Late Owen Williams penalty condemns Munster to defeat at Leicester

Leicester Tigers ran out 18-16 winners over the Irish province

Owen Williams scored a mammoth last-minute penalty to earn Leicester Tigers an 18-16 win over Munster at Welford Road. 

Leicester attacked with intent from the start, eager to atone for last week's heavy defeat at Thomond Park. 

Despite the early pressure from the home side - Manu Tuilagi in particular posing a threat every time he touched the ball - it was Munster who drew first blood. 

Simon Zebo was taken out in a kick-chase which gave Munster territory in the Leicester half. Tyler Bleyendaal slotted over from 45 metres out to give them a 3-0 lead.

Munster's Tyler Bleyendaal kicks a penalty
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Munster mauled there way down the field and won a second penalty shortly after their opener. Bleyendaal stepped up again and converted. His place kicking impeccable, the Irish province raced into a 6-0 lead.

With Leicester now chasing the game, they turned down a long kick at goal to go to the corner. Their gamble didn't pay off and possession was sacrificed after Peter O'Mahony pilfered the ball when the maul split.

Tom Youngs conceded a '50-50' penalty at a ruck for not wrapping in the clearance. The decision was dubious and perhaps justice was served when Bleyendaal dragged his shot wide.

A needless shoulder charge on Rory Scannell earned Tuilagi 10 minutes in the sin bin and Munster confidence grew. The men in red opted to try and gain territory, but the home side turned it over after aggressive defence at a breakdown. 

Referee Pascal Gauzre shows Manu Tuilagi of Leicester Tigers a yellow card
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

O'Mahony coughed up a penalty under the posts after Leicester broke down the touchline, Williams stepped up to put their first points on the board. It took the home side 115 minutes of Champions Cup action to draw blood against the Irish province. At 3-6, it was game on.

Leicester were getting the better of the scrums, a facet of their play Munster ruthlessly exposed at Thomond Park.

Another penalty conceded by Munster lead to another Williams kick. The Welshman once again converted to tie the scores at 6-6.

Owen Williams of Leicester Tigers kicks a penalty
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Bleyendaal squandered Munster's chance to lead at the break. Good work from Munster at the line-out resulted in a penalty, but the Kiwi's kick was wayward.

Early in the second half, George Worth kicked straight into touch giving Munster possession in the Leicester 22.

Munster were awarded a penalty after O'Connor went off his feet and Bleyendaal converted to give Munster a 9-6 lead. 

Their good work would be undone after Simon Zebo's pass was intercepted, opening gaps in the Munster defence.

Leicester kicked the into touch after Bleyendaal's penalty, which gave Munster a scrum on the half-way line. Murray and Zebo combined to make a break on the outside but Zebo's pass back inside was snaffled up by Jack Roberts.

After Williams had kicked Leicester level, he converted a fifth penalty in succession to give the home side a 12-9 lead.

The Irish side then began to turn the screw, mounting phase after phase of attack but to no avail.

After conceding possession from a scrum, Leicester moved up the pitch and only for a last-gasp Zebo tackle kept them from making inroads into the Munster half. Zebo, for his efforts, was given a contentious yellow card.

Williams' resulting penalty made it 15-9. 

Munster's Simon Zebo gets a yellow card from referee Pascal Gauzere
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

While Leicester dominated the scrum, Munster had the better at line-out. Another penalty in the 73 minute and Munster went to corner but were held-up before the line.

They went to the line again, won the resulting throw and Scannell powered over the line. Bleyendaal converted to make it 16-15 as the clock ticked towards 80.

Leicester responded and were then awarded a penalty inside their own half. Williams stepped up to land the killer blow from almost 52 metres.  

The home side saw out the remaining seconds to win 18-16. What a difference a week makes.