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Leicester Tigers 21 Saints 27: First Welford Road win since 2007 for superb Saints

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Northampton Saints recorded their first season’s double over East Midlands rivals Leicester Tigers since 2004 with a thrilling victory at Welford Road.

A backs-to-the-wall first-half performance saw Saints enter the interval 17-12 ahead, with both Ben Foden and Cobus Reinach touching down while Stephen Myler was flawless from the kicking tee.

And Saints roared out of the blocks after half-time, scoring a decisive try through Ahsee Tuala before Myler kept the hosts at arm’s length with another penalty – with a dogged defensive effort from all 15 players getting Alan Dickens’ men to the final whistle.

Saints were dealt a hammer blow right from the kick-off as stand-in skipper Rob Horne went into contact on Graham Kitchener and took a horrible knock to the head – that brought Luther Burrell into the action with only 12 seconds on the clock.

Tigers put the squeeze on but despite huge pressure, a brilliant try-saving tackle from Tuala prevented an opening score for Tigers wing Adam Thompstone.

And Saints punished their hosts in fine style; Paul Hill making a stunning break through the ruck to create the opening, and after a few more phases the ball was sent wide by Piers Francis for acting skipper Foden to cross in the left corner.

Myler’s conversion was on the money to make it 7-0, and the momentum was with Saints as they mounted another attack soon after. And while Reinach was caught in possession, a brilliant tackle on Ellis Genge from George North earned his side a penalty as Tom Youngs went in at the side.

Myler again landed his kick to extend Northampton’s lead, but this time Tigers struck straight back as Telusa Veainu was released under the posts by Genge.

A cut sustained in contact saw North replaced by Tom Collins, before Leicester then took the lead for the first time in the game with a Matt Toomua try despite suspicions of an offside for Kitchener.

But a penalty in midfield as Reinach was impeded preceded a brilliantly-executed line-out move from Saints; Harrison released a wriggling Reinach who squirmed his way over the whitewash despite two Tigers defenders standing in his way.

Saints supporters were making themselves heard at the break, and they became even louder just after the resumption as first Hill made ground before Reinach broke and released Tuala to score a third try of the afternoon for the men in Black, Green and Gold.

Myler hit the conversion straight and true, and with Tigers piling on the pressure from the restart, Jamie Gibson – on his 150th Aviva Premiership appearance – forced a fine turnover to silence the hosts.

Saints soon found themselves on their own line again with Tigers desperate for a way back, but a huge shift from Northampton’s front three won a crucial penalty – although high tackles soon after from Harrison and Alex Waller allowed Ford to close the gap to within a score with two penalties.

Waller saw yellow in the aftermath so Northampton went down to 14 men, but out of nowhere replacement Ehren Painter won a scrum penalty and Myler gave his side some breathing room from the tee.

Ford’s penalty again pegged Saints back, but impressive defence and a gritty final few minutes from Northampton saw them run the clock down and earn their first win at Welford Road since 2007.

TIMELINE
10’ SAINTS Try Foden, Conversion Myler 0-7
17’ SAINTS Penalty Myler 0-10
19’ TIGERS Try Veainu Conversion Ford 7-10
29’ TIGERS Try Toomua 12-10
33’ SAINTS Try Reinach, Conversion Myler 12-17
HALF-TIME: Tigers 12 – 17 Saints
45’ SAINTS Try Tuala, Conversion Myler 12-24
58’ TIGERS Penalty Ford 15-24
64’ TIGERS Penalty Ford 18-24
69’ SAINTS Penalty Myler 18-27
72’ TIGERS Penalty Ford 21-27
FULL-TIME: Tigers 21 – 27 Saints

Rugby

TIGERS 21 SAINTS 27: VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The best of the action as Saints made history to beat Leicester Tigers at Welford Road for the first time since 2007.

Tickets for Saints' final clash of the season against Worcester Warriors are still available from the ticket office at Franklin’s Gardens, online by CLICKING HERE or by calling the Saints Ticket Office on 01604 581000. Prices start at £36 for adults and £16 for juniors.

Match

Leicester Tigers vs Northampton Saints

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
TCDP
1Campese Ma'afu
2Mike Haywood
3Paul Hill
4Api Ratuniyarawa
5James Craig
6Jamie Gibson
7Teimana Harrison
8Mitch Eadie
9Cobus Reinach1T
10Stephen Myler3C2P
11George North
12Piers Francis
13Rob Horne
14Ben Foden1T
15Ahsee Tuala1T
16Charlie Clare
17Alex Waller
18Ehren Painter
19Michael Paterson
20Ben Nutley
21Alex Mitchell
22Luther Burrell
23Tom Collins

Match Details

FT ScoreFull Time Score

Leicester 21-27 Saints

Attendance

25,849

Referee

Matthew Carley

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
21

Summary

Full Time

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
27

Opposition LineupLeicester Tigers

15
Telusa Veainu
14
Adam Thompstone
13
Matt Smith
12
Matt Toomua
11
Jonny May
10
George Ford
9
Sam Harrison
1
Ellis Genge
2
Tom Youngs
3
Dan Cole
4
Michael Fitzgerald
5
Graham Kitchener
6
Velentino Mapapalangi
7
Luke Hamilton
8
Sione Kalamafoni

SubsLeicester Tigers

16
Tatafu Polota-Nau
17
Greg Bateman
18
Logovi'i Mulipola
19
Harry Wells
20
Will Evans
21
Ben Youngs
22
George Worth
23
Jonah Holmes
Rugby

Horne to skipper Saints for East Midlands derby

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Australian centre Rob Horne will lead out Northampton Saints for the very first time as the men in Black, Green and Gold take on fierce local rivals Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.

Following a stunning 24-11 victory over Tigers at Franklin’s Gardens back in September, Saints are chasing their first season’s double over Leicester since the 2003/04 season.

Interim head coach Alan Dickens and technical coaching consultant Alan Gaffney welcome two key Saintsmen back onto the bench from injury, as well as making five changes to the line-up that started last time out against Saracens.

Ben Foden returns to the starting XV, with Wales international George North on the opposite wing and Ahsee Tuala at fullback to complete the back three.

Skipper Horne once again partners Piers Francis in the centres with No.10 Stephen Myler and scrum-half Cobus Reinach both also retained.

Mikey Haywood returns from injury at hooker with props Campese Ma’afu and Paul Hill either side of him, and Saints welcome back front-rower Alex Waller to the squad who will look to make an impact from the bench.

James Craig replaces the injured Christian Day in Northampton’s second row, partnering Api Ratuniyarawa, while No.8 Mitch Eadie also comes into the starting line-up – Teimana Harrison shifting to flanker with David Ribbans missing out through injury.

And there’s also room on the bench for returning centre Luther Burrell, who joins Alex Mitchell and Tom Collins amongst the replacements.

“There’s nothing bigger than a local derby, whether it be at Franklin’s Gardens or up the road at Leicester, to get the players going,” said Dickens.

“We’ve got to stick together as a team, and match Leicester physically. We responded in a big way from a defeat the last time we played Tigers, and the players put in an attritional performance at home.

“The players have looked at themselves hard this week, as our last performance was not a reflection of what we can do. We are certainly looking for a reaction.”

As Saturday’s game will be a 25,000 sell-out at Welford Road, supporters are encouraged to allow extra time to get through the turnstiles and into place ahead of a 3pm kick-off. Increased bag searches are in place at the turnstiles in accordance with ground regulations.

LEICESTER TIGERS v SAINTS
Aviva Premiership Rugby, Round 20
Welford Road Stadium
Saturday 14th April, 2018
Kick-off: 3pm  

TIGERS SAINTS

15 Telusa Veainu
14 Adam Thompstone
13 Matt Smith
12 Matt Toomua
11 Jonny May
10 George Ford
9 Sam Harrison

1 Ellis Genge
2 Tom Youngs (c)
3 Dan Cole
4 Mike Fitzgerald
5 Graham Kitchener
6 Valentino Mapapalangi
7 Luke Hamilton
8 Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements:
16 Tatafu Polota-Nau
17 Greg Bateman
18 Logovi’i Mulipola
19 Harry Wells
20 Will Evans
21 Ben Youngs
22 George Worth
23 Jonah Holmes

 

15 Ahsee Tuala
14 Ben Foden
13 Rob Horne (capt)
12 Piers Francis
11 George North
10 Stephen Myler
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Campese Ma’afu
2 Mikey Haywood
3 Paul Hill
4 Api Ratuniyarawa
5 James Craig
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Teimana Harrison
8 Mitch Eadie

Replacements:
16 Charlie Clare
17 Alex Waller
18 Ehren Painter
19 Michael Paterson
20 Ben Nutley
21 Alex Mitchell
22 Luther Burrell
23 Tom Collins

Injury update:
Tom Wood, Heinrich Brüssow, Courtney Lawes, Dylan Hartley, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Harry Mallinder, Christian Day, David Ribbans, Reece Marshall and Kieran Brookes are all unavailable for selection.

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
5
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2213095374726561555663
9
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR228014509645-13664805643
Form Guide

Form

LWWLW

Last match

Beat Worcester 32-24

Past meeting

Won 27-21
Full Time
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
21
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
27