Carter magic not enough to stop Tigers
EUROPEAN CUP REPORT: Leicester Tigers gained revenge for their Champions Cup semifinal defeat by Racing 92 last season as they got themselves back into the equation in Pool One.
A week on from their record beating by Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun, the Tigers turned in the kind of response that Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill was looking for against the French champions - with second half replacement Freddie Burns contributing 16 points in a 27-17 win.
Burns picked up an injury in last season's semifinal at Nottingham, but he returned to face Dan Carter once again.
This time he came out on top with a 70-metre interception try and 11 points from the boot.
Those points came on top of a try after two minutes, 52 seconds by Brendon O'Connor and two penalties from Owen Williams for the home side in the first half.
O'Connor's try in the right corner gave the Tigers a flying start and the power of their scrum caused problems for Racing all match.
The only other points of the opening 40 minutes came from a Dan Carter penalty and those two strikes from Williams.
Carter then bemused the home defence with a weaving, dummying run from just outside the Tigers 22 to cross for a wonderful try at the posts - which he also converted - to cut the gap to a single point.
Then it seemed as though it was anyone's game.
But Burns came into the contest and made an immediate impact.
He kicked two penalties in quick succession and then read a Racing move off the back of a scrum on the home 22 to intercept a pass from Maxime Machenaud intended for his midfield and raced 70 metres to score a try he also converted.
Carter was thwarted by a great tackle by Matthew Tait to deny him a second try.
The referee went upstairs to the TMO, but the great Al Black was deemed to have put the ball down a blade of grass short of the whitewash.
Racing flexed their muscles again to create an overlap try for Imhoff five minutes from time and Carter's touchline conversion brought his side into losing bonus-point territory.
But then Burns took it all away fro them with his third penalty to take his match tally to 16 points.
For Leicester Tigers
Pens: Williams 2, Burns 3
For Racing 92
Cons: Carter 2
Leicester Tigers: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Dom Barrow, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Greg Bateman, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Will Evans, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Peter Betham.
Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Johan Goosen, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Francois van der Merwe, 20 Thibault Dubarry, 21 James Hart, 22 Albert Vulivuli, 23 Anthony Tuitavake.
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Matteo Liperini (Italy), Stefano Pennè (Italy)
TMO: Paul Stanley (England)