It is going to be an all-English Heineken Cup final at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday May 20th. The Tigers hit back from 17-16 behind in the second half to steer themselves into a fourth European final and set-up a clash with either Northampton Saints or London Wasps.
The Scarlets arrived at the Walkers Stadium with the only unbeaten record of the four semi-finalists and were seeking their first success at this stage after two previous failures. They started slowly, gathered momentum around the interval and finally got their noses in front after 50 minutes.
It was nothing less than their exciting, expansive approach deserved as they tested the Tigers defensive qualities to the full.
Yet while the Tigers, who have set their sights on winning three titles at Twickenham this season, were stretched, they never broke. Their defensive display was magnificent and no sooner had they gone behind than they regained the lead and moved away from the dangerous Welshmen.
The first quarter was dominated by the boots of the two outside halves. Andy Goode was on target with three penalties, while Stephen Jones kicked one and missed another.
Goode then turned mounting Tigers pressure in the Scarlets 22 into more points when he skipped past Matthew Rees and Gavin Thomas to score the first try. His conversion gave the Tigers a 13 point lead, but three minutes later the Scarlets had cropped the advantage to six points with a stunning try from Mark Jones that Stephen Jones converted off the touchline.
Four minutes into the second half Irish referee Alain Rolland sent opposing props Alex Moreno (Tigers) and Deacon Manu (Scarlets) to the sin-bin for fighting and with both teams down to fourteen men the Scarlets conjured up a second corner try, this time for Wales hooker Rees.
Jones again provided the conversion and all of a sudden the Scarlets were ahead. They had little time to enjoy their lead though, because Goode spotted some space behind the Scarlets defence and his kick was regathered by back row man Shane Jennings, who raced 30 metres to the line for a crucial try.
Goode converted and all the momentum was now with the Tigers. Goode added another penalty to leave the Scarlets needing two scores to win and the Tigers' ticket to Twickenham was guaranteed four minutes from time when Louis Deacon barged his way over from close range.
Goode's conversion took his match tally to 23 points, although it was his inspirational skipper Martin Corry who picked up the Heineken Man of the match award.
Tries: L Deacon, S Jennings, A Goode
Cons: A Goode (3)
Pens: A Goode (4)
Tries: M Rees, M Jones
Cons: S Jones (2)
Pen: S Jones
Leicester Tigers: G Murphy; T Varndell, D Hipkiss, D Gibson (S Vesty 41), A Tuilagi (S Rabeni 67); A Goode, H Ellis; A Moreno (M Holford 63), G Chuter, J White, L Deacon, B Kay (L Cullen 61), L Moody, S Jennings (B Deacon 78), M Corry (Capt)
Replacements used: M Holford, L Cullen, B Deacon, S Vesty, S Rabeni
Llanelli Scarlets: B Davies; D James, R King, G Evans, M Jones; S Jones, D Peel; I Thomas, M Rees, D Manu, V Cooper (I Afeaki 71), S MacLeod, S Easterby (Capt), G Thomas, A Popham (N Thomas 71)
Replacements used: I Afeaki, N Thomas
A Moreno (44), D Manu (44)
Man of the match: M Corry (Leicester Tigers)
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)