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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
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Munster's pool rivals Leicester wrap up bonus-point win in Italy

The back-to-back meetings with the Premiership side next month will be pivotal for Anthony Foley’s men.

Leicester's Peter Betham and Matt Smith (file photo).
Leicester's Peter Betham and Matt Smith (file photo).
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

MUNSTER’S CHAMPIONS CUP group rivals Leicester moved clear at the top of Pool 4 with a bonus-point 36-3 victory over Treviso in Italy.

The Premiership side have now amassed 10 match points from their first two games in the pool, having beaten Stade Français 33-20 at Welford Road last weekend.

Munster, whose scheduled meeting with Stade in Paris was cancelled this week, will face the Tigers home and away in December in back-to-back meetings that look likely to be decisive in the battle to top Pool 4.

Leicester come to Thomond Park on Saturday 12 December, before Anthony Foley’s men travel to Welford Road the following Sunday.

Tigers have started their domestic campaign in solid fashion, with three wins from four games so far, and have brought that form into Europe in their opening two wins. The arrival of Aaron Mauger as head coach appears to have had an important impact.

A penalty try got the ball rolling for Tigers after 18 minutes this afternoon, before a superb grubber kick from out-half Tommy Bell allowed fullback Telusa Veainu to bag their second with 35 minutes played.

A smart finish from former Warathas wing Peter Betham in the right corner on the stroke of half time left Leicester in a strong position to secure the bonus point in the second period, but Treviso made them wait until the final quarter to do so.

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It was Tonga international Veainu who crossed for the all-important fourth try, stretching out to finish an excellent score. The 24-year-old, who previously spent time with the Highlanders, Crusaders and Rebels in Super Rugby, was impressive throughout.

An impressive prop try from replacement Greg Bateman after a barrelling run sealed a satisfying victory.

The conditions in Stadio di Monigo were far from conducive to offloading rugby, but Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill will be thrilled by a second bonus point win in two games to leave his side in control of Pool 4 for now.

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Murray Kinsella

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