Some clubs do not take the most important European competition as seriously as they should. Bourgoin, having been beaten by Leicester 28-13 on their own patch a week previously, turned up at Welford Road having made 10 changes. They did not expect to win, and nor did they. In the air there was the faint smell of taking the money and running. If the Heineken Cup is to be taken seriously, then this sort of thing must stop.
As a meaningful contest, this was over after 18 minutes. By then Andy Goode had kicked a penalty and two conversions to add to tries from Lewis Moody, Harry Ellis and Shane Jennings. The Tigers were 22-0 in front and laughing.
Pat Howard, the Tigers coach, certainly had a smile on his face afterwards. "The first half was similar to last week," he said, "except that we didn't lose three players to the sin bin. For my part I'm pleased there were no major injuries. We have three Premiership games over the Christmas period, and we need to win them all, starting with Bristol on Friday night. I'm very pleased with today. We can look forward to January and Munster."
Daryl Gibson claimed the other try of the first half after a big drive. Bourgoin, bar the No 10 Sébastien Laloo, full-back Florian Denos, and scrum-half Mike Prendergast, were feeble.
Tom Varndell scored the first try of the second half before, with more than a quarter still to play, Laloo opted to go for goal rather than shoot for the corner and hope for a line-out and drive for seven points. Moody showed no such conservatism by grabbing two more tries to wrap up the man-of-the-match award, and Jennings scored the last. Thank goodness that was the end, and we could all get on with some Christmas shopping.
Leicester: Tries Moody 3, Jennings 2, Ellis, Gibson, Varndell; Conversions Goode 6, Gibson; Penalty Goode. Bourgoin: Penalty Laloo.
Leicester: S Vesty (T Varndell, 48); G Murphy, D Hipkiss (J Murphy, 64), D Gibson, L Lloyd; A Goode, H Ellis (S Bemand, 44); A Moreno, J Buckland, M Castrogiovanni (J White, 48), L Deacon (J Hamilton, 56) B Kay, L Moody (B Deacon, 61) S Jennings, M Corry (capt).
Bourgoin: F Denos; G Davis, G Bousses, R Coetzee (M Nicolas, 60), J-F Coux; S Laloo, M Prendergast (M Pappa, 60); D Khinchagishvili, B Cabello (R Vigneux, 40), P Cardinal (P Sourgens, 40), D Fevre, C Del Fava, J Frier (capt) (A Diotallevi, 35; B Williams, 67), M Rennie, B Monzeglio.
Referee: A Rolland (Ireland).