Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Report | Tigers start brightly but fall to classy Saracens

Figure image

A blistering start from Tigers saw the home side hold the lead for the first 30 minutes of the match, controlling the play and scoring a pair of wonderfully well worked tries. However, it was the visitors who showed their class, fighting back from behind and firmly establishing control in the second half to claim the victory at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Natasha Jones kicks us off and Tigers win the ball back immediately, following a knock on.

A solid scrum sees the backs feed Sarah Nicholas and, on her first start for the club, the centre makes great gainline metres early before the ball is kicked through.

Saracens recover and then break well off their first phase but a big shot by Tess Feury covering across allows fullback Amanda Swartz to win a vital early turnover, roared on by the home bench, which is duly kicked to touch on halfway.

Then, just a couple of minutes into the match, Tigers grab their first try, an absolute scorcher. A move straight from the training ground puts Keia Mae Sagapolu Sanele one on one but instead of trucking it up she hits a beautiful no look pass to send Meg Jones sprinting through. The Red Rose zips  to the 22, scans her options and chooses Francesca McGhie on her shoulder, the Scotland winger accelerating through to touch down under the posts.

Saracens respond almost immediately, however, winning the ball back on Tigers 22 and kicking to touch, the subsequent line-out driven over.

Tigers are here to play today though and a big turnover win halts that Saracens momentum. Captain Natasha Jones throws a big dummy to counter the rush defence and flies into space. Kasolo covers well but Jones offloads to counterpart Meg Jones who storms through again. She makes it up to outside the 22 and then Tigers fly in with phase play.

Scots Lisa Cockburn and Elis Martin hit smashing carries right over the gainline before Tahlia Brody thunders in to occupy the Sarries defence.

The phases keep coming and coming, Tess Feury going close, before flanker Morgan Richardson takes matters into her own hands, hitting a lovely show and go to create space before darting through and reaching out to touch down for her first ever score at a Premiership level.

Saracens respond rapidly, clearly looking to make as statement with the substitution of World Rugby’s XVs 2023 Player of the Year, Marlie Packer.

The Red Roses captain adds focused intensity immediately, loudly calling for a change of mentality and for her side to ‘wake up’. And the three time champions, the most successful team in Premiership history get back into the game, Packer herself diving over following a driving maul.

Tigers look to fire straight back and lovely tip-on’s are allowing the likes of Cockburn, Brody and Keia Mae to build great metres past the gainline and continue to ask questions of the opposition defence.

However, Packer has been relentless since coming on and the World Player of the Year wins a huge turnover to halt that momentum. Saracens waste no time in breaking forward, a bevy of offloads allowing outside-centre Sydney Gregson to touch down, despite a succession of hard-working Tigers covering back, the visitors taking the lead for the first time in the match.

It looks like they’ll get another when, following extensive build up, Packer goes through, but Eva Donaldson covers brilliantly and the ball is held up well. However, the 22 drop out is charged down and the pressure is right back on; although it’s gathered by McGhie, she’s sent into touch and Saracens have a ten metre line out. It’s halted well initially but then sufficient Sarries grunt gets it started back up and prop Bryony Field touches down in the corner.

A scrappy midfield area sees out the last few minutes as a breathless first half, back and forth comes to an end.

 

Half time score: Leicester Tigers 12 – 22 Saracens

 

The second half sees the visitors really turn the screw and begin to put a marker down, scoring several tries in rapid succession.

Tigers are going all out to get themselves back into the game, refusing to lie down.

Between the second and third tries the visitors score in the second half, Tigers mount sustained offence, the forwards giving loads of go forward and the backs probing for spaces out wide. A delicate kick through from M Jones leads to a scramble for the ball, which allows Tigers to win a penalty. The ball is kicked to touch and the rolling maul advances right to the Saracens line.

But, as the home team are about to dive over, Canada captain Sophie de Goede rips the ball away and makes a crushing break, flying up to halfway, subsequent offloads and quick hands allowing the visitors to turn from conceding a near-certain try to scoring up the other end in just seconds.

From there, Saracens just continue to fire on all cylinders, the three time champions in their groove and scoring at will, a total of six tries in the second half, meaning they turned what was actually a highly competitive match into a difficult defeat.

Tigers continued to show bucketful’s of fight throughout and got their reward with a couple of minutes left, USA international Tess Feury scoring in the corner. A great reward for patient build up, Tigers left the field just minutes later with their heads held high, despite the points disparity.

As Fran McGhie stated in the post-match chat, there are a range of positives to gleam from that performance, especially in a tumultuous first half that saw Tigers hold the lead for the first half hour.

Congratulations must go to the visitors, Saracens, who were magnificent at times and will surely be in amongst the title contention come the end of the season, just as they have been throughout the top division's short history.

Tigers will enjoy a well-earned rest now, with three weeks between now and their January 6 double-header home fixture against Harlequins. When they return, the hope is they will be rejuvenated and ready to come out fighting for that elusive first win.

 

Full time score: Leicester Tigers 17 – 60 Saracens

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 0-0 SAR

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 17-60 SAR

Attendance

508

Referee

Not available

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
17

Full Time

Saracens Women
Saracens Women
60
Leicester Tigers
T
C
T
T
KOHTFT
Saracens Women
T
T
T
C
T
T
T
C
T
C
T
T
C
T
C

Commentary

FULL TIME AT MATTIOLI WOODS WELFORD ROAD

It's all over at home as Saracens produce a dominant second half performance to clinch the win.

Congratulations to the visitors.

Final score: Leicester Tigers 17 - 60 Saracens

CONVERSION | SARACENS

de Goede adds the extras from in front of the posts.

TRY | SARACENS

Paige Farries ends the match with a well worked try seeing her score beneath the posts.

TRY | TESS FEURY

Tigers are still fighting here!

They build up slowly, breaking here and there through the likes of Keia Mae before the ball is whipped wide by Lucy Nye to USA international Feury to go over in the corner.

CONVERSION | SARACENS

De Goede adds the extras.

TRY | SARACENS

De Goede tocuhes down after an all action game, powering over beneath the posts.

TRY | SARACENS

The visitors turn thne screw and extend their lead through Lottie Clapp, the ball fired wide.

CONVERSION | SARACENS

De Goede adds the extras.

TRY | SARACENS

Crushing blow for Tigers just inches from the line.

They've built well for so many phases but Canada captain de Goede rips the ball away on the line, breaking to halfway. From there, Sarries play through the scattered defence to score through Sydney Gregson.

CONVERSION | SARACENS

Sophie de Goede extends the lead.

TRY | SARACENS

Red Rose Jess Breach shows her class with a long-range score that sees her burn through from just past half way to touch down.

TRY | SARACENS

Saracens win an early turnover and keep it tight for several minutes, before fly half Macdougall sends it wide to Lottie Clapp who touches down in the corner.

THE SECOND HALF GETS UNDERWAY

Saracens kick us off and the second half begins!

HALF TIME

A breathless, back and forth first 40 minutes come to a close, with the visitors ten points ahead going into the second half. 

TRY | SARACENS

The visitors extend their lead as prop Bryony Field drives over following a rolling maul.

CONVERSION | SARACENS

Sophie de Goede slots the extras and Saracens take the lead for the first time today.

TRY | SARACENS

Tigers had been building momentum into Saracens half but World Player of the Year Packer wins a huge turnover to halt the home side in their tracks.

From there, quick ball and offloads see centre Sydney Gregson touch down beneath the posts.

TRTY | SARACENS

Marlie Packer has entered from the bench and made an instant imact, driving over from a driving maul.

TRY | MORGAN RICHARDSON

The flanker gets her first Premiership try!

Tigers have been applying pressure for the last several minutes, all following a break from Meg Jones. Finally the pressure tells as the flanker shows and go's through a gap to dive over.

TRY | SARACENS

Flanker Sharifa Kasolo touches down after a well-worked line-out move in the corner.

CONVERSION | Meg Jones

Jones adds the extras from in front of the posts.

TRY | Francesca McGhie

The perfect start!

A great turnover by Amanda Swartz leads to a Tigers penalty and kick to touch. From there, a perfectly executed move sends Meg Jones flying through and an offload to Fran McGhie later, the Scot dives over.

KICK-OFF HERE AT MATTIOLI WOODS WELFORD ROAD!

Natasha Jones gets us underway with a lofted kick and our Round 5 Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby match has begun!

-5

FIVE MINUTES TO GO!

There's just five minutes to go till our Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby match gets underway against Saracens!

As the club's closest match to Christmas, we hope all the Tigers Family have a wonderful festive season!


Team News | Tigers to return home against Saracens

Figure image

Vicky Macqueen has named the matchday squad for Round Five of Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby, at home to Saracens.

Natasha Jones is set to captain the side, with Tanya Bird and Zoë Evans set to make their Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby debuts.

The front-row sees one change, as Lisa Cockburn comes off the bench to start at tighthead.

The second-row sees two players shift upward from the back-row, flankers Eva Donaldson and Becky Noon shifting to lock having last week started at blindside and openside flanker respectively.

The back-row sees a first appearance outside of prop for Keia Mae Sagapolu Sanele, who starts at blindside, while Morgan Richardson returns to the starting XV at openside flanker.

The half-backs see one change, with Amy Relf returning to scrum-half, while, in the centres, Meg Jones shifts to inside centre as Sarah Nicholas makes her first start for the club, beginning the match at outside centre.

On the bench, Jade Jones and Georgie Grimes both return to the squad, while Tanya Bird and Zoë Evans will make their maiden appearances in the Premiership when they enter the field, with Evans also set to make her 20th appearance for Leicester Tigers.

STARTING XV

15. Amanda Swartz [6]
14. Tess Feury [4]
13. Sarah Nicholas [2]
12. Meg Jones [4]
11. Francesca McGhie [4]
10. Natasha Jones (C) [24]
9. Amy Relf [23]
1. Leah Bartlett [4]
2. Elis Martin [4]
3. Lisa Cockburn [3]
4. Eva Donaldson [4]
5. Becky Noon [23]
6. Keia Mae Sagapolu Sanele [4]
7. Morgan Richardson [24]
8. Tahlia Brody [3]

REPLACEMENTS

16. Alana Bainbridge [8]
17. Jade Jones [15]
18. Georgie Grimes [4]
19. Charlotte Fray [10]
20. Tanya Bird [16]
21. Lucy Nye [14]
22. Caz Collie [7]
23. Zoë Evans [19]


Tickets are also now on sale for our Round 5 Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby match, at home to Saracens.

This match will take place at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, on Saturday, December 16 (kick-off: 3pm).

Come down and lend your support!

With tickets from just £12 for Adults and £5 for Juniors, it's great value to be part of our first ever season at the elite level of women's rugby.

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
2
Saracens Women
Saracens WomenSAR1090142314627770239045
8
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI10208183368-1852960418
Form Guide
Form
LLWLW
Last Match
Beat Loughborough Lightning 22-17
Past Meeting
Lost 17-60
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WWLWW
Last Match
Beat Harlequins Women 29-24
Past Meeting
Won 60-17

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers17
Leicester Tigers
Saracens Women60
Saracens Women
Full Time