Leicester Tigers 16 Edinburgh 6
Leicester made back-to-back appearances in the Champions Cup quarter-finals after a wet and wild victory over a contending Edinburgh side.
Steve Diamond, Edinburgh’s leading rugby consultant, had suggested during the week that his side had “a back row that should be able to bat 10 clocks out” of Jasper Wiese, Leicester’s barreling No 8. That quote backfired spectacularly when Wiese rumbled through flanker Jamie Ritchie and somehow had the balance and footwork to score what turned out to be the only try of the match before being named player of the match.
Despite a malfunctioning line-out, Leicester’s better grip on the ball and territory, combined with their kicking play and excellent defense, were enough to hold off a menacing Edinburgh.
This was not a night for glamor given the conditions, which suited two packs ready to tear into each other. Handre Pollard, the Leicester fly-half on fine form recently, opened the scoring with a penalty after Edinburgh breached the break.
Leicester’s better control of the early kick exchanges and a penalty against WP Nel at the scrum that left Edinburgh stunned, to put it politely, handed Leicester territory early, only for Edinburgh’s defense to hold on. Viliame Mata’s over-enthusiasm at the breakdown gave Pollard the chance to double his numbers, only for his attempt to drift left. But Edinburgh’s failure to get out of their own half was largely their own doing, with a drop from Darcy Graham followed by Blair Kinghorn being charged down to cause a currently mad scramble that put the pressure on the piled up visitors.
After some effective counter-rucking from Scotland captain Ritchie, Edinburgh finally reached Leicester’s 22 – only to lose the resulting line-out.