Leicester 39 Edinburgh 0: Corry's chuntering is matched by the crowd

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The Independent Online

What price public opinion? There was a bassline clearly audible post-match in the bars of Welford Road, where they have 4,000 bookings already for Christmas parties, and it was the sound of grumbling voices.

How, you may ask, could a five-try victory to the magic "nil" prompt one iota of dissent? Well, there was the obvious truth that a young Edinburgh side were hopelessly overmatched. There was a decision by Leicester to kick for goal after 39 minutes, when they were 17-0 up yet only halfway to a bonus point. Most particularly, there was an embarrassing drop-off in performance after going 34-0 up on 46 minutes.

The bonus point had been secured and Leicester played for 13 minutes against 13 or 14 men, while Craig Hamilton and Allan Jacobsen were in the sin-bin. The Tigers only scored again in the final minute.

The suspicion among at least some of the punters was that the new head coach, Marcelo Loffreda, had reacted to the previous week's loss at Leinster with a game plan that said "kick, kick, kick". The original plan for the Argentine, who arrived two weeks ago, to occupy a backseat to begin with appears to have been rapidly revised.

Loffreda spoke only glowingly of the crowd's reception. "It's very nice, it's really wonderful. Everybody feels rugby as I like rugby, as I feel it. The team feel motivated with that, also." It will be fascinating to see the reaction of the present playmakers, Geordan Murphy and Dan Hipkiss, and the artful All Black centre Aaron Mauger when he arrives in the next fortnight.

Sale in the EDF Energy Cup on 30 November and Toulouse in the Heineken Cup a week later will test Loffreda's tactics to the full.

His Edinburgh counterpart, Andy Robinson, has a less immediately gripping job: revitalising the cash-strapped Scottish side. "We were bullied by Leicester and I thought the referee was bullied as well," he said. He might point Allister Hogg, Edinburgh's 24-year-old captain, towards the masterclass in chuntering on at the referee given by Martin Corry.

Corry, in his 250th Tigers match, scored the fifth try, following Andy Goode, Tom Varndell, Geordan Murphy and a penalty try.

Leicester: Tries Goode, Varndell, G Murphy, penalty, Corry; Conversions Goode 4; Penalties Goode 2.

Leicester: G Murphy; T Varndell, O Smith (J Murphy, 62), D Hipkiss (P Burke, 69-75), A Tuilagi; A Goode, F Murphy (B Youngs, 66); M Ayerza, B Kayser (M Davies, 72), M Castrogiovanni (J White, 45), L Deacon (J Hamilton, 58), M Wentzel, M Corry (capt), L Moody (L Abraham, 72), J Crane.

Edinburgh: H Southwell; A Turnbull, B Cairns, N De Luca, J Houston (A Maxwell, 70); D Blair (P Godman, 40), M Blair (B Mayer, 69); A Jacobsen, R Ford (A Kelly, 47), G Kerr (C Smith, 47), C Hamilton, B Gissing, S Cross (R Rennie, 47), A Hogg (capt), D Callam (Ford, 55-63).

Referee: R Poite (France).

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