Leicester 20 Ulster 9: Tigers roar again in Europe to extend unbeaten record

By Paul Morgan for MailOnline

Leicester stretched one of the longest unbeaten runs in European rugby, but it needed the boot and guile of England fly-half Toby Flood to despatch Ulster.

The two-time Heineken Cup winners extended their run without defeat to 17 matches and put themselves in the driving seat in Pool 4, winning a tense battle at Welford Road.

'I thought the attitude of the players was excellent. It was an old-style Leicester win,' said director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

Cool head: Toby Flood kicks a penalty for Leicester

Cool head: Toby Flood kicks a penalty for Leicester

'Ulster are a good side but we got our defence and our set-piece right and that was the basis of the win.'

They missed out on a bonus point at whipping boys Aironi last weekend, but ensuring that Ulster returned to Belfast without a point themselves was crucial for the Tigers.

Leicester's season has been hit by injuries and World Cup call-ups, and even though they lost centre Andy Forsyth with a suspected broken ankle, they did at least see the return of England scrum-half Ben Youngs.

Youngs was playing his first match since returning early from New Zealand with a knee injury from England's ill-fated World Cup campaign.

He was a 58th-minute replacement and added the spark that Leicester were looking for in a match that was dominated by kickers Flood and Ian Humphreys.

On the charge: Leicester's Thomas Waldrom breaks free

On the charge: Leicester's Thomas Waldrom breaks free

Flood landed 15 points and also set up the crucial try for Matt Smith in the 63rd minute, sliding through a clever grubber kick for the centre to collect and slide over.

But Cockerill knows they will need to play far better next month when they go head-to-head, home and away, with French champions Clermont Auvergne - and they will need more than Flood's trusty right boot if they are to down Clermont in Montferrand.

Leicester will at least have Manu Tuilagi back for the match in France as Cockerill expects him to have recovered from a broken cheekbone in time.

Ulster relied on the boot of Humphreys for all their points, the former Leicester player kicking three first-half penalties.

They will target 10 points from their December double-header with Aironi, and could still top the pool.

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