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Report | Tigers win East Midlands Derby

Figure image

Leicester Tigers have defeated Northampton Saints 26-17 in the East Midlands Derby at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

A starring performance by backrow Tommy Reffell and an expert display off the tee by flyhalf Handré Pollard helped Tigers to their second league victory of the season and their first at home under head coach Dan McKellar.

Tigers were first to get on the board early in the first-half, Freddie Steward forcing an error which led to a penalty for offside. Pollard did the rest, making it 3-0.

Leicester had their foot on the gas and looked to have crossed for the first try of the game through Charlie Clare. The try was rubbed out however after centre Sol Kata was judged to have interfered as the maul broke off.

Scoring was limiting but Pollard added two more from the tee in the opening half-an-hour, Saints also kicking a penalty from the halfway line.

Both sides had opportunities to add more points to their respective tallies, Pollard hitting the upright the closest either came to scoring as the half ended 9-3.

Tigers came out of the blocks in the second period with the same intensity as the first, forcing errors in defence.

The try would have to wait, though Pollard would add another three points from the boot to make it 12-3.

Finally, Tigers crossed the line. Forcing penalty after penalty, Saints saw two go to the sin-bin. The numbers became overwhelming and replacement prop Francois Van Wyk muscled his way over the line.

Pollard added the extras to make it 19-3.

Saints hit back bravely, but Tigers stuck to task and off a quick tap, captain Hanro Liebenberg snuck under the defence and scored to make it 26-10.

The visitors scored at the bell to put a sheen on the result, but Tigers had already finished the job. The final score 26-17.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 9-3 NOR

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 26-17 NOR

Attendance

23,076

Referee

Karl Dickson

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
26

Full Time

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
17
Leicester Tigers
P
P
P
P
P
T
C
T
C
KOHTFT
Northampton Saints
P
T
C
T
C

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints
Possession
45%
55%
Territory
57%
43%
Penalties Conceded
10
20
Yellow Cards
0
2
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
172/205 84%
112/123 91%
Scrums Won
9/10 90%
4/6 67%
Lineouts Won
11/15 73%
8/10 80%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Freddie Steward
14Josh Bassett
13Guy Porter
12Solomone Kata
11Ollie Hassell-Collins
10Handre Pollard2C4P
9Ben Youngs
1James Cronin
2Charlie Clare
3Joe Heyes
4Cameron Henderson
5Ollie Chessum
6Hanro Liebenberg1T
7Tommy Reffell
8Jasper Wiese
16Archie Vanes
17Francois van Wyk1T
18Dan Cole
19Sam Carter
20Matt Rogerson
21Tom Whiteley
22Jamie Shillcock
23Matt Scott

Commentary

FULL TIME | TIGERS WIN FIERCE DERBY

Tigers take the spoils from an eclectic Derby Day. 

We've seen booming kicks, thunderous shots, swift running, disallowed trys, records broken and, at the end of it all, Leicester Tigers victorious in the East-Midlands Derby.

Final score: Tigers 26 -17 Saints

CONVERSION | Northampton Saints

Fin Smith adds the extras and the whistle blows for full time.

TRY | Northampton Saints

Sam Matavesi gets a late consolation try; both sides going blood and thunder till the end with running rugby and it's Saints that fashion a break in midfield, with substitute hooker Matavesi touching down.

78

TRY DISALLOWED | Northampton Saints

Alex Coles thinks he's reduced the deficit late on with a score from close-range but it's not to be, a TMO check declaring an obstruction in the build-up.

CONVERSION | Handré Pollard

The 10 adds the extras with a confident kick from in front of the posts.

TRY | HANRO LIEBENBERG

The captain extends our lead with an absolutely massive try!

Tigers get to within five metres of the line and win a penalty but rather than go for the posts, Whiteley taps and go's quickly, Hanro diving over.

 

SUBSTITUTION | Leicester Tigers

Ben Youngs exits the field as the player with the most appearances in East-Midlands derby history, the scrum-half taking the record today with an astounding 28.

He's replaced by Tom Whiteley.

65

TODAY'S ATTENDANCE

The attendance for today's 252nd East Midlands Derby is a mighty 23'076!

64

All action here!

Saints almost get a second immediately after but knock-on is called in the build-up.

Then it's Tigers pressing hard, Ollie Hassell-Collins driving into space before Ben Youngs fires it back left, a huge Hassell-Collins miss pass out the back finding Bassett in space on halfway.

The wing has the pace to go round two before barrelling over a third, finally hauled down just 10 metres from the Saints line by three away defenders!

CONVERSION | Northampton Saints

Fin Smith adds the extras from out wide to reduce Tigers lead back to nine points.

TRY | Northampton Saints

An immediate response from Saints as George Furbank scores out left, following just a couple of phases from kick-off. 

CONVERSION | Handré Pollard

The fly-half adds the extras with a simple kick before departing the field to be replaced by Jamie Shillcock.

TRY | FRANCOIS VAN WYK

After Tigers go just short with their initial attack, a second scrum is called. 

Another big win in the tight and the side keep it there, continuing short, bludgeoning carries. Substitute prop Van Wyk cannons through on the fourth phase, touching down under the posts.

Substitution | Leicester Tigers

At the mere mention of a scrum Dan Cole enters the field, coming on to rapturous applause from the home fans, the prop replacing Joe Heyes.

YELLOW CARD | Northampton Saints

Substitute hooker Sam Matavesi has only just entered the field before leaving it again, seeing yellow for a cynical foul right on their own try line.

Tigers with a five-metre scrum!

Substitutions for both sides

In the front-row, Tigers bring on Francois van Wyk for James Cronin while Saints bring on 18 year old prospect Henry Pollock at flanker, the England Under-20 captain a player Northampton fans are excited to see more of.

PENALTY | Handré Pollard

With the referee pulling back for the penalty, Pollard makes no mistake from the 22, Tigers sensibly stretching their lead to 9 points.

PENALTY | Handré Pollard

With the referee pulling back for the penalty, Pollard makes no mistake from the 22, Tigers sensibly stretching their lead to 9 points.

46

Abrasive start to the second half

A cagey start to the second half.

Saints do a great job at stemming the Tigers attack, first at the maul, then in open play as the home side probe from side to side. Deep into the phases, Saints concede a penalty at the ruck and the referee pulls back the advantage after Tigers tried a chip and chase.

SECOND HALF GETS UNDERWAY

A big 40 minutes ahead here at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

HALF-TIME

Tigers lead by 9 - 3 in the East-Midlands Derby, as three confident penalties from Handré Pollard sees the home side in control.

It's been a physical tug-of-war thus far, with both sides enjoying chances but physical defence winning the day, the tee the only difference.

36

Vital tackle from Heyes

Saints have got an overlap on the left hand side and as Alex Mitchell bursts round to exploit it, Joe Heyes does brilliantly to dive out of the line, make the tackle and force a knock on.

32

Penalty missed | Handré Pollard

Successive scrum penalties won here allow Tigers up to halfway, where Pollard takes a shot at goal. 

It's well-struck but just shy, the ball ricocheting off the left post and into the hands of the away side who look to run it back.

Tigers reclaim the ball after a few phases and a clearance and a kick of their own is so close to being collected, cruelly knocked on jus outside Saints' 22.

28

Big shots on Tigers 22

Saints have been happy to run it up so far this game, with Tigers riposte including a lovely driving hit from Joe Heyes, followed by a Solomone Kata hit that forces a knock-on from new Northampton signing Tom Pearson. 

PENALTY | Handré Pollard

Moments later, the fly-half gets the hat-trick, bringing his total Tigers tally to 165 points.

A ridiculous kick from halfway, off-centre, in the pouring rain, the fly-half is on fire right now.

PENALTY | Handré Pollard

..and it's duly slotted over by Handré Pollard!

A lovely kick in dreary conditions, Tigers retake the lead.

22

Scrum penalty won!

Northampton Saints were the only team in the league to not lose an attacking scrum so far this season, but that record's shattered by a skilled Tigers shove.

A penalty is won nearly 40 metres out, on the angle, and the referee points at goal...

PENALTY | FIN SMITH

The league's top points scorer adds three more to his tally with a well-struck penalty from the halfway line. 

13

Tommy Turnover strikes again

Saints threaten with swift hands in their own half but Tommy Reffell is straight over the ball and wins it back for the home side.

7

TRY DISALLOWED

From the line-out, Tigers power over after a brutally fought maul but, after a lengthy review, the referee disallows for obstruction in the build-up.

4

Handré Pollard oozes class

There's scrappy play in midfield before Saints see a break; they stab through a dangerous kick but Tigers' World Cup winning fly half covers well, collects in his own try line and, on the spin, clears to halfway.

Just a minute later, after Tigers claim the penalty, he puts a perfect kick into the corner, one metre from the opposition line!

PENALTY | Handré Pollard

Saints knock on right on their own 22 following a skyward clearance by Freddie Steward and follow it up with an infringement off the ball to hand Tigers the perfect start.

Handré Pollard duly slots over from the centre of the field.!

KICK-OFF

An almighty roar from the crowd as Tigers run out, this is going to be fiery.

Fin Smith gets us underway here at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

-5

FIVE MINUTES TILL THE EAST-MIDLANDS DERBY

Five minutes till Derby Day, till Leicester Tigers once again compete against the local rivals they first met in 1895.

Kick-off is imminent here at Mattioli Woods Welford Road so settle in with us here for all the live updates. You won't want to miss this!

-30

30 MINUTES TO KICK-OFF

The 252nd East-Midlands Derby is just half an hour away!

There's nothing quite like the Derby Day atmosphere at Mattioli Woods Welford Road and this promises to be another cracker: the terrace is already absolutely packed with the Tigers faithful.

Get your Tigers stash on and head to the stadium, settle on the sofa and watch live on TNT Sports or stay with us here on Matchday Live for all the updates from what's an unmissable fixture.


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
George Furbank
14
George Hendy
13
Tommy Freeman
12
Fraser Dingwall
11
James Ramm
10
Fin Smith
9
Alex Mitchell
1
Alex Waller
2
Curtis Langdon
3
Trevor Davison
4
Alex Moon
5
Chunya Munga
6
Alex Coles
7
Tom Pearson
8
Lewis Ludlam

Replacements

16
Sam Matavesi
17
Ethan Waller
18
Elliot Millar-Mills
19
Tom Lockett
20
Henry Pollock
21
Tom James
22
Rory Hutchinson
23
Ollie Sleightholme

Team News | Youngs to make history in East Midlands Derby

Figure image

Leicester Tigers have named their team for Saturday’s East Midlands Derby against Northampton Saints at 3:05pm at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Tigers scrum-half Ben Youngs will make history in the round six clash, making his 28th appearance in an East Midlands Derby, the most of any player, for either club.

Centre Guy Porter comes back into Tigers’ team for his 50th Premiership cap, with Ollie Hassell-Collins on the left wing and Freddie Steward at fullback.

Joe Heyes and James Cronin rotate into the starting prop roles, and Jamie Shillcock comes onto the bench.

Leicester Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar said: “We’ve built well into what is obviously a special week for our club and I’m certainly excited to experience my first East Midlands derby in front of 24,000 of our people on Saturday.”

“For Ben to make a bit of history this weekend, it’s a testament to him and his commitment to the club and his leadership this week has been outstanding, with guys like Brett Deacon and Matt Smith, making sure we’re all aware of what this game means to our community but also how to prepare for it in the right way as well.

“Results so far have not been where they need to be, but our players and staff trust we’re on the right path and our job as a collective is to perform on Saturday to the level, we know we can.”

STARTING XV

15 Freddie Steward [73]

14 Josh Bassett [7]

13 Guy Porter [67]

12 Solomone Kata [2]

11 Ollie Hassell-Collins [7]

10 Handré Pollard [16]

9 Ben Youngs [303]

1 James Cronin [19]

2 Charlie Clare [85]

3 Joe Heyes [128]

4 Cameron Henderson [44]

5 Ollie Chessum [44]

6 Hanro Liebenberg (c) [92]

7 Tommy Reffell [102]

8 Jasper Wiese [62]

 

REPLACEMENTS

16 Archie Vanes [9]

17 Francois van Wyk [38]

18 Dan Cole [311]

19 Sam Carter [7]

20 Matt Rogerson [7]

21 Tom Whiteley [12]

22 Jamie Shillcock [8]

23 Matt Scott [67]

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR129033192704943346244
6
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI127052932543936323233
Form Guide
Form
WLLWW
Last Match
Beat Ealing Trailfinders 29-21
Past Meeting
Won 26-17
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WWWWW
Last Match
Beat Newcastle Falcons 38-13
Past Meeting
Lost 17-26

Matchday Live

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Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints17
Northampton Saints
Full Time