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Burns' late penalty secures derby day win

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Freddie Burns scored a penalty with the last kick of the game as Leicester Tigers held off a Northampton Saints fightback to secure a 30-27 victory in the first East Midlands derby of the season.

Burns’s penalty at the end of a nail-biting clash gave Tigers a first win of 2016 in front of a record Aviva Premiership crowd at Welford Road.
Tigers raced into a 21-0 first-half lead through tries for Matt Smith, Lachlan McCaffrey and Owen Williams.
Saints fought back through Teimana Harrison’s converted try to reduce the deficit to 21-10 at the break. The visitors scored two more tries after the break through George North and Tigers old-boy Jamie Gibson before Stephen Myler’s penalty levelled the scores four minutes from time.
But in a thrilling match, there was still time for Burns to score the winning penalty in added time and ensure Saints' wait for a first win at Welford Road since 2007 continues.
Tigers welcomed back Williams at fly-half with Peter Betham and Smith returning to the backline. Tom Youngs captained the team for the first time at Welford Road and joined Dan Cole in the front row. With club captain Ed Slater ruled out by a knee ligament injury, Mike Fitzgerald joined Brendon O'Connor and Lachlan McCaffrey in the back row. Sebastian de Chaves came in at lock.
There was a return to the matchday squad for Manu Tuilagi, who was a late replacement on the bench for Vereniki Goneva.
Saints made a late change too, hooker Matti Williams replacing Dylan Hartley on the bench. There was a first return to Welford Road for Jamie Gibson after his summer move to Franklin’s Gardens.
With the opening of the new Caterpillar Stand taking capacity up to 25,489, it was the highest-ever Premiership Rugby crowd at Welford Road.

And the capacity crowd had something to cheer inside three minutes. Telusa Veainu had already made a couple of quick breaks down the left to suck in defenders when play was switched to the opposite flank where Smith fixed last-man Ben Foden, fed the dummy and scooted over to score.
Williams landed the conversion to give Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Tigers were forced into an early change with Tom Croft replacing O’Connor.
Tigers were ruled to have pulled down a Saints maul as they drove it back towards the edge of their 22, giving JJ Hanrahan a simple penalty but the fly-half missed the posts with his kick.
Saints then had the platform of a lineout 10m from which to attack, but in the face of excellent linespeed and defence, a rushed pass beat three attackers into touch.
Instead, a clever kick by Tait off his left foot put the pressure on Saints, sending them deep into their own 22. Tigers refused to let them exit, and when they received possession back created an opening on the left but Tait’s switch pass inside to Smith saw the try-scorer shepherded into heavy traffic.
It was all Tigers at this stage, and they had the edge at a rolling maul was dragged down 30m out. Williams pumped his kick to the corner to turn up the pressure. Croft set up the drive and with the Saints pack on the retreat it was McCaffrey who finished at the right-hand corner. Williams landed the touchline conversion to put Tigers 14-0 up after 21 minutes.
It got even better moments later. A stunning break by Ben Youngs carved open the Saints defence and with runners on either side, he passed to Williams to run in untouched. Williams added the extras to put Tigers 21-0 ahead.
Saints rejigged their back row, Tom Wood replacing the injured No8 Sam Dickinson. Wood packed down at seven with Teimana Harrison moving to No8 at the game’s first scrum on 27 minutes.
McCaffrey was pinged by referee Wayne Barnes as he tried to steal possession at a ruck and this time Hanrahan landed the penalty to put Saints on the board.
They got a foothold in the game with a try as half-time approached. It came from a lineout, Victor Matfield, the former South Africa lock, set up the drive, and Harrison span out of the maul to score. Hanrahan added the extras to leave Leicester 21-10 ahead at the break.
Saints weathered a huge period of Leicester pressure at the start of the second period, defending stoutly to eventually force a mistake. The ball went to ground and George North pounced, racing 70m to score under the posts. Hanrahan’s extras left Leicester 21-17 ahead after 45 minutes.
Tigers won a penalty at the first scrum of the second period to settle themselves down and take play up to halfway.
But Saints won possession on halfway, despite more than a hint of a high tackle by Courtney Lawes on Peter Betham, and Paul Hill had the legs to hold off Graham Kitchener’s attempted tackle to score on the right. However, Wayne Barnes consulted his television match official over the Lawes tackle before ruling out the score.
Tuilagi came on for Matt Smith for the final 28 minutes as the heavens opened over Welford Road.
Croft was taken out in the air at a lineout and Burns went for the posts to open up a seven-point lead and ease the nerves around Welford Road.
Croft was taken down again at the next lineout and again Burns pointed to the posts. And the result was the same as he landed the three points to move Tigers 27-17 ahead with 22 minutes left.
Tigers went down to 14 men moments later as referee Barnes showed Dan Cole a yellow card for failing to roll at the back of a ruck.
Now it was Tigers’ turn to defend, first at the lineout and then as Saints tried to drive down the side. But a huge hit from Croft and then good work on the floor by Ayerza won the holding-on penalty against Matfield.
Saints unloaded their bench with 15 minutes remaining, Stephen Myler, Christian Day and Ethan Waller on for Hanrahan, Harrison and Alex Waller.
14-man Tigers remained under pressure at a lineout on their 22. Gibson claimed possession and then spun out of the maul for a free run to the line. Myler landed the conversion with his first kick to leave Leicester 27-24 ahead.
Cole returned to the fray to a huge noise from around Welford Road before Ayerza was replaced by Logovi’i Mulipola.
A big hit by Tuilagi on Matfield was rewarded with a penalty as the veteran lock was pinged for holding on.
A spent Veainu was replaced by Sam Harrison, forcing a rejig of the Tigers backline. Harrison moved to the wing, Tait to full-back and Betham to centre.
Betham’s first involvement in his new position was to concede a lineout 10m out from which Saints were awarded a penalty for pulling down the maul. Myler made no mistake with his kick to level the scores going into the final four minutes.
There was still time for the Tigers pack to set up the drop goal opportunity for Burns but his 40m kick sliced wide.
And as the clock ticked into added time, the pack looked to set up the position for another drop goal. However, Gibson was pinged for playing Ben Youngs and Burns landed the penalty from in front of the posts with the last kick to grab the win.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 21-10 NOR

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 30-27 NOR




Wayne Barnes

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers

Full Time

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints
Penalties Conceded
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Tackles Won
80/93 86%
112/135 83%
Scrums Won
1/1 100%
1/1 100%
Lineouts Won
24/24 0%
17/17 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers
15Telusa Veainu
14Peter Betham
13Mathew Tait
12Matt Smith1T
11Adam Thompstone
10Owen Williams1T3C
9Ben Youngs
1Marcos Ayerza
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Sebastian de Chaves
5Graham Kitchener
6Michael Fitzgerald
7Brendon O'Connor
8Lachlan McCaffrey1T
16Harry Thacker
17Logovi'i Mulipola
18Fraser Balmain
19Tom Croft
20Laurence Pearce
21Sam Harrison
22Freddie Burns3P
23Manu Tuilagi

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

Ben Foden
Jamie Elliott
George North
Luther Burrell
Tom Collins
JJ Hanrahan
Lee Dickson
Alex Waller
Mike Haywood
Paul Hill
Courtney Lawes
Victor Matfield
Teimana Harrison
Sam Dickinson


Ethan Waller
Gareth Denman
Christian Day
Tom Wood
Stephen Myler
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR22120104553926351355760
Form Guide
Last Match
Beat Exeter Chiefs 40-22
Past Meeting
Lost 17-40
Last Match
Past Meeting
Last Match
Beat Bath Rugby 25-21
Past Meeting
Won 40-17

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers30
Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints27
Northampton Saints
Full Time