Pienaar shines in Tigers torture

Ruan Pienaar kicked 21 points in Ulster’s 41-7 European Cup victory over Leicester at Ravenhill.

The Springbok scrumhalf’s five penalties and three conversions topped a mature all-round performance in a win that puts Ulster in a strong position to qualify automatically for the quarter-final.

The Tigers will need a bonus-point victory over Italian minnows Aironi at Welford Road next week to give themselves any chance in the race for two best runners-up spots, yet teams in other pools appear better placed.

Meanwhile, Frans Steyn’s Racing Metro were downed 27-24 in Paris thanks to a last-minute drop goal from Edinburgh’s Phil Goodman. The momentum of the match swung consistently, with Steyn, playing inside centre, contributing a 23rd minute try. However, Goodman intervened just as it appeared the spoils would be shared. The win keeps the Scottish side top of the table and in the hunt to progress to their first quarter-final in eight years.

In Friday’s other match, the Ospreys kept the pressure up on pool-topping Saracens with a comfortable 44-17 win over Benetton Treviso.