Director of rugby Richard Cockerill admits Leicester Tigers have given themselves a European lifeline after brushing aside Scarlets 40-23 in a clinical display at Welford Road.
A defeat to the Welsh region earlier on in the European Rugby Champions Cup had hit Tigers’ qualification hopes but they made no mistake at home as Miles Benjamin and Jordan Crane crossed early on in a tightly-contested first half.
Adam Thompstone, Tom Youngs (2) and Sam Harrison completed the job after the break and most crucially, bagged the bonus point to draw level with leaders Toulon in Pool 3.
The ball is still in Toulon’s court with a game in hand but Leicester may not need to top their group should they beat Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium next week.
However Cockerill is expecting the toughest of tasks in Ireland, with Ulster licking their wounds after a difficult European campaign to date.
“We are happy with the win, it was a relatively good performance. We were clinical when we needed to be,” said Cockerill.
“We got what we wanted and it gives us a fighting chance for next week.
"A three-point lead at half-time was a margin that we were disappointed with because of our inaccuracies. They have a very, very good back line and they put us away which is disappointing but it was job done.
"Ravenhill is a difficult place to go, we’re going to need five points to qualify and even that may not be enough.
"To go to Ravenhill and win is one thing – that would be an achievement. To go there and score four tries and get five points is a big ask, but we will see.
"If we have to go there with that mindset and have a crack at it we will see what we have to do.”
In the European Rugby Challenge Cup, London Welsh frustrated Bordeaux-Begles for much of the contest before going down 26-3 in France.
Clement Maynadier and Charles Brousse scored two quickfire tries in the first half – either side of a Tristan Roberts penalty – but the Exiles weren’t breached again thanks to some dogged defending until the 67th minute.
Metuisela Talebulamaijaina and Bernard Guiry broke their resistance, as Welsh remained pointless in Pool 4.
Leicester Tigers 40 Scarlets 23
Tries: Benjamin, Crane, Thompstone, Youngs, Harrison
Conversions: Burns 4, Williams
Tries: Evans, Robinson (2)
Conversions: Priestland (2)
Referee: Pascal Gauzere
Bordeaux-Begles 26 London Welsh 3
Tries: Maynadier, Brousse, Talebulamaijaina, Guiry
Conversions: Bernard, Beauxis 2
Referee: Gary Conway
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