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Ruthless Toulouse see off Leicester

Two-time Heineken Cup champions Leicester could not pick up a point from their opening Pool Two match against Toulouse after a 23-9 defeat in the south of France.

The Tigers were only 11-9 behind at the break but the kicking prowess of Luke McAlister won the day for the home side with his boot accounting for 18 points, with centre's Gael Fickou's first half try the only of the game.

Leicester started strongly and could have gone ahead after seven minutes through Toby Flood - but he was thwarted by full-back Jean-Marc Doussain in the corner.

The England man did kick his side into the lead after Louis Picamoles was penalised at the breakdown, before McAlister levelled after Dan Coles gave away a penalty. Flood put his side back in front, but the centre gave away a penalty from which McAlilster put his side on level terms for the second time.

Toulouse were down to 10 men after 28 minutes when Guthro Steenkamp was sent to the sin-bin by Nigel Owens after he tripped Scott Hamilton and the visitors took advantage as Flood converted another penalty.

However just before the break the home side were in front as 18-year-old Fickou collected his own kick forward and touched down.

Three more points from the boot of McAlister at the start of the second half extended their lead before Ben Youngs gave up a golden opportunity to get his side back into the game after going for a quick tap and try rather than taking the three points after Toulouse were penalised in front of their posts.

The move broke down, Toulouse cleared their lines and two minutes later McAlister hammered over another long range penalty after Tom Youngs had been penalised.

Another penalty soon after, this time for a deliberate knock-on in front of his own posts by centre Anthony Allen, gave McAlister another three easy points and the game had slipped away from the English side.

McAlister ended with 18 points with six successful kicks from eight attempts to give the four-time champions a great start to their 18th European campaign.


From Belfast Telegraph