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Winning run ends at Saracens

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Leicester Tigers went down to a 26-6 defeat to defending champions Saracens on Saturday afternoon, their first loss in eight games and only their second of the season.

Saracens scored three penalty tries on their way to victory in the opening Aviva Premiership game of 2016 at a rain-lashed Allianz Park.
 
Freddie Burns kicked two penalties for the Tigers as they trailed 7-6 to a converted penalty try at the break.
 
But Saracens had Tigers under pressure for large periods of the second half as they secured a bonus-point victory through Jamie George’s close-range score and two penalty tries via their scrum.
 
Gonzalo Camacho made his first Aviva Premiership start for Tigers, with Telusa Veainu at full-back and Mathew Tait joining Seremaia Bai at centre.

Marcos Ayerza made his 150th appearance in Premiership Rugby, while front-row colleague Dan Cole came off the bench for his 100th game in the top flight. Owen Williams was named on the bench after recovering from a knee injury.
 
The game kicked off in pouring rain and a strong breeze, which was at Leicester’s back in the first half.
 
Tigers began positively, pinning Saracens in their 22 in the opening minutes with some clever kicking by Freddie Burns. Indeed, Burns was given the first chance to put points on the board when Schalk Brits failed to roll at a ruck and his penalty put Tigers 3-0 up in the sixth minute.
 
Saracens scored the game’s opening try from a lineout drive on 12 minutes. As the home side’s maul gathered momentum, their backs joined in before the maul was pulled down just short and referee Greg Garner awarded the penalty score. Charlie Hodgson’s extras gave Sarries a 7-3 lead.
 
A smart break by Burns was continued by Harry Thacker to take Tigers up to the Sarries 10m line where George Kruis was whistled for playing scrum-half Sam Harrison. Burns landed the penalty to leave Tigers 7-6 behind after 23 minutes. Lachlan McCaffrey came on as a blood replacement for Tom Croft before play resumed.
 
Saracens caught Tigers napping with a quickly-taken penalty. But the visitors regrouped to defend the edge of their 22 and won a penalty for holding on, which Burns cleared to halfway.
 
Tigers were forced into a change after 30 minutes when Mike Fitzgerald came on for Slater, while McCaffrey remained on the field for Croft.
 
Dom Barrow was whistled after he thought the ball was out at a ruck and dived to retrieve possession but Hodgson was wide with his kick.
 
Sarries were were given another chance when Veainu was pinged for competing for the ball following his tackle on Kruis, referee Garner ruling a ruck had formed. This time, Alex Goode took on the kick from a central position but pushed it wide as the clock ticked past 40 minutes.
 
Tigers came under pressure at the start of the second period when Goode broke a tackle on halfway and Bosch slid a kick behind the Leicester defence that was run into touch by Veainu. Saracens set up the drive from the resulting lineout and, with backs joining in again, replacement hooker George applied the finish. Hodgson missed the conversion as Sarries led 12-6.
 
The flow of the game was punctuated by knock-ons in the heavy rain. And when Burns did light up Allianz Park with a jinking run out of the Leicester 22 his offload only found Goode before Bosch kicked dead in-goal.
 
However, with the wind at their backs, Saracens continued to pressure the Leicester defence and were held up over the line after a series of pick-and-goes.
 
Tigers introduced Dan Cole and Logovi’I Mulipola for the resulting scrum but they were unable to prevent Sarries getting the nudge and with the Leicester pack under pressure referee Garner awarded a second penalty try. Hodgson’s extras moved Sarries 19-6 ahead.
 
Tigers weathered another period of Sarries pressure as the hosts kicked a couple of penalties into the corner, a knock-on by Maro Itoje allowed the Tigers some breathing space.
 
But an offside penalty in the shadow of the Leicester posts gave Saracens the put-in at another scrum.
 
Saracens won three successive penalties at the set-piece, leading to Cole receiving a yellow card. Fraser Balmain came back on in place of Camacho for the fourth scrum and this time, as Tigers infringed again, Garner went under the posts for a third penalty try, and the bonus-point score. Owen Farrell’s conversion set the seal on the hosts’ 26-6 success.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

SAR 7-6 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

SAR 26-6 LEI

Attendance

10,000

Referee

Greg Garner

Match Stats

Saracens
Leicester Tigers
Possession
65%
35%
Territory
73%
27%
Penalties Conceded
5
23
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
61/75 81%
116/134 87%
Scrums Won
10/10 100%
9/9 100%
Lineouts Won
15/15 0%
6/6 0%

Player Stats

Saracens
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Telusa Veainu
14Gonzalo Camacho
13
12Seremaia Bai
11
102P
9
1Marcos Ayerza
2Harry Thacker
3Fraser Balmain
4
5Graham Kitchener
6Ed Slater
7
8Laurence Pearce
16Tom Youngs
17Logovi'i Mulipola
18Dan Cole
19
20Lachlan McCaffrey
21Ben Youngs
22
23
Saracens
Saracens
26

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
6

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Gonzalo Camacho
14
Gonzalo Camacho
Seremaia Bai
12
Seremaia Bai
11
10
Marcos Ayerza
1
Marcos Ayerza
Fraser Balmain
3
Fraser Balmain
4
Ed Slater
6
Ed Slater
Laurence Pearce
8
Laurence Pearce

Subs

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
14
Chris Ashton
13
12
11
10
Charlie Hodgson
9
Richard Wigglesworth
1
2
Schalk Brits
3
4
5
6
7
8

Subs

16
17
Rhys Gill
18
Titi Lamositele
19
Jim Hamilton
20
21
Neil de Kock
22
23
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
1
Saracens
SaracensSAR22171458037620460368280
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
Form Guide
Form
WWLLD
Last Match
Draw with Bath Rugby 17-17
Past Meeting
Won 24-13
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WDWDD
Last Match
Draw with Bayonne null-null
Past Meeting
Lost 13-24