European Champions Cup: Stade Francais 36-21 Leicester
|European Champions Cup|
|Stade Francais (19) 36|
|Tries: Plisson, Vuidarvuwalu, Slimani, Lakafia, Doumayru Cons: Plisson 4 Pen: Plisson|
|Leicester Tigers (7) 21|
|Tries: Tuilagi, Barrow, Thacker Cons: Burns, Bell 2|
Stade Francais earned a bonus point win over Leicester to join them in the Champions Cup quarter-finals.
Tigers had already secured a home tie in the last eight after finishing top of Pool Four, and Stade progress as one of three best runners-up.
Manu Tuilagi gave Leicester the lead, but the hosts ran in 26 unanswered points to earn the bonus point.
Tries from Dom Barrow and Harry Thacker gave Tigers hope but Stade added a late fifth through Geoffrey Doumayrou.
Stade's victory knocked Ulster out of the running for a place in the quarter-finals, despite their 56-3 victory over Oyonnax on Saturday.
The Parisian side also ended Leicester's unbeaten record in the competition this season.
Manu's back in business
England centre Tuilagi made only his second start in 15 months against the Top 14 champions, as he continues his recovery from a long-term groin problem.
And he ended his 20-month wait for a try to put Leicester ahead in the first half in Paris.
The Samoa-born British and Irish Lion showed his pace and power to shake off two Stade players and race under the posts, after being sent on his way by Michael Fitzgerald.
Tuilagi was taken off after 50 minutes and will not be available for England's first two Six Nations matches against Wales and Italy as he continues his journey back to full fitness, but may well be considered later in the tournament by new coach Eddie Jones.
Stade plan comes together
Stade Francais knew they needed maximum points from their final group game to finish among the top eight seeds, and after a slow start against Tigers they got what they deserved.
Fly-half Jules Plisson weaved his way through the gaps in the Leicester defence to touch down Stade's first try, which he also converted.
Waisea Vuidarvuwalu finished off in the corner after a sweeping movement across the entire width of the pitch and Rabah Slimani powered over under the posts to make it 19-7 at half-time.
Leicester's Tom Youngs was sent to the sin-bin for scuffling with Slimani after the restart, and Stade got the important bonus point when Raphael Lakafia went over.
It was nervy finish for the French as Barrow just reached over the line to touch down and Tommy Bell thought he had also crossed, only for it to be ruled out for a forward pass in the build-up.
Eventually Leicester did get a third try through Thacker but Stade finished in style when Doumayrou intercepted and raced for the line, with Plisson's fourth conversion the last action of the game.
Stade Français: Hugo Bonneval; Jeremy Sinzelle, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, Jonathan Danty, Djibril Camara; Jules Plisson, Julien Dupuy; Zak Taulafo, Laurent Sempere, Rabah Slimani; Hugh Pyle, Paul Gabrillagues; Jonathan Ross, Raphael Lakafia, Sergio Parisse (C).
Replacements: Laurent Panis, Emmanuel Felsina, Paul Alo Emile, Pascal Pape, Antoine Burban, Julien Tomas, Morne Steyn, Geoffrey Doumayrou.
Leicester: Mathew Tait; Adam Thompstone, Manu Tuilagi, Matt Smith, Telusa Veainu; Freddie Burns, Ben Youngs; Marcos Ayerza, Tom Youngs (C), Dan Cole; Dom Barrow, Graham Kitchener; Mike Fitzgerald, Tom Croft, Lachlan McCaffrey.
Replacements: Harry Thacker, Logovi'i Mulipola, Fraser Balmain, Sebastian De Chaves, Laurence Pearce, Sam Harrison, Tommy Bell, Peter Betham.
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