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

Tigers strengthen top four push with derby win

Figure image
Leicester Tigers strengthened their push for a place in the Aviva Premiership semi-finals with a 30-24 victory over neighbours Northampton Saints on Saturday evening.

The win, in front of a capacity crowd at Franklin’s Gardens, consolidated fourth position in the table for Tigers and opened up a seven-point lead over Northampton in the race for a top-four finish.
 
Richard Cockerill’s men scored three tries to secure a league double over their East Midlands neighbours after victory at Welford Road earlier in the season.
 
They led following an 11th-minute Freddie Burns penalty before Harry Thacker scorched a line from halfway to score the opening try.
 
Saints rallied to level through Teimana Harrison’s try but a Vereniki Goneva intercept score helped send them in 17-13 ahead at the break.
 
Burns kicked two more penalties to keep his team ahead, despite a shiort-range score for George Pisi. And it was Burns who secured the victory, and the bragging rights, with a converted try 16 minutes from time.
 
Tigers were forced into a late change after Brendon O’Connor withdrew through illness. Opeti Fonua came in at No8 with Lachlan McCaffrey moving to openside flanker. Tigers made two changes on the bench with Ed Slater and Sam Harrison returning to the 23.
 
The game began slowly, with handling errors and scrums breaking up any flow in the opening couple of minutes. Saints were the first to settle, working space on the right for Ahsee Tuala and Ken Pisi to make ground before Luther Burrell tried to turn the Leicester defence with a kick in behind.
 
Betham just got to Ken Pisi to make his tackle and force a knock-on and Tigers counterattacked. Burns lifted a kick to the right-hand corner where Veainu was fingertips away from beating Jamie Elliott to the touchdown.
 
Burns had the first point-scoring chance when Saints wheeled a scrum 40m out and the fly-half was on the mark from wide on the left to give Leicester a 12th-minute lead.
 
It got better for Tigers with a sensational try moments later. There seemed little on when Thacker received the ball from Fonua on halfway but he picked a path through the Saints defence and then used Goneva’s supporting run as a decoy to score under the posts. Burns added the conversion.
 
Saints full-back Tuala was replaced by Harry Mallinder before the restart.
 
Northampton No8 Teimana Harrison sucked in a couple of defenders with his run at a free kick. And when Tigers failed to roll, Stephen Myler kicked the home side’s first points of the game with his penalty. Tigers led 10-3 midway through the first half.
 
The momentum had swung towards Northampton and it was Harrison who made it tell with a try for the hosts. Burrell burst onto a short pass to break the defensive line and quick ball put the No8 over at the left. Myler’s conversion levelled the scores after 25 minutes.
 
The game was played at a frenetic pace and Saints threatened again when Tom Wood broke down the left at a ruck. Burns made the tackle but Saints flooded forward trying to make further inroads. Instead, Goneva picked off Burrell’s pass and had a clear run from halfway to score under the posts. It was his 12th try of the season and, conveted by Burns, put Leicester 17-10 ahead.
 
Tigers had to defend a 5m lineout as Saints looked for another response.  They held up the drive and then Fonua brought down Tom Kessell and won the holding on penalty to ease the pressure.
 
Big tackles by Tuilagi on Ken Pisi and McCaffrey on Elliott stopped a threatening Saints break on the right. However, the television match official ruled Tuilagi’s tackle was worthy of a penalty giving Saints a final chance to press before the break.
 
Tigers infringed at the lineout and  Myler’s penalty cut the Leicester lead to 17-13 at half-time.
 
It was an edgy start to the second period with Tigers stealing possession at a Saints defensive lineout before losing the ball in the tackle a couple of phases later.
 
But Tigers restored their seven-point advantage through a Burns penalty after Saints went offside in midfield.
 
Tom Croft replaced Fonua. Croft slotted in at seven with McCaffrey going to No8.
 
The Tigers defence was put under pressure as they conceded penalties at two successive 5m lineout. Eventually the pressure told. Saints had the advantage of a penalty and flung the ball to the right where George Pisi crashed onto brother Ken’s inside pass to score. However, Myler struck the right-hand post with the conversion to leave Tigers 20-18 ahead with 25 minutes left.
 
Captain Slater came on for Kitchener with Tigers having the put-in at a scrum on the Saints 22. He helped win a penalty as Saints collapsed the scrum and Burns’s kick gave Leicester a 23-18 lead.
 
Logovi’i Mulipola replaced Ayerza for Tigers, while Paul Hill and Victor Matfield came on for the Saints in place of Kieran Brookes and Christian Day respectively.
 
Next it was Saints’ turn to win a scrum penalty. This time Myler went for the posts from 40m out to cut Leicester’s lead to 23-21 with 18 minutes remaining.
 
Tigers responded immediately.  Goneva was the architect. He took Saints by surprise by picking up at a ruck. The Fiji wing held off a couple of tackles, Tuilagi joined the attack and his soft hands put Burns over on the right.
 
Burns landed the conversion to give the Tigers a 30-21 lead with 15 minutes to go. It was his last contribution with Owen Williams coming as a replacement.
 
It was all hands to the pump in defence as Saints piled forward. But big hits from Tuilagi and Slater forced the handling error 10m out and Williams hacked up to halfway.
 
Tigers’ line survived a scare when Slater finger-tipped a defensive lineout back towards his own line. It was mopped up by Fitzgerald with Saints defenders bearing down on him and Williams cleared.
 
Sam Harrison came on for the last 10 minutes for his 100th Tigers appearance. Adam Thomsptone then replaced Goneva while JJ Hanrahan came on for Myler for the Saints.
 
Hanrahan cut Leicester’s lead with a penalty from right in front of the posts after Tigers went offside in defence.
 
It set up a tense final three minutes. Saints looked to run it from deep, and managed to get up to halfway where another Betham tackle forced the knock-on and scrum.
 
Tigers had to withstand one last push from the Saints. Veainu conceded a penalty for an off-the-ball tackle, but it made no difference. Tigers held firm, pushing Saints across their defence and eventually forcing Ken Pisi into touch to signal full time.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

NOR 13-17 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

NOR 24-30 LEI

Attendance

15,241

Referee

Matthew Carley

Match Stats

Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers
Possession
52%
48%
Territory
56%
44%
Penalties Conceded
7
18
Yellow Cards
0
0
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
74/89 83%
98/121 81%
Scrums Won
4/4 100%
6/10 60%
Lineouts Won
17/17 0%
9/9 0%

Player Stats

Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15
14Telusa Veainu
13Peter Betham
12Manu Tuilagi
111T
101T3C3P
9Ben Youngs
1Marcos Ayerza
2Harry Thacker1T
3Dan Cole
4
5Graham Kitchener
6
7Lachlan McCaffrey
8
16Greg Bateman
17Logovi'i Mulipola
18Fraser Balmain
19Ed Slater
20
21
22
23
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
24

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
30

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Subs

Fraser Balmain
18
Fraser Balmain
Ed Slater
19
Ed Slater
22

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Ahsee Tuala
14
13
12
Luther Burrell
11
Jamie Elliott
10
Stephen Myler
9
Tom Kessell
1
Alex Waller
2
Mike Haywood
3
Kieran Brookes
4
5
Christian Day
6
Courtney Lawes
7
Tom Wood
8
Teimana Harrison

Subs

16
Reece Marshall
17
18
Paul Hill
19
Victor Matfield
20
Ben Nutley
21
JJ Hanrahan
22
Harry Mallinder
23
Tom Collins
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
5
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR22120104553926351355760
Form Guide
Form
LLWDD
Last Match
Draw with Leicester Tigers null-null
Past Meeting
Drew null-null
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
DWDDD
Last Match
Draw with Brive null-null
Past Meeting
Drew null-null

Matchday Live

Northampton Saints24
Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers30
Leicester Tigers
Full Time