Pontypridd: 18 Leicester: 11
Pontypridd: 18 Leicester: 11
Leicester went the same way as Wasps and Bath on their recent Heineken Cup visits to Wales as they were beaten in the mud and rain at Sardis Road last night.
The English champions dominated the game, yet fell foul of the Scottish referee John Hogg as they conceded 14 penalties to the home side's four. With that came increasing frustration and the chance for Lee Jarvis to show off his goalkicking skills with six match-winning penalties.
Leicester's only previous visit to Wales in the competition had been for the 1996 final when they were completely outgunned by Brive at the Arms Park. Pontypridd certainly know a thing or two about Brive, but these days they are not on a par with the French champions of old.
Not that any visit to the fabled "House of Pain" is easy. Just ask the Tigers, who were lined up and knocked down by local hero Dale McIntosh. His defensive work had "welcome to Wales" written all over it.
While Ponty were looking to keep the ball tight and kick for the corners to turn Leicester, Neil Back, Andy Goode and Pat Howard were intent on injecting as much pace and width as possible.
Ponty drew first blood when Jarvis hammered home his opening penalty. Tim Stimpson, playing at wing rather than full back, replied within a minute and he then rounded off a 10-minute purple patch for the visitors as some superb handling by Back, Goode and Leon Lloyd turned a four on three overlap into a try.
Paul John's men galvanised themselves, made light of turning over the ball so often from restarts and recovered well enough to take the lead thanks to two more Jarvis penalties.
Stimpson restored the lead for the Tigers with the last kick of the first half after John Bryant had prevented Howard from releasing the ball in a tackle in front of the home posts.
Leicester tightened up their game at the start of the second half, yet became increasingly frustrated by the whistle of Hogg. Two more Jarvis penalties in the third quarter put the home team ahead and had the Ponty fans dreaming of another significant home Welsh win over England's finest following Newport's example in beating Bath the previous weekend.
Leicester dominated the line-outs and in the loose, but Jarvis' penalties had given them an uphill fight and Martin Johnson's men continued to infringe.
Jarvis landed his sixth goal eight minutes from time and then it was just a question of knocking down the attackers for the home defence.
Pontypridd: Penalties Jarvis 6.
Leicester: Try Stimpson; Penalties Stimpson 2.
Pontypridd: B Davey; C Williams, S Parker, J Bryant, H Colderley; L Jarvis, P John (capt); C Loader, F Vunipola, S Cronk (P Graham, 50), B Cockbain, R Sidoli, D McIntosh, R Parks, M Owen.
Leicester: T Stimpson; G Murphy, L Lloyd, P Howard, W Stanley; A Goode, J Hamilton; G Rowntree (D Jelley, 73), D West (R Cockerill, 49), D Garforth, M Johnson (capt), B Kay, L Moody (P Short, 73), N Back, M Corry.
Referee: J Hogg (Scotland).Reuse content