Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
SaintsConference & EventsFoundationStore
Rugby

SAINTS 31 TIGERS 36 Derby day agony comes late for Saints

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Leicester's Owen Williams proved it's not how you start, but how you finish as his pair of late penalties stole the points from another outstanding East Midlands derby.

The two sides traded six tries after a blistering opening from the Saints at the sun-kissed Gardens, but while Stephen Myler had his side in front with six to play, 14-man Tigers roared back ahead in the final three minutes.

It was the perfect start for the Saints. The returning Tom Wood and George North both shunted their way over the gainline and when Telusa Veainu misjudged Stephen Myler’s high bomb in the breeze, Nafi Tuitavake scooped up greatfully and strolled over beside the posts.

Myler converted but the seven-point lead was to be a short-lived one. Tigers pressed on the home 22 and while the phases racked up for little gain, the pressure eventually opened a gap for Adam Thompstone to streak through, Freddie Burns converting from straight in front.

It was end to end stuff and when Ace Tuala freed Louis Picamoles on the right, the Frenchman rounded his man, powered up the touchline and nonchalantly flicked back inside to the Samoan for a sublime score.

Again the visitors responded and while Thompstone was this time held up over the line, Burns clipped over six points from the tee when the Tigers twice gained the upper hand in the set-piece.

The second of those penalties brought Leicester back within a point, but also brought about the Saints’ third try of the afternoon. With the restart pinched, North made ground down his left wing and quick ball took them within touching distance, Picamoles this time going it alone.

Burns chipped into the advantage with a drop goal but it was the hosts making all the running with ball in hand. Only a forward flick from Nic Groom denied them a bonus penalty try when Ben Foden was pulled back off the ball but the good work still yielded three more points for Myler, advantage being played for a high tackle on North.

The TMO then intervened again to rule out Christian Day's effort on the stroke of the interval, the big lock stepping a foot in touch after a strong hit from JP Pietersen.

The first score after half-time looked crucial and despite a brilliant try saving tackle from Ben Foden on Laclan McCaffrey, it was to be Leicester's. A kick exchange ended when Pietersen countered at pace and freed up Ben Youngs, Owen Williams' conversion sneaking Tigers ahead for the first time only for Myler to edge the Saints back to the front almost immediately after the restart, the fly half chipping another over just minutes later as Saints knocked on the door for the elusive bonus try.

A breathless pace had returned to the game, Veainu and then Tuala both looking like scoring in a frantic 60 second spell, but both defences scrambling to come up trumps.

Mike Williams saw yellow just moments after coming onto the field for a shoulder charge into a ruck but with the wind whipping a Myler penalty wide right, it was the 14 men of Leicester who struck next to steal the lead. Veainu made the initial break and while Pietersen was superbly denied by Tuala and Courtney Lawes, Laclan McCaffrey eventually crossed in the corner.

Williams' brilliant conversion put Tigers two points up and though it was another short-lived advantage thanks to a fine Myler penalty from 40 metres, the Welshman restored the gap with a decent knock of his own.

The fly half then smashed one over from inside his own half, leaving the Saints with just seconds to find a winning score. While they would win the ball back via a penalty and play on with the clock deep into the red, one final foray into the visitors' 22 was fruitless and the top four again slipped agonisingly away.

TIMELINE
2mins SAINTS Try Tuitavake Con Myler 7-0
6mins TIGERS Try Thompstone Con Burns 7-7
10mins SAINTS Try Tuala Con Myler 14-0
17mins TIGERS Pen Burns 14-10
22mins TIGERS Pen Burns 14-13
24mins SAINTS Try Picamoles 19-13
28mins TIGERS DG Burns 19-16
36mins SAINTS Pen Myler 22-16
HALF-TIME SAINTS 22-16 TIGERS
46mins TIGERS Try B Youngs C Williams 22-23
49mins SAINTS Pen Myler 25-23
56mins SAINTS Pen Myler 28-23
65mins TIGERS Miss pen Williams
69mins SAINTS Miss pen Myler
70mins TIGERS Try McCaffrey Con Williams 28-30
74mins SAINTS Pen Myler 31-30
78mins TIGERS Pen Williams 31-33
80mins TIGERS Pen Williams 31-36
FULL-TIME SAINTS 31-36 TIGERS 

SAINTS
Tuala; Foden, Tuitavake, Mallinder, North; Myler, Groom; A Waller, Hartley, Brookes, Lawes, Day, Wood (capt), Clark, Picamoles

Haywood, E Waller, Hill, Gibson, Harrison, Dickson, Burrell, K Pisi

TIGERS
Veainu; Thompstone, Tait, Mermoz, Pietersen; Burns, B Youngs; Gänge, T Youngs (capt), Cole, Barrow, Kitchener, Fitzgerald, O’Connor, Hamilton

McGuigan, Rizzo, Cilliers, Williams, McCaffrey, White, Williams, Roberts

REFEREE
Greg Garner

 

Match

Northampton Saints vs Leicester Tigers

Match Details

FT ScoreFull Time Score

Saints 31-36 Leicester

Attendance

15,249

Referee

Greg Garner

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
31

Summary

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
36

Starting LineupNorthampton Saints

14

Ben Foden

13

Nafi Tuitavake

11

George North

10

Stephen Myler

9

Nic Groom

2

Dylan Hartley

3

Kieran Brookes

5

Christian Day

7

Calum Clark

8

Louis Picamoles

SubsNorthampton Saints

17

Ethan Waller

19

Jamie Gibson

21

Lee Dickson

22

Luther Burrell

23

Ken Pisi

Opposition LineupLeicester Tigers

15
Telusa Veainu
14
Adam Thompstone
13
Mathew Tait
12
Maxime Mermoz
11
JP Pietersen
10
Freddie Burns
9
Ben Youngs
1
Ellis Genge
2
Tom Youngs
3
Dan Cole
4
Dominic Barrow
5
Graham Kitchener
6
Michael Fitzgerald
7
Brendon O'Connor
8
Luke Hamilton

SubsLeicester Tigers

16
George McGuigan
17
Michele Rizzo
18
Pat Cilliers
19
Mike Williams
20
Lachlan McCaffrey
21
Ben White
22
Owen Williams
23
Jack Roberts
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI22140856744512258486466
7
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR2210012476490-1452505752
Form Guide

Form

LLLLL

Last match

Lost to Sale 23-32

Past meeting

Lost 24-28
Full Time
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
31
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
36