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Report | Tigers snatch late win over Sarries

Leicester Tigers came from behind to win with a last-minute penalty try against Saracens at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday.

Tigers trailed 12-3 entering the closing 10 minutes and the visitors had largely been in control, converting pressure into points with Owen Farrell’s kicking. But Steve Borthwick’s team refused to lie down and stayed in the fight long enough to set up a remarkable finish.

George Ford’s penalty set up the final big push and it came with the home crowd’s encouragement ringing around the stadium as Tigers were given a late, late penalty and played to the left-hand corner.

The forwards pushed onwards and, as they threatened the line, the maul came down and referee Christophe Ridley awarded a penalty try which sealed a 13-12 verdict for the hosts.

It gave Tigers a third win in a row from the start of the season on an afternoon dominated by weather conditions with both teams kicking for territory and minimising risk around potential errors in possession.

Borthwick gave a Premiership debut to wing Hosea Saumaki and also called Freddie Burns, Francois van Wyk, Guy Porter and Ollie Chessum into the starting line-up while Sarries welcomed back Farrell, Jamie George and England international Max Malins into a team which had won 10 of the last 12 Premiership meetings between the teams.

Farrell gave them an early lead with two penalties inside 12 minutes on their first trip to Mattioli Woods Welford Road since October 2019 and then, after missing another kick at goal, he added three more points around the half-hour with the rain providing testing conditions for both defences.

Tigers had not really had any territory and had to wait until the final action of the half to get on the scoreboard as Ford landed a penalty following some indiscipline from the visitors when they should have had ball of their own after holding up a drive from the home pack.

There was only a brief let-up in the rain before Farrell made it 12-3 in the opening stages of the second half and Sarries kept Tigers largely at arm’s length.

Freddie Steward, on as a replacement for Saumaki on the left wing, took on a penalty attempt from inside his own half half but pushed it wide before Tigers were denied a try for Jack van Poortvliet as they finally started to build some attacking momentum.

Replacement van Poortvliet had capitalised on a chip in behind the defence from Ford and, when full-back Malins collided with the post in attempting to field it, the scrum-half dived on loose ball to touch down. But referee Ridley checked replays to determine Tigers had been offside at the point of Ford’s kick and it remained 3-12.

Juan Pablo Socino joined the backline for his debut – against ahis former club –

and carried crisply as Tigers began to make good use of hard-earned field position, having a couple of lineout drives and phases of possession before Ford kicked his second penalty with five minutes remaining to bring them back within reach of some return from their day.

His colleagues responded by winning a defensive penalty and then taking play back into the Sarries 22. But, with the clock on zero, the visitors thought they had done enough when Guy Porter was tackled into touch in front of the Terrace.

But the referee wanted another look and awarded a penalty against the second defender and play remained in the corner.

There was huge volume from the stands as Tigers set up the lineout drive and when the whistle blew again, the penalty try award brought seven points and scenes of elation throughout the stadium as Tigers completed a third successive win.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 3-9 SAR

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 13-12 SAR

Attendance

18,144

Referee

Christophe Ridley

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
13

Full Time

Saracens
Saracens
12
Leicester Tigers
P
P
T
KOHTFT
Saracens
P
P
P
P

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Saracens
Possession
58%
42%
Territory
55%
45%
Penalties Conceded
16
20
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
75/84 89%
112/124 90%
Scrums Won
4/5 80%
7/8 88%
Lineouts Won
25/26 96%
9/14 64%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Saracens
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Freddie Burns
14Jacobus van Wyk
13Guy Porter
12Dan Kelly
11Hosea Saumaki
10George Ford2P
9Ben Youngs
1Francois van Wyk
2Nic Dolly
3Dan Cole
4Calum Green
5Ollie Chessum
6George Martin
7Tommy Reffell
8Hanro Liebenberg
16Tom Cowan-Dickie
17Ellis Genge
18Nephi Leatigaga
19Harry Wells
20Cameron Henderson
21Jack van Poortvliet
22Juan Pablo Socino
23Freddie Steward

Commentary

80

THANK YOU

Attendance is 18,144 and every single one of them was in fine voice.

What a finish.

80

UNREAL FINISH

Tigers go for the lineout drive, keep their patience and when they approach the line, Sarries fold underneath.

Referee says penalty try with the clock already in the red. The result is a 13-12 victory.

Crowd loving it too.

PENALTY TRY

If you can hear a rumbling out there, it's a penalty try and a win!

80

LATE CALL

Referee checking tackle on Guy Porter into touch with time up. 

Second player illegal.

Penalty Tigers in the left-hand corner... 6-12 down.

76

UNPOPULAR CALL

The crowd really involved in this as Tigers get some phases of ball. But whistle goes in favour of the visitors as they challenge on the floor. Tigers marched back too.

No clear release as Sarries bring down Genge just inside their half. Ford says 'posts' and kicks to bring Tigers within 7 points with 75 minutes played.

72

CLOSED OUT

Referee calls penalty advantage over just before Saracens are taken into touch on their left touchline. The offence had been back near halfway. But it's Tigers lineout ball.

70

DENIED

Ford chips ahead and when Max Malins collides with the posts, Jack Van Poortvliet picks up and 'scores'. But no.

Referee asks TMO "any reason I cannot award the kick" and spots JVP in front of the kick on the replays "always advancing". Restart is a Sarries penalty. 

 

68

CLOSING STAGES

Heading towards the last dozen minutes of the game and it's 12-3 to Saracens on a rain-soaked afternoon at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Juan Pablo Socino is on for his Tigers debut, against his former club, with Freddie Burns making way.

57

NO MORE PENALTIES

Warning to Sarries back on their own line after two infringements as TIgers drive forward.

52

LONG RANGER

Penalty to Tigers inside their own half after Farrell contests ball on the floor. Freddie Steward takes on the kick but it drifts wide.

THREE AND OVER

Farrell penalty stretches the Saracens lead to nine points.

INCOMING

Steward, Van Poortvliet & Genge are on their way. 

Saumaki, Youngs & F van Wyk on their way off.

41

TEAMS ARE BACK OUT

George Ford kicks to start the second half, Tigers trailing 3-9 to Saracens.  

HAVING NONE OF IT

Tigers wrapped up from a lineout drive, ball goes Sarries' way.

But penalty comes in Tigers' favour for a bit of indiscipline and Ford thumps it over in the last action of the half.

THE BREAK

Three penalties from Owen Farrell v one from George Ford, Saracens lead 9-3 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

It's cagey, lots of kicking for territory, not much in phase play. And it's raining. Still. 

FROM THE TEE

The call goes against Dan Kelly on the floor as Kobus van Wyk rucks over and Sarroes have another penalty. Farrell, from wide on the left, adds the three-pointer.

30

QUICK THINKING

Farrell sees an opportunity and chips delicately towards the Tigers tryline, But Ben Youngs reacts brilliantly to scoop it into the crowd from behind his own chalk.

27

Penalty given away for playing the scrum-half at a ruck and Farrell quickly points towards goal. He's out wide on the right, just short of the 10m line, but this time it slips past the posts. Still leading 6-0 though. 

19

CHANGE MADE

Generous applause from the crowd as visitors' prop Ralph Adam-Hale goes off with an arm injury. Eroni Mawi on.

It becomes a huge roar from the crowd as Tigers put pressure on in the opposition 22. But it ends with a defensive penalty which is not so popular with the crowd.

18

PLAYING 16 MEN

Tommy Reffell takes ball from a lineout but referee Christophe Ridley runs straight into him.

It's a scrum which ends in a Tigers penalty.

16

KNOCKED ON

After taking a 6-0 lead with two penalties, Saracens look for more when Tigers are whistled in the 22. This time, playing to the front of the lineout, they spill ball just 5 metres out.

DOUBLED UP

Straight from the restart, Sarries have a scrum penalty and Farrell points to the posts from the centre of the pitch. 

OPENING POINTS

Farrell goes through his regular routine and kicks from the 10m line for the lead. 

4

STAND UP

Strong lineout defence from Tigers pushes Sarries towards the touchline and then Billy V looses grip of the ball in the next phase can Tigers an clear.

2

BIG HITTERS

Chessum and Cole come to meet Billy Vunipola with a big tackle. But Sarries enjoying early possession and now have a penalty on the right.

OFF WE GO

Owen Farrell gets the game started, Saracens kicking towards the Beehive Money Stand end.

0

HOOD UP

Did we mention it's raining. Hard.

Crowd in great heart though. Big welcome for the Tigers led by Hanro Liebenberg 

0

READY FOR ACTION

Just a few minutes to go until kick-off and the Tigers have completed the warm-up but the rain is unrelenting.

Big encouragement from the crowd as they go back to the tunnel.

The feet are stamping on the floors in the Breedon Stand, ready to welcome their team back out on to the field. 

Stay tuned in as we bring you all the latest right here on Matchday Live.

0

BUSY WEEKEND

It’s a big day for the Leicester Tigers Foundation tomorrow when club mascot Welford takes on the London Marathon hoping to raise funds towards the Foundation’s work with the disabled.

Please help if you can by making a donation either via the JustGiving page or by Text.

And if you happen to be in London, give Welford some support for the roadside – you can even send us a photo on social media!

Welford-Marathon-insta.jpg

0

WEATHER REPORT

It is lashing down with rain.

0

OUR VISITORS

Saracens: 15 Max Malins, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Rotimi Segun, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Aled Davies; 1 Ralph Adams-Hale, 2 Jamie George, 3 Marco Riccioni, 4 Nick Isiekwe, 5 Tim Swinson, 6 Jackson Wray, 7 Ben Earl, 8 Billy Vunipola

Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Alec Clarey, 19 Callum Hunter-Hill, 20 Andy Christie, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Alex Goode, 23 Dom Morris

0

THE TIGERS LINE-UP

15 Freddie Burns, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Guy Porter, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Francois van Wyk, 2 Nic Dolly, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Calum Green, 5 Ollie Chessum, 6 George Martin, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Hanro Liebenberg (c)

Replacements: 16 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Nephi Leatigaga, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Cameron Henderson, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Juan Pablo Socino, 23 Freddie Steward

0

MATCH PREVIEW | ROUND 3

Saracens are in town for the first time since October 2019 and are able to recall Lions duo owen Farrell and Jamie George for their first club appearance of the season.

Both teams got the season off to a winning start two weeks ago, when Tigers scored a bonus-point victory over Exeter Chiefs a day after Sarries kicked off with a 26-9 triumph at Bristol Bears.

After a 33-26 win at Gloucester last Friday – when Saracens had a bye weekend – head coach Steve Borthwick brings Hosea Saumaki into the Tigers team for his Premiership debut and there are also places for Freddie Burns, Francois van Wyk, Guy Porter and Ollie Chessum in the starting line-up.

Saracens have won 10 of the last 12 Premiership meetings while Tigers chase three successive wins in the competition for the first time since February-April 2018.

Tigers have scored 30-plus points in each of their last three matches, including the Round 22 win at Wasps last season, and have not managed a longer run in the competition since 2013.

Read all the important facts and stats in our full match preview HERE.

0

WELCOME TO MATCHDAY LIVE

We’re LIVE from Leicester Tigers versus Saracens in Round 3 of the Gallagher Premiership season this afternoon. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

Follow all the action with our Matchday Live coverage right here on the Tigers App and LeicesterTigers.com.


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Max Malins
14
Alex Lewington
13
Alex Lozowski
12
Nick Tompkins
11
Rotimi Segun
10
Owen Farrell
9
Aled Davies
1
Ralph Adams-Hale
2
Jamie George
3
Marco Riccioni
4
Nick Isiekwe
5
Tim Swinson
6
Jackson Wray
7
Ben Earl
8
Billy Vunipola

Subs

16
Tom Woolstencroft
17
Eroni Mawi
18
Alec Clarey
19
Callum Hunter-Hill
20
Andy Christie
21
Joe Simpson
22
Alex Goode
23
Dominic Morris

Preview | Tigers hosts Saracens in Round 3

Figure image

Saracens make their first trip to Mattioli Woods Welford Road for two years as they face Leicester Tigers in Round 3 of the Gallagher Premiership season on Saturday (3.00pm).

Both teams got the season off to a winning start two weeks ago, when Tigers scored a bonus-point victory over Exeter Chiefs a day after Saracens had kicked off with a 26-9 triumph at Bristol Bears in their first game back after a year in the Championship.

Asked about Saracens’ strengths, Tigers scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet said: “They showed straight away at Bristol they have one of the best defences in the league. It is going to be interesting with how we approach that. The quality of defence was probably the stand-out in that game against a team like Bristol with the quality they have in attack.

“It’s a challenge for us this weekend, but we are excited by the challenge.”

Tigers took five points from a 33-26 win at Gloucester last Friday when Saracens had a bye weekend and now the Londoners welcome back Lions caps Jamie George and club captain Owen Farrell plus England international Max Malins for their Mattioli Woods Welford Road return.

Head coach Steve Borthwick brings Hosea Saumaki into the Tigers team for his Premiership debut and there are also places for summer signings Freddie Burns and Francois van Wyk. Another newcomer, Juan Pablo Socino, is named among the replacements against his former club.

Ben Youngs and George Ford as reunited at half-back, with Burns at No15 this week, and Guy Porter is added to the midfield alongside Dan Kelly.

Mark McCall is able to bring his Lions duo back into his plans at Sarries following the announcement this week that individual programmes have been agreed with all of the players who are back following international duty.

Alex Lozowski moves to centre after a 21-point haul at Ashton Gate from fly-half, while Alex Goode returns from a hamstring injury to take his place in the matchday 23.

Back-rower Jackson Wray, who led the team in Farrell’s absence, said: “Looking back at the Bristol game, there was a lot on that for us and it was a great opportunity to show how far we have come. It was a really satisfying evening and it has given us a good platform to move on from, which starts this weekend against Leicester.

“We worked hard last week with no game so we had a chance to properly review everything and we can’t wait to get back out there this weekend with another tough challenge.”

The teams last met at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in October 2019 when Noel Reid and Adam Thompstone werer the Tigers tryscorers in a 24-10 defeat.

Saracens have won 10 of the last 12 Premiership meetings as Tigers chase three successive wins in the competition for the first time since February-April 2018.

Tigers have scored 30-plus points in each of their last three Premiership matches, including the Round 22 win at Wasps at the end of last season, and have not managed a longer run in the competition since 2013.

According to the OPTA stats, Tigers have averaged 156 tackles in the opening two games of the season, with Saracens making the second most (144). They are also the only teams to average more than six dominant tackles per game (Saracens 10, Leicester 8).

Referee on Saturday is Christophe Ridley, in his 44th Premiership game, with assistants Adam Leal and Jack Makepeace. Claire Hodnett is the Television Match Official.

Tigers will wear the club’s traditional home colours, with the visitors in all red this weekend.

There is live coverage on BT Sport 3HD, and you can follow updates with the club’s Matchday Live service on app and website, or Tigers social media pages. There will be full reaction afterwards.

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI660016887812093027
3
Saracens
SaracensSAR5401202771252383120
Form Guide
Form
WWWWW
Last Match
Beat Sale Sharks 19-11
Past Meeting
Won 13-12
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLWWW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 56-15
Past Meeting
Lost 12-13