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Report | Tigers tough it out for brave win

Figure image

Leicester Tigers returned to Gallagher Premiership action with a 24-18 victory over Saracens at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Following a fixture-less fortnight, Richard Wigglesworth’s side hosted the league-leading London outfit in the final match for Round 17 on Sunday afternoon.

The game doubled as a milestone match for several members of the Leicester squad, including Mike Brown on debut and George Martin making his 50th Tigers appearance.

Jimmy Gopperth, who started at inside-centre, ran out for his 200th Premiership appearance in a milestone-midfield alongside Matt Scott in his 50th start for the club.

The home side clicked into gear almost immediately and, just five minutes into the game, Handré Pollard dived over from close range, one pass off the ruck, after a rampaging run from Jasper Wiese had the visitors scrambling at the back.

The fly-half converted his own try to see the lead at 7-0 after six minutes.

Only five minutes later and Brown set off from near halfway with a winding run which set up an opportunity yards from the Saracens line, which Cameron Henderson took when he ran a short line off Ben Youngs from the base of the ruck.

Pollard’s second conversion extend the lead to 14 after only 12 minutes, which was cut back to 11 when Alex Goode landed a long-range penalty-goal to get his side on the scoreboard.

Brown continued to prove a threat at the back, much to the enjoyment of Mattioli Woods Welford Road, and was rewarded when he crossed on the end of some quick, slick hands down the right-hand touchline.

A third successful conversion for Pollard extended the lead to 18 points after almost half an hour before he added three more shortly after  to take it out to 21 points, 24-3, with two minutes left in the half.

Ill-discipline from the home side welcomed Saracens into Leicester’s half with the clock winding down and the visitors managed to find their way over when front-rower Eroni Mawi scored with the clock in the red.

Goode’s conversion cut the difference to 14 points, seeing Tigers ahead 24-10 at the break.

The second-half start was less than ideal for Leicester when they turned over the kick-off and, just minutes later, found themselves camped on their line with Saracens on the attack.

However, in a sign of what was to come, Tigers held off wave after wave of attack from the league-leaders to force a turnover through a goal-line re-start.

Goode added three, making it an 11-point difference, with a penalty before Leicester appeared to be heading towards a fourth-try of their own and potential bonus-point.

However, against the run of play, a pass went to ground deep inside the Saracens half and was pounced upon by the visitors and run in from distance by Alex Lewington.

Goode’s conversion attempt was wide but the try meant it was a single digit difference with only half an hour remaining.

Saracens enjoyed the bulk of possession for the remainder of the game but were unable to break the Tigers defensive line, much to the delight of the Tigers faithful who willed their side on as they battled bravely to secure the six-point, 24-18 win.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 24-10 SAR

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 24-18 SAR

Attendance

20,451

Referee

Tom Foley

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
24

Full Time

Saracens
Saracens
18
Leicester Tigers
T
C
T
C
T
C
P
KOHTFT
Saracens
P
T
C
P
T

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Saracens
Possession
40%
60%
Territory
43%
57%
Penalties Conceded
12
8
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
200/243 82%
106/134 79%
Scrums Won
5/6 83%
6/6 100%
Lineouts Won
11/12 92%
17/17 100%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Saracens
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Mike Brown1T
14Chris Ashton
13Matt Scott
12Jimmy Gopperth
11Harry Potter
10Handre Pollard1T3C1P
9Ben Youngs
1Tom West
2Julian Montoya
3Joe Heyes
4George Martin
5Cameron Henderson1T
6Hanro Liebenberg
7Olly Cracknell
8Jasper Wiese
16Charlie Clare
17Francois van Wyk
18Will Hurd
19Eli Snyman
20Tommy Reffell
21Sam Edwards
22Charlie Atkinson
23Harry Simmons

Commentary

TIGERS HOLD ON

Leicester Tigers hold on to record a six-point victory over Saracens.

76

FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING

Leicester force an error from Saracens as the visitors press, phase after phase, on the home side's line with a brave defensive effort - and win a penalty to follow, allowing a chance to clear into touch near halfway. 

69

TIGERS FORCE A RE-START

Play is brought back for what is deemed to be a high tackle by Chris Ashton, awarded Saracens a penalty 5m out, but Leicester hold in defence again and force a goal-line restart.

67

TIGERS HOLD ON

On back-to-back-to-back-to-back occasions, Tigers are tested on their own line and hold on before clearing through the boot of Ben Youngs.

61

TWENTY TO GO

After an hour of action at Mattioli Woods Welford Road: 

Possession: Leicester 42% / Saracens 58%
Territory: Leicester 43% / Saracens 57%
Tackles: Leicester 136 / Saracens 78
Penalties: Leicester 9 / Saracens 5

SUB | LEICESTER TIGERS

First change of the day for the home side is made after 53 minutes with Tommy Reffell on in the back-row for Olly Cracknell.

TRY | SARACENS

Against the run of play, Saracens go the length after pouncing on a loose pass from Tigers deep inside the away side's half and score through Alex Lewington.

The conversion attempt is unsuccessful, seeing the difference remain at six points after 50 minutes.

PEN | SARACENS

Alex Goode cuts the home side's lead to 11 points, with 34 minutes remaining, after a successful penalty-goal attempt.

43

DEFENSIVE TEST

The home side are put under immense pressure in the first three minutes of the second half and hold on, holding up the ball and preventing a Saracens try.

41

SARACENS GET US GOING ... AGAIN

The second-half is underway at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, with Saracens kicking deep into Leicester's half and re-gaining possession through a penalty at the breakdown.

TIGERS LEAD AT THE BREAK

Leicester lead 24-10 at the break after an entertaining first half of action.

CON | SARACENS

The conversion is successful for Saracens, from in front of the posts, to cut the home side's lead to 14 points.

TRY | SARACENS

Just seconds before the break and Saracens score their first try of the match as patience pays off for the visitors, with a five-pointer from close range to Eroni Mawi. 

PEN | HANDRÉ POLLARD

Handré Pollard lands a long-range penalty-goal top extend the lead to 24-3 with two minutes remaining in the first half.

CON | HANDRÉ POLLARD

A third successful conversion for Handré Pollard extends the lead to 18 points, 21-3, after 29 minutes.

TRY | MIKE BROWN

On debut, Mike Brown goes over for Leicester's third after some quick, impressive hands down the right-hand touchline send the full-back into space.

20

FIRST QUARTER GONE

After 20 minutes at Mattioli Woods Welford Road:

Possession: Leicester 46% / Saracens 54%
Territory: Leicester 42% / Saracens 58%
Tackles: Leicester 52 / Saracens 33
Penalties: Leicester 3 / Saracens 3

PEN | SARACENS

The visitors are on the scoreboard, 15 minutes into the match, as Alex Goode lands a long-range penalty-goal. 

CON | HANDRÉ POLLARD

Handré Pollard converts, making it two from two for the Tigers fly-half, to see Tigers out to 14-0 lead after 12 minutes.

TRY | CAMERON HENDERSON

Cameron Henderson crashes over, running a brilliant line off Ben Youngs at the breakdown, after Mike Brown's break from halfway sets up the home side just yards from the Saracens line.

CON | HANDRÉ POLLARD

Handré Pollard converts his own try to see the lead at 7-0 after six minutes.

TRY | HANDRÉ POLLARD

Handré Pollard dives over from close range, one pass of the ruck, after the opportunity is set up by a rampaging run from Jasper Wiese which started at the halfway line.

UNDERWAY IN LEICESTER!

Handré Pollard gets the game going, kicking off deep into the Saracens half.

-5

TEAM NEWS

Both sides are unchanged from those named on Friday afternoon, with Tigers celebrating a handful of milestones today: 

- Jimmy Gopperth's 200th Premiership appearance
- George Martin's 50th Tigers appearance
- Matt Scott's 50th starting Tigers appearance
- Mike Brown's Tigers debut
- Tom West's first Tigers starting appearance 
- Will Hurd's 20th Tigers appearance

-30

WELCOME BACK, TIGERS FANS!

Welcome to Mattioli Woods Welford Road for today's game - the first in three weeks for Richard Wigglesworth's side - against Saracens!


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Sean Maitland
14
Rotimi Segun
13
Alex Lozowski
12
Nick Tompkins
11
Alex Lewington
10
Alex Goode
9
Aled Davies
1
Eroni Mawi
2
Kapeli Pifeleti
3
Marco Riccioni
4
Tom Ellis
5
Hugh Tizard
6
Andy Christie
7
Jackson Wray
8
Billy Vunipola

Replacements

16
Theo Dan
17
Robin Hislop
18
Christian Judge
19
Cameron Boon
20
Toby Knight
21
Ivan van Zyl
22
Olly Hartley
23
Ben Harris

Team News | Tigers side to play Saracens

Figure image

Richard Wigglesworth has named the Leicester Tigers matchday squad to play Saracens in Round 17 of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership.

Julián Montoya will captain the side at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Sunday afternoon.

The Head Coach welcomes back Ben Youngs and Joe Heyes (England), Cameron Henderson (Scotland) and Tommy Reffell (Wales), who were released back to the club during the first fallow week of this season’s Guinness Six Nations.

Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Jack van Poortvliet, Freddie Steward and Anthony Watson are unavailable for selection after being retained by England for a week-long training camp.

Mike Brown will make his Leicester Tigers debut at full-back in a back-three which includes Harry Potter and Chris Ashton, with the latter to play his first game in seven weeks after returning from injury.

It’s a milestone midfield pairing with Matt Scott set for his 50th starting appearance for the club alongside Jimmy Gopperth, who will run out for his 200th Premiership appearance.

Youngs and Handré Pollard are the half-back pairing.

Tom West is named for his first starting appearance in his second match after debuting off the bench in the club’s last outing - against Northampton Saints - three weeks ago.

West and Heyes are the props and Julián Montoya the hooker in the front-row, with George Martin and Henderson the locks in the starting tight five.

The 21-year-old Martin will make his 50th Leicester Tigers appearance in his first start for 10 weeks after making his return from injury in Round 16 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Hanro Liebenberg and Olly Cracknell are the flankers and Jasper Wiese the No.8 in the starting back-row.

Charlie Clare, Francois van Wyk, Will Hurd, Eli Snyman and Tommy Reffell are the replacement forwards and Sam Edwards, Charlie Atkinson and Harry Simmons the replacement backs.

STARTING XV

15 Mike Brown *

14 Chris Ashton [23]

13 Matt Scott [58]

12 Jimmy Gopperth [9]

11 Harry Potter [57]

10 Handré Pollard [5]

9 Ben Youngs (vc) [294]

1 Tom West [1]

2 Julián Montoya (c) [34]

3 Joe Heyes [114]

4 George Martin [49]

5 Cameron Henderson [27]

6 Hanro Liebenberg [75]

7 Olly Cracknell [15]

8 Jasper Wiese [51]

 

REPLACEMENTS

16 Charlie Clare [69]

17 Francois van Wyk [26]

18 Will Hurd [19]

19 Eli Snyman [28]

20 Tommy Reffell [92]

21 Sam Edwards [9]

22 Charlie Atkinson [10]

23 Harry Simmons [30]

* Leicester Tigers debut

 

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Saracens
SaracensSAR201505622513109786413174
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2011185604907073669459
Form Guide
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