European Challenge Cup: Toulon 34-19 Leicester Tigers

Gabin Villiere scores a try for Toulon
France Sevens international Gabin Villiere scored a try in either half for three-times European Champions Cup winners Toulon
European Challenge Cup semi-final
Toulon (20) 34
Tries: Heem, Villiere 2, Isa Cons: Carbonel 4 Pens: Carbonel 2
Leicester (11) 19
Tries: Nadolo, Potter Pens: Ford 3

Leicester Tigers' hopes of lifting the European Challenge Cup were ended by a semi-final defeat in Toulon.

Converted tries from Bryce Heem and Gabin Villiere helped the French side into a 20-11 half-time lead, with Nemani Nadolo crossing for Tigers.

Facundo Isa scored the hosts' third, and winger Villiere grabbed his second try after Leicester lock Tomas Lavanini was sin-binned for a late tackle.

Harry Potter got a late consolation, as Toulon set up a final against Bristol.

The Bears, who beat Bordeaux on Friday, will face Toulon at Stade Maurice-David in Aix-en-Provence on Friday, 16 October (20:00 BST).

Toulon, three-time winners of the elite Champions Cup from 2013 to 2015, have won all eight games in the Challenge Cup this season as they bid to win the competition for the first time.

Leicester fall short

The Tigers are languishing in 11th place in the Premiership, and were given a bye to the last four after three players from quarter-final opponents Castres tested positive for coronavirus.

In front of a crowd at the Stade Felix Mayol, Leicester were let down at times by a lack of accuracy in their kicking game.

The most glaring error came four minutes into the second half with the score 20-14, when fly-half George Ford turned down a straightforward penalty on the 22 and then kicked dead when trying to find the corner.

That led to a spell of sustained pressure from Toulon in the Tigers 22, which ended with a try from Isa.

Lavanini's yellow card effectively ended Leicester's hopes of a comeback, although the visitors did finish with a late flurry after Toulon number eight Sergio Parisse was sent to the bin.

England prop Ellis Genge had a try ruled out by the television match official with two minutes left for a forward pass, but the game was already beyond Leicester.

Toulon: Ikpefan; Dakuwaqa, Heem, Paia'aua, Villiere; Carbonel, Takulua; Gros, Etrillard (capt), Gigashvili, Rebbadj, R Taofifenua, Ollivon, Lakafia, Parisse.

Replacements: Soury, S Taofifenua, Setiano, Dridi, Alainu'uese, Ory, Meric, Isa.

Sin-bin: Parisse (72).

Leicester Tigers: Murimurivalu; Potter, Taute, Scott, Nadolo; Ford, B Youngs; Genge, T Youngs (capt), Cole, Lavanini, Green, Wells, Reffell, Liebenberg.

Replacements: Clare, Gigena, Leatigaga, Smith, Wallace, White, Henry, Kelly.

Sin-bin: Lavanini (64).

Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland).

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