Toby Flood expects power struggle between Leicester Tigers and Toulouse
Power is going to be the key factor at Welford Road tomorrow when Leicester Tigers go head-to-head with Toulouse, a place in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals the carrot for both sides.
That is the view of Tigers' England fly-half Toby Flood, whose kicking will also surely be crucial to his side's hopes of progressing to the competition's knock-out phase.
"The way Toulouse play is forward-dominated and momentum-based," said Flood. "The tight five will be working tremendously hard. We know the areas that they like to attack and that they won't go wide too early.
"That will also depend on conditions. When we played them in France, it was a bit damp and they narrowed the field with their attack. But it is going to be a power-based game."
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Tigers went down to a 23-9 defeat in October and Flood says the side know what they have to put that right tomorrow if they are to book a place in the last-eight.
"We made an error in midfield out there which allowed Toulouse to score just before half-time," he said. "There were a couple of penalties through pressure, or mistakes or just misfortune. It was a massive game but there was a feeling, after the game, that we weren't a million miles away.
"We have to put those areas and small mistakes right. A team like Toulouse have the ability to make life difficult."
Tigers faced that kind of situation last week when they forced a 15-15 draw against the Ospreys in Wales.
"There is always a hollow feeling after a draw," Flood said. "Both sides last week felt they were in a position to win the game. Ospreys were in the ascendancy for long periods and played some really good stuff. But to go ahead with five minutes remaining and not hold on hurts us.
"It doesn't really change anything in the way we view this week. It was always going to be winner take all."
Welford Road will be packed to the rafters for the decisive game in Pool Two – an outcome that always looked possible when the draw for the competition was made.
"We'd rather have a winner-take-all at our place than Toulouse. There is no question about that," Flood said. "It is a sell-out and there will be a fantastic atmosphere. There has been a real edge in training this week."
Tigers know they have to get the job done. "We are doing just enough in games at the moment," said Flood. "We are doing the basics well but not going that extra 10-15 per cent."