Knock-out rugby in the Heineken Cup doesn’t technically start until the new year but if Leicester Tigers are to progress in Europe this year they can’t afford to lose another game.
Leicester left it late on Friday night but a last minute Adam Thompstone try secured a vital bonus point and a 34-3 win over Benetton Treviso.
Tiger fans went to bed on Friday relieved but will have struggled to sleep with the same ease on Saturday night after Ulster shocked Montpelier 25-8 away in France.
Despite a huge amount of pressure from the Top 14 side they could not breach the Ulster defence which kept Leicester at bay for much of the first round of the cup.
Tigers have now taken six points from two games in Pool Five, snatching a losing bonus point with a late penalty in Ulster however Ulster lead the group on eight points.
The Irish side’s unlikely win in France has created a tough situation for Leicester, who will now face a difficult double header against Montpelier in December and then must win games away at Treviso and home to Ulster.
It Leicester want to top the group they must win them all and probably pick up some bonus points along the way.
On Friday Tigers crossed the line through the resurgent Thomas Waldrom, who capped his second start of the season with a Man of the Match performance.
After the break Tom Youngs and Blaine Scully breached the line before Thompstone expertly beat a handful of players to score the all important bonus point.
On Saturday Leicester return to Aviva Premiership action when they face old rivals London Wasps away at Adams Park. Kick off is at 2pm and the game is being shown live on BT Sport.
In other news
Just when you thought the injury crisis at Leicester couldn’t get any worse the season’s star performer Vereniki Goneva has joined the list of walking wounded.
The Fijian back limped off against Treviso in just the sixth minute with a calf injury.
Goneva, who has been drafted in as a centre in recent weeks, joins Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Allen, Matt Smith and Mathew Tait on the treatment table.
Club vice-captain Allen picked up a knock against Northampton and has now undergone surgery on his leg, which is expected to keep him out of action for up to three months.
He joins fly-half Ryan Lamb in the stands, who broke his hand fighting in an A league match.
The 27-year-old, who hurt himself in against Gloucester, and has gone missing at the worst possible time for Tigers, with first choice fly-half Toby Flood, one of Leicester’s five players select for England’s autumn internationals.
Flood is joined in the national set-up by half-back partner Ben Youngs and forwards Dan Cole, Geoff Parling and Tom Youngs.