Burns guides Leicester past Stade Francais in European Cup quarters

2 min

Paris (AFP)

Freddie Burns notched up 16 points as he led Leicester to a 41-13 European Cup quarter-final victory over Stade Francais on Sunday to set up a mouth-watering last-four clash against either Racing 92 or Toulon.

The Tigers built up a healthy 24-6 first-half lead thanks to three tries from England centre Manu Tuilagi, Fijian winger Niki Goneva and Burns.

Stade hit back when scrum-half Julien Dupuy scored a five-pointer for the reigning French league champions early in the second half.

But any hopes of a serious comeback by the Parisian club, that currently sits 12th in the Top 14, were put to rest when Goneva crossed for his second.

Flanker Mike Fitzgerald went over for Leicester's fifth try with 20 minutes to play, after being fed by an unselfish Goneva.

The game was put out of sight when Tongan winger Telusa Veainu streaked over in the corner to ensure a first semi-final appearance for the Tigers since 2009.

"It was a very big game for us and we're very blessed and thankful," Leicester centre and man-of-the-match Peter Betham told BT Sport.

"We were very clinical. More often than not we make mistakes but today was a good day for us."

Stade hooker Remi Bonfils said his team had been "hoping for better" after a disastrous domestic season.

"We knew it would be complicated, we started well but we made too many individual mistakes."

Leicester, winners of the European Cup in 2001 and 2002, will now play the winners of the day's late kick-off between Racing 92 and defending champions Toulon, bidding for an unprecedented fourth straight European crown.

The other all-English semi-final was settled on Saturday after Saracens posted a 29-20 victory over Northampton and Wasps saw off Exeter 25-24.