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Leicester Tigers A 39-41 Northampton Wanderers: Six try Wandies take Derby Day spoils

Northampton Wanderers claimed their second victory of the Premiership Rugby Shield season as they scored six to down Leicester Tigers A at Welford Road in the last clash before Christmas.

Wanderers pulled away early on with tries from James Mitchell, Tui Uru and Harry Mallinder seeing them 19-0 up in the first quarter, but the home side hit back with two scores of their own before Wanderers sent Karl Garside over for the try bonus point. 

Tigers sent a maul over the whitewash for their third before the break and scored first as the game restarted but tries from Michael Van Vuuren and Ryan Olowofela coupled with a James Grayson penalty secured the win for Wanderers.

Wanderers got on the scoresheet early doors, after a series of penalties got them close; a bit of individual brilliance from Andy Symons getting Wanderers on the front foot before the offload came for Mitchell to finish the job. 

And Wanderers wasted no time adding a second, as Ollie Sleightholme shot through a gap in Tigers’ line to get within inches before Uru barged over from close range. 

Grayson’s conversion took things to 12-0 in Wanderers favour and it was soon 19-0 as Mallinder sliced through Tigers' line and made the distance to score the side’s third. 

Tigers did get on the scoresheet just after, as the driving maul got them over the whitewash and the home side brought the game within a score moments later as Sam Costelow charged down Mitchell’s clearing kick, before chasing the loose ball in to score.

A yellow card for Wanderers’ Ollie Newman gave Tigers their next shot at points and another driving maul saw Jimmy Stevens over with the last play of the first half. 

And the home side bookended the break sending another driving maul close before Joe Batley broke away to score their bonus point try just after the interval. 

Sam Costelow’s conversion levelled things at Welford Road but Wanderers had soon pulled free again after sending Van Vuuren over on the back of a rolling maul. 

And though a Tigers penalty saw the deficit close to just two points, Wanderers scored the try of the evening to pull clear once more; Grayson broke through on the haflway line, charging in with Josh Gillespie on his shoulder, the young wing popped the ball up off the floor for Olowofela, who finished the score out wide. 

Grayson’s conversion took things to 38-29 in Wandies’ favour but Costelow sent a penalty of his own through to close the gap once more. 

A Grayson penalty took Wanderers over 40 points but again the home side hit back with a score of their own, Keston Lines dotting down under the posts with five minutes left on the clock. 

And the hosts had the chance to claim the win in the game’s dying minutes, with Tigers earning a penalty with the last play of the game. But Costelow sent the long-range kick wide of the posts to see Wanderers claim their second win of the season.