Stimpson boots Tigers into Euro final
Leicester skipper Martin Johnson congratulates his match-winner Tim Stimpson following their Heineken Cup semi-final victory over Llanelli Scarlets
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Tim Stimpson's 60-metre injury-time penalty brought Leicester a 13-12 victory against Llanelli in the semi-final of the Heineken Cup. Harry Ellis scored the only try of a match watched by 29,849 at Nottingham's City Ground. Four penalties from the boot of Scarlets' fly-half Stephen Jones had put the underdogs on course for an unlikely victory over the defending champions but Stimpson's monster effort broke their hearts. It was all the more painful for Gareth Jenkins' side following a similar fate the year before when an injury-time penalty kick from Northampton's Paul Grayson denied them a place in the final. "How those gods enjoy making merry sport of Llanelli," wrote Mick Cleary in the Daily Telegraph. "If sadism is your thing, then Nottingham was the place to be. The misery of others makes for great drama, painful as it was for the spirited Scarlets. The Marquis de Sade must be a Tigers fan."
A victory for Ulster engineered by South Africans as they beat Edinburgh 22-19 ro reach the Heineken Cup final. Ruan Pienaar kicked five penelties and converted the only try by Pedrie Wannenburg as Ulster capitalised on a error-strewn performance by the Scots.
Coventry and Bristol, widely regarded for some time as the best two club sides in England, met in the RFU Knockout Cup Final. David Duckham was the star, making a try for John Barton and scoring one himself with a typical dummying run. Coventry won 27-15.
The re-scheduled Ireland-Wales match, postponed from March, was again postponed owing to the smallpox epidemic in South Wales.
To test new laws ahead of their Spring tour to South Africa, the Welsh Rugby Union staged a Wales A against Wales B trial at Llanelli. The As won 31-8, scoring seven tries to two.
France, fielding an experimental fifteen containing five new caps, won their annual Test against Germany 24-0. Centre Marcel Baillette and winger Marcel Soler grabbed two tries apiece at Stade Colombes.
France played a Test on British soil for the first time since 1931, losing 27-6 against a British Empire Forces XV at Richmond.
Richmond "Seconds" were winners of the Middlesex Sevens, coming from behind to beat Wasps 13-10. They thus became first holders of the newly-presented Russell-Cargill Memorial Cup.