Heineken Cup - Leicester Tigers stay in hunt

Leicester collected the bonus-point victory they required at Welford Road to stay in contention for a Heineken Cup quarter-final place as they defeated Treviso 33-25.

Tigers closed the gap on unbeaten Pool Two leaders Toulouse after Julian Salvi's try double underpinned an emphatic first-half display. Centre Manu Tuilagi and substitute wing Matt Smith also touched down, with fly-half George Ford kicking four conversions, including the extras to a 17th-minute penalty try.

But it proved far from plain sailing as Treviso scored three tries of their own through flanker Dean Budd, prop Lorenzo Cittadini and wing Christian Loamanu, while Alberto Di Bernardo landed two conversions and two penalties.

Tigers spurned a kickable penalty early on, opting for a scrum instead, and Geoff Parling's decision was justified as the Treviso pack retreated at an alarming rate of knots. And when they attempted to halt Leicester's charge by illegal means, referee George Clancy had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try that Ford converted.

Tuilagi added a second try after capitalising on a combination of Ford's half-break and poor defence by Treviso centre Tommaso Benvenuti. Treviso had no answer to Leicester's pace and their third try arrived before half-time after Ben Youngs burst clear from inside his own 22, sparking some pinpoint handling work that ended with Salvi powering over.

Ford again converted, but although Treviso already found themselves in damage-limitation mode, they breached Leicester's defence when Budd touched down one-handed in the corner and Di Bernardo added the extras.

Salvi, though, restored normal service with his second try of the game, securing a bonus point and putting Tigers clear with a 26-7 interval advantage.

Tigers boss Richard Cockerill made two changes at half-time, taking off England hooker Tom Youngs and Fijian wing Vereniki Goneva, but if his team needed a wake-up call it arrived within six minutes of the restart.

Treviso scrum-half Edoardo Gori stormed upfield, scattering Leicester's defence in the process, and the visiting forwards then exerted sufficient pressure for Cittadini to touch down. Leicester regrouped impressively, though, with Smith rounding off a crisp move after Treviso flanker Simone Favaro was sin-binned for deliberate offside.

Ford slotted his fourth successful conversion and Leicester entered the final quarter 33-14 ahead, but Treviso responded with 11 unanswered points as Di Bernardo kicked penalties either side of Loamanu touching down