Manu Tuilagi stars for Leicester in Champions Cup win over Scarlets

Sport360 staff 12:45 20/10/2018
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Manu Tuilagi starred for the Tigers against Scarlets

Leicester’s Geordan Murphy was full of praise for Manu Tuilagi, who starred in the win over Scarlets which keeps Tigers’ European Champions Cup hopes alive.

England centre Tuilagi scored one of his side’s five tries in the 45-27 success. The others came from Harry Wells, Guy Thompson, Sione Kalamafoni, and Jonny May, with George Ford kicking four penalties and four conversions.

Director of Rugby Murphy said: “Manu had an amazing game and he is getting better every week.

“If he keeps playing he will get even better and after tonight he’s got a shot at being selected for England, although Eddie (Jones) has a pool of talent to pick from.

“He was obviously man of the match and his confidence grew after he scored his try but in the second half we got front foot ball which gave him opportunities to get over the gain-line.

“He only made only one mistake by losing possession, which gave Scarlets the chance to go ahead at 27-25 after 60 minutes – but that was the catalyst we needed as we had a fresh bench to come on and they made the difference.”

Leicester’s bonus point win kept them in contention in Pool Four but they still face an uphill task to qualify for the quarter-finals after the defeat at Ulster.

Murphy added: “After last week’s disappointing performance against Ulster it was a must-win game for us and this was more like the standard that I expect.

“It’s an incredibly difficult pool as we now have Racing 92 back to back. We struggled over there last year and they always seem to add more galacticos as Finn Russell and Simon Zebo have both come in this year.”

Scarlets replied with tries from Gareth Davies, Steff Evans and Blade Thomson, with Leigh Halfpenny kicking two penalties and three conversions.

However, their efforts were not enough to secure anything for the Welsh side as a failure to pass from Evans in the final minute lost his side a valuable bonus point.

Head coach Wayne Pivac said: “They started the game well and also the second half strongly so we were always chasing the game.

“We did well to get back into and take the lead but we made too many errors and they were very clinical in finishing the game off.

“We were under pressure in the scrum so we conceded a number of penalties, which caused us to lose territory.

“We were short of injured players but we felt we had a team to get the job done and it was disappointing to leave a bonus point out there in the end.

“It’s now a very tough task to qualify so we need to regroup and try to get two bonus point wins, home and away to Ulster.”

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