Leicester Tigers on verge of Champions Cup quarter-finals after beating Munster
Leicester Tigers put one foot in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals by completing a hard-earned double at home to Munster.
The Tigers' 17-6 win keeps them top of Pool 4 with four wins out of four, only the third time they have started a European campaign with four straight wins.
Leicester, who won last week's clash at Munster 31-19, scored two tries through captain Ed Slater and winger Vereniki Goneva, with fly-half Freddie Burns kicking seven points in his first game of the season.
Leicester led 10-6 at the end of a ferocious first half and scored the only try, although both sides left tries on the field.
Slater scored Leicester's in the 24th minute while Burns added the conversion and also slotted a penalty.
Munster fly-half Ian Keatley kicked two penalties but also missed one in a half which the Tigers just edged.
Munster missed a golden opportunity to make a statement in a must-win match when lock Mark Chisholm ignored full-back Andrew Conway who would have had an easy run in for a try in the fifth minute.
Munster did get a penalty at the end of the move, which Keatley kicked, but the fly-half was wide with a more difficult attempt seven minutes later.
After weathering a Munster storm, the Tigers started to get a foothold in the game and after a line out and several drives Leicester's endeavour was rewarded.
They were awarded a penalty for a high tackle on impressive Tongan full-back Telusa Veainu and kicked for the corner.
They won the line out, and driving for the line several times, Slater scored from a metre out.
Burns kicked the conversion and then Munster failed to capitalise from a similar situation at the other end when they were penalised after driving for the line.
Leicester should have scored in the 33rd minute after Peter Betham's fabulous reverse offload following Burns' up and under sent his team surging into the Munster 22.
Betham hit the line at pace and would almost certainly have scored had he gone alone for the last five metres but he passed and Munster's defence held firm.
Keatley put Munster back in it in the 40th minute with a penalty after the Tigers' replacement, Dom Barrow, had been sin-binned.
Munster hit Leicester hard at the start of the second half and it took a terrific tackle from Betham to stop Francis Salli scoring before prop James Cronin had a try chalked off for a forward pass by Conor Murray.
Keatley missed a second penalty, in the 49th minute, and Munster were fortunate not to conceded a try moments later when Mike Fitzgerald was hauled down just short from turnover ball.
Burns missed an easy penalty in the 57th minute and the match went up another notch minutes later when Leicester messed up a scrum on Munster's line.
Salli intercepted and ran 80 metres before being caught by Veainu. and although he got his pass away Adam Thompstone pulled off another try-saving tackle.
Having got out of jail Leicester worked their way upfield and scored in the 66th minute, winger Goneva finishing off a lovely break by Betham. Burns then kicked the conversion to make it 17-6 and seal the victory.