Rugby Union:Too easy for Stransky

Leicester 90 Glasgow 19
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The Independent Online
Joel Stransky strode majestically into the Heineken European Cup record books with 35 points in Leicester's 14-try humiliation of Glasgow in an embarrassingly one-sided quarter-final play-off at Welford Road. The Tigers will travel to Pau on Sunday expecting to seal a place in the semi-finals and, on this sort of form - coming as it did on the back of their defeat of Bath last weekend - few will not give them at least an even-money chance of progressing.

Difficult though it must be for the Scots to accept it, at this level they are just not sufficiently competitive. All three of their representatives in last season's European Cup finished bottom of their respective pools, while Glasgow won only one match in their Conference section.

It has been only a little better this season. The Borders were the best of the Scots, but they had the misfortune to be drawn in the same group as Bath, holders Brive and Pontypridd. Although Borders made Bath and Pontypridd work hard for their victories, denuded of so many of their leading players by the top English clubs, they were outclassed.

Glasgow, benefiting by being in the weakest pool, reached the knockout stages by virtue of two defeats of Ulster and a home victory against Swansea. Indeed, until yesterday, they were on something of a roll with two wins in last month's Inter-District Championship, which brought qualification for next autumn's European Cup.

But unless they can find some sort of defence and a more robust pack of forwards, Glasgow will fare no better next year than this. Leicester, last season's beaten finalists, deconstructed Glasgow piece by painful piece. Very little was seen of Glasgow's talented outside-half Tommy Hayes, though the quicksilver Cook Islander scored a try at the death which he converted along with Cameron Little's touchdown. But by then the Tigers were 83-5 up and coasting.

Glasgow will take heart from the performance of their extraordinarily rapid young winger James Craig, who left the Leicester full-back Michael Horak for dead in an explosive 65-metre dash for Glasgow's solitary first- half try. But Horak gained ample revenge by scoring four himself.

It was 50-5 at the interval, Martin Corry, Dean Richards and Richard Cockerill emphasising the Tigers' forward superiority, with tries to augment the two each by Horak and Stransky, and one by Austin Healey.

Thereafter Leicester scored almost as they pleased. Leon Lloyd, Will Greenwood, Cockerill with a second, and two more for Horak were too much for the hapless Scots. And then there was Stransky.

Leicester: M Horak; A Healey, W Greenwood, S Potter (N Malone, 68), L Lloyd (C Joiner, 77); J Stransky, W Serevi; P Freshwater, R Cockerill, G Rowntree (D Garforth, 40), M Johnson (capt), M Poole (D Richards, 2), M Corry, E Miller, N Back.

Glasgow: C Sangster; D Stark (G Fraser, 31), I Jardine (G Metcalfe, 31), M McGrandles, J Craig (C Little, 60); T Hayes, F Stott; G McIlwham, G Bulloch (capt) (C Docherty, 73), A Kittle (M Beckham, 71), M Norval (S Begley, 60), G Perrett, F Wallace (J Shaw, 60), D McLeish, I Sinclair.

Referee: J Dume (France).