen points from the boot of Brock James saw Clermont get the better of Ospreys with tries coming from Aurielien Rougerie and Napolini Vonow ale-Nalaga.Two tries from Julien Arias all but guaranteed Stade Francais a spot in the last eight as they beat Bath 15-13 in Pool Four. The defeat, though, ended the English club's hopes of qualifying.
Gloucester kept alive their chances of going through as one of the two best group runner-ups as they ended Biarritz's 100 per cent record with a battling 23-8 victory. Lesley Vainikolo and Tim Molenaar both went over for tires, while Nick Robinson's boot proved accurate as he struck 13 points. Imanol Harinordoquy scored a late consolation try for the French side who have already won the group.
Eighteen points from full-back Ben Blair helped Cardiff Blues take second spot from Sale in Pool Five with one round of games left to be played as they won 29-19. Blair kicked four penalties and three conversions for the Welsh side, which came on top of tries from Richie Rees, Bradley Davies and Xavier Rush. Sale crossed the whitewash three times themselves through Sisaro Koyamailbole, Mathew Tait and James Gaskell.
If Toulouse beat Harlequins today in their clash and gain bonus points they will win Pool Five. Keith Earls scored two of Munster's six tries as the Irish side romped to a 44-7 win at Treviso to leave them seven points clear at the top of Pool One. If Northampton fail to beat Perpignan today Munster will be guaranteed qualification for the quarter-finals. Other action today in Pool Six sees the Scarlets host London Irish, with the home side needing a win to have any hope of going through.