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14-man Leicester Tigers romp to first away win at Clermont in 17 years

By PA
Leicester's players celebrate their victory at the end of the European Champions Cup rugby union match between Clermont and Leicester at the Michelin stadium in Clermont-Ferrand, central France (Photo by THIERRY ZOCCOLAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Leicester claimed their first win at the Stade Marcel-Michelin in 17 years as they beat Clermont Auvergne 29-10 in the first leg of last-16 Heineken Champions Cup tie.

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Steve Borthwick’s side will take a commanding 19-point lead into the return leg at Welford Road next weekend, after they physically dominated the French club in the Massif Central.

They scored five tries in total courtesy of Ellis Genge, Julian Montoya, Jack van Poortvliet, Hosea Saumaki and Harry Potter. George Ford also contributed four points from the kicking tee.

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All Clermont could muster was a single try from Cheikh Tiberghien, and five points from Morgan Parra’s boot.

Clermont drew first blood when they collected Ford’s goal-line drop out and spread the ball wide.

Some terrific handling from Camille Lopez, George Moala, and Kotaro Matsushima put Tiberghien over in the far right corner. Parra converted from the touchline to give the hosts a 7-0 lead after 14 minutes.

Leicester hit back when captain Genge powered over from short range after a strong shove from their driving lineout.

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Clermont extended their lead with a further three points from Parra’s boot, but they were having difficulty containing Leicester’s driving maul.

And the Tigers turned pressure into points with Montoya taking advantage of their dominant maul to score

Ford failed to add the extras so the score was level at 10-10 at the end of the first half.

The Tigers went on the attack with a lovely dummy and break from Ford putting them on the front foot before the England international offloaded to Freddie Steward, but his pass could not find Potter on the outside.

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However, Leicester won a penalty at the following breakdown which gave them a lineout five metres out from the Clermont try line.

Clermont had still not found an answer to stop Leicester’s lineout drive and Van Poortvliet scored from short range.

Ford missed the conversion, but Van Poortvliet’s box kick five minutes later was not taken cleanly by Clermont and fell into the hands of Tommy Reffell. The ball was shifted left going through Ford, Dan Kelly and Steward’s hands for Saumaki to coast over for their fourth try.

Ford was successful with this conversion, meaning Leicester held a 22-10 lead with 55 minutes on the clock.

The final quarter of the game was not as comfortable as Leicester would have hoped, with Guy Porter shown a red card for making direct contact with Fitz Lee’s head.

But it did not stop the Tigers who sealed their victory when Steward showed his aerial skills to take a high ball before offloading to Potter who ran in unopposed for their fifth try which Ford converted.

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