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

Tigers edged out in derby day thriller

Figure image
A late try for Northampton's Jamie Elliott inflicted a 23-19 Aviva Premiership defeat on Leicester Tigers in a pulsating clash at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday afternoon.

Vereniki Goneva’s second try – Tigers’ third – of the contest with nine minutes remaining gave Tigers the lead for the third time in the contest.
 
But Elliott crossed for 14-man Saints with two minutes remaining to leave Tigers with a losing bonus-point from a hard-fought East Midlands derby.
 
The Saints had played 62 minutes with 14 men after their captain Dylan Hartley saw red for an elbow on Matt Smith. Tigers took a 7-0 lead soon after through a converted scrum penalty.
 
But Saints, aided by a yellow card for Tom Croft, chipped away at the lead to trail 7-6 at the break before a pulsating second half saw the lead change hands five times.
 
Alex Waller crossed for Saints, Goneva replied for the Tigers, Ben Foden put his name on the scoresheet, Goneva claimed his second before Elliott’s score settled things.
 
England internationals Croft and Tom Youngs returned to the starting line-up, Graham Kitchener partnered Geoff Parling in the second row and Jordan Crane came in at No8.
 
Marcos Ayerza made his 200th appearance for the Tigers, the 90th player to reach that landmark in the club's 134-year history.
 
Saints threatened early on when KahnFotuali’i’s tap penalty created space on the left for North. He was stopped 5m short by Mathew Tait and Owen Williams and Tigers stole possession but knocked on as they tried to clear.
 
Tigers won possession against the head, Salvi picked up the loose ball and Youngs cleared past halfway. Croft started the game well, stealing the resulting lineout and then tackling North into touch 15m from the Saints line.
 
It was an evenly-contested opening 12 minutes but Tigers had the first chance to put points on the board through a scrum penalty on the left touchline but Williams’ kick was wide to the left.
 
Good defensive discipline from the Tigers then prevented Courtney Lawes getting his pass away to North on the left touchline.
 
Tigers stole possession to set up a counterattack that took them deep into the Saints 22, where they won a penalty as the Saints defence dived over the top of the ruck. It sparked an altercation the resulted in Saints captain Dylan Hartley receiving a red card for an elbow on Matt Smith. It meant Saints would play the final 63 minutes with 14 men.
 
Saints brought off Tom Stephenson for replacement hooker Mike Haywood.

When the dust settled, Tigers opted for the 5m scrum and had the Saints pack under pressure. The scrum was reset twice for penalties before, as the third attempt, referee JP Doyle awarded the penalty try. Williams converted to give Leicester a 7-0 lead midway through the first half.
 
Geoff Parling’s high tackle on Samu Manoa on the Leicester 10m line gave Saints their first chance to put points on the board, and Myler landed his kick to leave Tigers 7-3 ahead.
 
It signalled a period of Saints pressure, with North testing the defence of Tait and Scully. A 5m lineout then tested the whole defence with Luther Burrell and then North halted just short, the tackle on the Wales international forcing him to lose possession underneath the Tigers posts.
 
Tigers finished the half with 14 men with Croft receiving a yellow card for a high tackle on Ken Pisi. Myler landed the penalty to cut Leicester’s lead to 7-6 at the break.
 
Miles Benjamin replaced Scully on the wing at half-time.
 
Northampton asked huge questions of the Leicester defence in the opening stages of the second period, going through phase after phase in and around the Tigers 22. Eventually, Burrell was robbed of possession 8m out and Ben Youngs found touch.
 
However, the Leicester line was breached six minutes after the restart, the Saints pressure creating an overlap on the left where Alex Waller used the man on his outside to create the gap to score. It gave Northampton the lead for the first time in the game at 11-7.
 
Leonardo Ghiraldini replaced Tom Youngs for Tigers and Croft returned from his period in the sin bin with no further addition to the score.
 
Myler was wide with a scrum penalty from the left touchline as Saints built up a head of steam in the third quarter.
 
A threatening Tigers move came to an end with a big tackle by Burrell on Salvi, which forced the back-rower into a knock-on.
 
But it was sign that Tigers were coming back into the game. And they added further impetus with the introduction of Michele Rizzo and Freddie Burns, who played key roles in Tigers’ second try on 62 minutes.
 
Rizzo’s barrelling run gave Tigers go-forward, Burns took Tigers to within 5m where Williams’ pass gave Goneva his fifth try of the campaign. It went unconverted as Tigers led 12-11 with 17 minutes left.
 
Back came Saints with an instant reply. The hosts went through the phases to create space on the left for Foden, whose run had the momentum to take him over the line despite Tait’s tackle. Myler missed the conversion as Tigers trailed 16-12 with 14 minutes left.
 
Tigers launched a stunning counterattack to reclaim the lead with nine minutes to go. Benjamin’s blistering break down the right took Leicester into the Saints 22 where only last-man Foden’s tackle prevented the try. Youngs recycled and Tait put Goneva in at the left corner for his second score of the game. Burns converted from the touchline to give Tigers a 19-16 lead.
 
But there was a twist in the tale to come as the Saints retook the lead with their third try of the contest with two minutes to go. Tigers defended the Saints lineout drive but with men committed to the maul, Jamie Elliott had an overlap on the left to score at the corner. Myler’s conversion gave Saints a 23-19 lead.
 
The game restarted with 80 seconds remaining, and the Saints were able to hold on to possession and run down the clock to seal the win.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

NOR 6-7 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

NOR 23-19 LEI

Attendance

13,362

Referee

JP Doyle

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
23

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
19

Match Stats

Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers
Possession
70%
30%
Territory
73%
27%
Penalties Conceded
10
11
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
1
0
Tackles Won
50/65 77%
160/183 87%
Scrums Won
2/3 67%
8/9 89%
Lineouts Won
14/14 0%
9/9 0%

Player Stats

Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Mathew Tait
14Blaine Scully
13Matt Smith
12Anthony Allen
11Vereniki Goneva2T
10Owen Williams1C
9Ben Youngs
1Marcos Ayerza
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Graham Kitchener
5Geoff Parling
6Tom Croft
7Julian Salvi
8
16Leonardo Ghiraldini
17Michele Rizzo
18Fraser Balmain
19
20Robert Barbieri
21Sam Harrison
221C
23Miles Benjamin

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Blaine Scully
14
Blaine Scully
Anthony Allen
12
Anthony Allen
Vereniki Goneva
11
Vereniki Goneva
Owen Williams
10
Owen Williams
Marcos Ayerza
1
Marcos Ayerza
Geoff Parling
5
Geoff Parling
Julian Salvi
7
Julian Salvi
8

Subs

Leonardo Ghiraldini
16
Leonardo Ghiraldini
Fraser Balmain
18
Fraser Balmain
19
Robert Barbieri
20
Robert Barbieri
22
Miles Benjamin
23
Miles Benjamin

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
James Wilson
14
Ken Pisi
13
12
Luther Burrell
11
George North
10
Stephen Myler
9
1
Alex Waller
2
Dylan Hartley
3
Salesi Ma'afu
4
Courtney Lawes
5
Christian Day
6
Calum Clark
7
Tom Wood
8
Samu Manoa

Subs

16
Mike Haywood
17
Ethan Waller
18
Gareth Denman
19
Sam Dickinson
20
Phil Dowson
21
Lee Dickson
22
Jamie Elliott
23
Ben Foden
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR22161562140022175418276
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2215164534213237394268
Form Guide
Form
LLWLL
Last Match
Lost to Bath Rugby 24-30
Past Meeting
Won 23-18
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Lost 18-23

Matchday Live

Northampton Saints23
Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers19
Leicester Tigers
Full Time