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Match report: Tigers miss out at Saints

Leicester Tigers were beaten 24-11 by Northampton Saints in the opening East Midlands derby of the season at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.

Tries from Luther Burrell and Dylan Hartley gave Saints a 14-point advantage in the opening half-hour before Tigers got on the board with a George Ford penalty and it was 17-3 at half-time with the visitors finding themselves pushed back on their own line for lengthy periods.

And the hosts grabbed the opening try of the second half when a quick interchange of passes around a ruck put Tom Collins on a clear run to the line.

Tigers claimed the final score of the day, with Jonny May showing his finishing skills on the left, but with only a penalty from Ford to add to it, they returned empty-handed in the second weekend of the Aviva Premiership season.

The Tigers line-up showed three changes to the starting team in Round 1 with Dan Cole and Luke Hamilton coming into the pack and Matt Smith added to the backline following injury to Manu Tuilagi.

Saints gave a debut to Australian centre Rob Horne and called wing George North into the team for the first time since the summer’s Lions tour, with former Tigers flanker Jamie Gibson included in the back row.

Both teams were looking to bounce back from defeat in Round 1, with Saints beaten heavily by Saracens at Twickenham while Tigers lost at home to Bath.

Tigers, in their all white alternate kit, received the kick-off, with Smith taking a clean catch, and the centre was involved three times in defence in the opening minutes.

Saints enjoyed the majority of possession early on, with Tigers getting through their tackles, especially in the middle of the pitch. Respite finally came with a penalty at a scrum near halfway, which allowed Ford to kick to the left touchline. But ball was lost on the long throw and Saints were able to start again.

A second penalty provided lineout ball but Tigers knocked-on in midfield and the crowd was quickly on its feet as Saints made a break through Tom Collins, only to be halted when Telusa Veainu brought down Michael Paterson 20 metres out.

A lineout miss from Tigers led to a breakthrough score for Saints as they retained ball in the  attacking 22 and Luther Burrell found space on the right with the defence stretched to score. Harry Mallinder added the conversion for a seven-point lead on 13 minutes.

A big hit by Burrell on Jonny May stopped Tigers in their tracks near their own 10-metre line as they looked to get forward and referee JP Doyle soon drew together the captains to have a quick word about discipline as Saints were given a penalty just inside their own half.

Mallinder booted the kick to the left corner, but a huge hit by Hamilton on Gibson dislodged Saints possession just as they looked to threaten.

Ford had his first sight of the posts after 24 minutes after Tigers won a third scrum penalty, this time on the Saints 10-metre line. But the fly-half kicked wide of the right-hand post and the score remained 7-0.

Instead, Saints stretched their advantage with a second try as Dylan Hartley forced his way over at a close-range ruck, with the TMO check confirming the grounding. Mallinder’s kick made it 14-0.

Harry Thacker was called from the bench before the game restarted as Tom Youngs made way after a knock, and Tigers finally got points on the board in the 30th minute when a series of phases in the Saints half brought a penalty against Gibson, and Ford made the kick.

The final minutes of the half were played out close to the Tigers line, with a number of penalties against the visitors and Mallinder prodding play into the left-hand corner.

First, the Tigers defence kept out a forward drive, but the pressure stayed on and the referee called together both captains again as tensions rose.

While Tigers continued to make tackles, they were on a warning from referee Doyle when he blew again and Mallinder put the penalty over to bring the half to a close at 17-3.

Ford, captain in the absence of Tom Youngs, got the second half under way but Brendon O’Connor’s day lasted only another 60 seconds as he hobbled away after chipping ball down the right touchline. Dom Ryan came off the bench to slot into the back row.

Mike Williams replaced Graham Kitchener after the lock left for a head injury assessment, but the replacement was in trouble in less than three minites, penalised for a no-arms tackle and then receiving a yellow card for team offences after the first-half warning from referee Doyle.

A typically rampaging run from Genge near halfway promised to give Tigers a platform to get forward, but Ben Youngs was outnumbered in support and the ball was lost.

Ford kicked the first points of the second period, making it 17-6 after Saints had been penalised in fielding a Youngs box-kick.

Williams returned from the sin-bin without any points being conceded, but Tigers still had a long way to go to take something out of the game in the closing 20 minutes.

Obstruction at a ruck from Toomua gave Saints a penalty 40 metres out and Mallinder gave it a good thump, only to see the ball drift wide of the left-hand post with the lead still at 11 points.

But the hosts only had a moment to wait for their score, with wing Collins linking perfectly with the half-backs o the edge of a ruck to run free to the right of the posts. Mallinder this time made sure of the kick as the lead reached 24-6.

Tigers changed the props as the game restarted, introducing Logovi’i Mulipola and Greg Bateman, and smart work by Youngs and Toomua threatened a break but Saints quickly got back to cover and Jonny May had no space to work in as he received the ball on the left touchline.

May, though, had a better opportunity in the last minute of the game, claiming his third try for the club after Toomua gave him possession 40 metres out and the England win chipped ahead and then won the race to the decisive touch. With just 20 seconds remaining on the clock, Ford was unable to convert a hurried kick, though Tigers did win ball again at the restart before Saints managed to close out one final attack.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

NOR 17-3 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

NOR 24-11 LEI




JP Doyle

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers

Match Stats

Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers
Penalties Conceded
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Tackles Won
111/128 87%
160/179 89%
Scrums Won
6/6 100%
8/8 100%
Lineouts Won
14/15 93%
13/15 87%

Player Stats

Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
15Telusa Veainu
14Nick Malouf
13Matt Smith
12Matt Toomua
11Jonny May1T
10George Ford2P
9Ben Youngs
1Ellis Genge
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4Dom Barrow
5Graham Kitchener
7Brendon O'Connor
8Sione Kalamafoni
16Harry Thacker
17Greg Bateman
18Logovi'i Mulipola
19Mike Williams
20Dominic Ryan
21Sam Harrison
22Joe Ford
23Mathew Tait



We'll be back in half an hour here on Matchday Live for tonight's A League fixture, updating you with all the points throughout the second of today's two derby clashes with Saints in Northampton.

Full time on Derby Day

Derby day disappointment for Tigers as the referee blows the whistle for full-time and it ends 24-11 to Saints. 


Final Play

Saints kick-off for the final play of the game and Tigers run it back into the Saints half with a strong run by Nick Malouf. The ball was chipped ahead for Jonny May to chase but it was collected by Saints and the ball was kicked out to end the game.


Conversion Missed

George Ford is unable to add the conversion and it stays 24-11 in the 79th minute.

Try Tigers

Referee checks with the TMO and awards to the try to Jonny May. 


Possible Try

Tigers run the ball wide, Jonny May chips ahead and looks to have run it down to score, referee checks with the TMO. 


Tigers Phases

Tigers work the ball from the lineout and work the ball into the Saints half with some big carries from Mulipola and Bateman.  


Big Defence

Saints run the ball from the scrum and get up to the Tigers 5 metre line but Tigers win a penalty at the breakdown and kick for the lineout on half-way. 


End to End

More running rugby on show as both teams trying to run the ball, Tigers knock-on and Saints win a scrum in Tigers half. 

Tigers Replacement

Sam Harrison has replaced Ben Youngs. 


Tigers Defence

Tigers hold on to defend a Saints attack in the Tigers 22 working to the Tigers tryline but Tigers win the penalty and kick for the lineout on half-way. 


Big Pressure

Tigers build phases in the Saints half but are penalised for holding on in the ruck, Saints kick for the lineout on Tigers 22. 

Tigers Replacements

Greg Bateman and Logovi'i Mulipola have replaced Ellis Genge and Dan Cole. 

Conversion Saints

Harry Mallinder adds the extras for Saints on 68 minutes. 

Try Saints

Saints create an overlap and winger Tom Collins breaks through to score Saints third try. 


Missed Penalty Saints

Saints win a penalty at the breakdown and go for posts with Harry Mallinder pushing the ball wide, remains 17-6. 


Scrum Pressure

Tigers win another scrum penalty and kick for touch and the lineout in Saints half. 


End to End

Both teams trying to run the ball and the result is some end to end play, Tigers keep up the denfensive pressure and win a scrum after Saints knock-on. 


End of the sin-bin

Mike Williams returns to the field. 

Penalty Tigers

George Ford adds to Tigers score and takes it to 17-6 in the 57th minute. 


Tigers Pressure

Tigers continue to build pressure and chip ahead into the Saints 22, the chasing tackle results in a turnover and Tigers win a penalty. Ford goes for the penalty. 


Big Run

Tiges prop Ellis Genge showing his power as he makes a run through the Saints defence. Saints knock-on in a tackle and Tigers have the scrum. 


Wingers Scrum

Tigers winger Nick Malouf joins the scrum as Tigers win a penalty, George Ford kicks for touch and Tigers have the lineout on half-way. 


Building Pressure

Saints immediately take advantage and work the ball wide with the extra man and George North looks to score in the corner but his foot is in touch. Referee calls a scrum for a forward pass, Tigers ball. 

Yellow Card

Tigers Mike Williams is shown a yellow card. 

Tigers Replacement

Mike Williams replaces Graham Kitchener 


Strong Defence

Tigers keep up the defence and force Saints to throw a loose pass into touch for a Tigers lineout. 


Reset Scrum

Referee resets the scrum on the Saints 10 metre line before Saints run the ball wide and Tigers are penalised at the breakdown. Saints kick for the lineout. 


Tigers Momentum

Tigers build phases and work into the Saints half, with a lovely break by Harry Thacker but the rain is falling and Tigers knock-on a loose pass. 


Early Defence

Saints test Tigers defense early in the second-half as they make a break and kick to touch in the Tigers 22. 

Team Changes

No changes at half-time but Dominic Ryan has just replaced Brendon O'Connor. 

Tigers kick-off the second-half

Tigers George Ford gets the second-half underway


Tries: Luther Burrell, Dylan Hartley
Conversions: Harry Mallinder 2/2
Penalty Goals: Harry Mallinder 1/1

Penalty Goals: George Ford 1/2



That's HT at Franklin's Gardens and the home side head in to the changing rooms with a 14-point, 17-3 lead over Tigers.

Penalty Saints

Harry Mallinder kicks the penalty to extend Saints lead to 17-3 as the referee calls half-time. 


Still Playing

The first-half is still going as Saints win another penalty as Saints build phases in the Tigers 5 metre. Saints point to the posts for the penalty. 


Continued Pressure

Saints win another penalty at the breakdown and the referee speaks to both captains. Saints go for another lineout. 


Persistent Pressure

Saints run the ball from the lineout, working into the Tigers 22 but knock-on. Referee pulls back for a high tackle against Tigers, Saints lineout on the 5 metre. 


Clearing Lines

Tigers get the ball out the scrum and give Ford the ball who kicks for touch. Saints lineout. 


Big Defence

Tigers hold up Saints driving maul and they are unable to use the ball, Tigers win the scrum. 


Persistent Pressure

Saints continue to put pressure on Tigers, winning a penalty at the breakdown and kicking for the lineout on Tigers 5 metre line. 


Weather Update

The sun is shining across Franklins Gardens but supporters are reaching for coats and umbrellas and it starts to rain. 

Penalty Tigers

Tigers get the first points on the board as George Ford kicks the penalty as we enter the last five minutes of the first-half. 


Building Phases

Tigers build the phases from the lineout and work into the Saints 22, winning a penalty for Saints not rolling away. Tigers point to posts and Ford will kick for the penalty. 


Tigers Pressure

Tigers win a penalty at the breakdown and kick for the lineout in Saints half.  


Strong Defence

Saints try running the ball down the far wing but a big tackle from Nick Malouf pushes them into touch. 

Tigers Replacement

Harry Thacker has come onto the field to replace Tom Youngs. 

Conversion Saints

Harry Mallinder adds the conversion to extend Saints lead in the 28th minute. 

Try Saints

TMO calls back the referee to check for a try and it is awarded, Dylan Hartley reaches through the ruck to ground it over the tryline. 


Saints Pressure

Saints build phases from the lineout, working towards to tryline and the crowd think Saints have scored but ref calls held-up, scrum Saints. 


Open Rugby

Both sides showing some running rugby with very open play but Saints get the penalty when Matt Toomua is penalised for not releasing in the tackle. 


Missed Penalty

George Ford pushes the penalty wide and Saints kick from the 22. 


Scrum Pressure

Tigers hold up Saints driving maul to win the penalty and Tigers point at the posts, Ford to take the kick. 


Kick Exchanges

Both teams trade some kicks trying to win territory and Tigers kick for the lineout on Saints 10 metre line, Saints to throw in. 


Running Saints

Saints run the ball back into Tigers half but chip ahead, Jonny May runs the ball with a big tackle from Saints penalised by the referee. 


Saints Turnover

Tigers drive the ball from the lineout but are held up and Saints win the scrum. 


Scrum Pressure

Tigers have a scrum just inside the Saints half and win a penalty, Ford kicks for the touch and gets Tigers a lineout on the 22. 

Conversion Saints

Harry Mallinder adds the conversion as the clock hits 12 minutes to extend Saints lead to 7-0. 

Try Saints

Saints show pressure from a lineout and create the space for Luther Burrell to cross the tryline in the 11th minute. 


Scrappy Exchanges

Both sides showing some scrappy exchanges with some loose ball and end to end runs. Still 0-0


Big Scrum

Tigers get a scrum just inside our half but Saints are penalised, Ford kicks for the lineout on Saints 22. 


Big Start

Tigers and Saints exchange some cross-fields kicks and big hits early as Tigers win a scrum from Saints knock-on. 

Derby Day Kicks-off

Here we go, Saints have kicked things off at Franklins Gardens. 


Nearly time

Warm-ups have finished and the teams have left the field, just over five minutes to go until kick-off. 



One of the few fixtures we all look for as soon as the schedule is published for each Premiership Rugby season has arrived ... with the first East Midlands derby against arch-rivals Northampton Saints not far away now. Stay up to date with all that's happening LIVE right here from Franklin's Gardens throughout the match with us. 



There's plenty of exciting match-ups for supporters of both teams today and we'll have confirmed line-ups in around 20 minutes from now when coaches Matt O'Connor and Jim Mallinder publish their sides.



The first away trip of the new season has arrived and so have we here at Northampton for today's clash with Saints.

Kick off is now less than 90 minutes away here at Franklin's Gardens for today's East Midlands derby.

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

Ahsee Tuala
George North
Rob Horne
Luther Burrell
Tom Collins
Alex Waller
Dylan Hartley
Kieran Brookes
Michael Paterson
Christian Day
Courtney Lawes
Teimana Harrison


Mike Haywood
Campese Ma'afu
Paul Hill
Api Ratuniyarawa
Lewis Ludlam
Cobus Reinach
James Grayson
Ben Foden
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2213095374726561555663
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR228014509645-13664805643

Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints meet in the first derby of the season on Saturday with both teams eager to bounce back from defeat on the opening weekend of the Aviva Premiership campaign.

Saints were beaten by Saracens in the Double Header at Twickenham last weekend while Tigers lost 23-27 at home to Bath, setting up another massive day in the 239th East Midlands derby.

The 55 points they shipped in defeat at Twickenham was the second-biggest points total Saints have ever conceded in an Aviva Premiership match. They have, though, not lost their opening two matches in a Premiership campaign since the first two games they ever played in the tournament back in 1997/98.

Northampton’s only defeat at Franklin’s Gardens so far in 2017 was against Leicester in the Aviva Premiership at the end of March.

Tigers have lost their opening two matches in an Aviva Premiership campaign only once before, in season 2011/12, and have won their last seven matches against the Saints in all competitions since December 2014. Northampton’s only other victory over the Tigers in 19 encounters since September 2010 was at home in Aviva Premiership semi-final in 2014.

Derby Day is always one of the first fixtures to be marked up on calendars inside the Tigers camp, according to scrum-half Ben Youngs.

And they haven’t had to wait long this year with a meeting in Round 2 at Franklin’s Gardens.

“Leicester v Northampton is one in the calendar you often try and find first and see when you’ll be playing,” he said.

“I think they’re great, it’s great for the fans. There’s a tremendous history in terms of the rivalry.

“I think it’s the best rivalry in the Premiership. I don’t think other games produce, quite as often, what Leicester v Northampton does.”

Just 12 points separated the teams across both fixtures last season, with Tigers scoring a home-and-away double.

“I think the games I’ve won and lost in the derby games have been about composure at the right times,” added Youngs, “and not letting the occasion get the better of you.”

Team news from both camps is announced at noon on Friday, with Saints likely to include British & Irish Lions lock Courtney Lawes and England captain Dylan Hartley. Tighthead prop Kieran Brookes and flanker Jamie Gibson will be hoping to face their former team-mates in Tigers ranks. The visitors will be without Manu Tuilagi who suffered a knee injury in the defeat by Bath last weekend.

Referee for Saturday is JP Doyle in his 134th Premiership game.

Tigers will be in the club’s alternate kit at Franklin’s Gardens this week.

Kick-off is at 4.30pm and there is live coverage on BT Sport. Or keep in touch via the new matchday live service on the Tigers website or the club’s official social media pages.

There is a second derby fixture at 7.00pm when Franklin’s Gardens hosts a Premiership ‘A’ League fixture between Northampton Wanderers and the Leicester Tigers Development XV. Both teams got their campaign off to a winning start last Monday, with Northampton beating Sale as Tigers ran in nine tries at Worcester. Look out or team news from both camps in the build-up to kick-off and full coverage on the Tigers website and social media pages.

Form Guide
Last Match
Beat Newcastle Falcons 38-13
Past Meeting
Lost 17-26
Last Match
Past Meeting
Last Match
Beat Ealing Trailfinders 29-21
Past Meeting
Won 26-17

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Leicester Tigers11
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