Saracens scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to beat Leicester Tigers 33-10 in Round 13 of the Gallagher Premiership at Allianz Park on Saturday.
On a day when Tigers became the first club to reach 500 Premiership games, they led 10-5 at half-time but had no response as Sarries built momentum around the hour mark to pull clear in the contest.
After an early penalty from Matt Toomua, Saracens fought back to lead with a try from scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth before the first half closed with George Worth releasing Jonah Holmes to score his fifth try of the season. The conversion made it 10-5 at the break.
But he game was won around the hour mark with Alex Lozowski kicking two penalties and then hooker Tom Woolstencroft claiming a crucial try to turn the screw as Sarries pinned Tigers back. Further scores followed from Ben Spencer and David Strettle as Sarries secured a bonus-point win.
Tigers travelled south with just one win in their last six league trips to Allianz Park and with both teams shorn of international players, though Dan Cole was released from the England squad to make his 150th Premiership appearance. Tom Varndell, meanwhile, made his first league appearance for the club since April 2009.
After kicking off, Sarries kept ball for the first six minutes on the edge of the Tigers 22, though they were met by stubborn defence and a timely tackler from Ben White as Alex Lozowski spotted a gap before Sione Kalamafoni forced ball loose with a ball hit in a central position.
Alex Goode shook off the after-effects of that tackle to make a dangerous break but he was caught 20 metres out and the counter-ruck forced the ball loose again.
Without any ball, Tigers were thankful for penalty awards at a defensive scrum and then at their own lineout just inside the Sarries half to release the pressure and, from that second decision, Toomua kicked them into a three-point lead.
Sarries replied immediately as Matt Gallagher returned a clearing kick and scrum-half Wigglesworth exchanged passes with Nick Isiekwe to score on the right. Lozowski was fractionally wide with his conversion attempt but the hosts led 5-3.
Tigers responded by enjoying more possession in attack, though they were kept out until Sarries won ball of their own around the 25-minute mark and sensed a chance when Lozowski’s chip kick bounced beyond Worth but then beat the closest attackers too as Tigers scrambled back.
Worth was then penalised as he claimed a high kick but his forward pack not only stood up to the lineout drive but also won back ball and Toomua hammered it clear.
White looked to inject some pace with a tap from a free-kick and a high tackle from Calum Clark was penalised, only for Toomua to pull the kick wide of the left-hand post.
There was still just enough time, though, to get back on the scoreboard with a well-taken try from Holmes.
Kyle Eastmond timed a pass to his right to perfection near halfway and Worth sold the defence a dummy as he broke forward before releasing Holmes to run in from 35 metres. Toomua added the conversion on the stroke of half-time with Tigers 10-5 in front.
With the wind now into their faces, Tigers kicked off the second half with no changes to either line-up.
Some bright in the backs brought a penalty award for Tigers, but the angle was tight for a kick at goal and Toomua pushed play into the right-hand corner. Clark was penalised at the lineout and this time, with the mark 15 metres in from the right-hand touchline, Toomua, though, pushed it just wide with five points still separating the teams.
Sarries sent on Will Skelton on 50 minutes and at the big second-row’s first involvement they won their first scrum penalty on halfway, giving Goode a chance to kick to the right-hand corner. A second whistle followed against Mike Williams at the lineout, then Sarries were playing with advantage for a third infringement when Gareth Owen was called for obstructing Goode.
Skipper Brad Barritt called for the kick to goal and Lozowski added the three-pointer to make it 8-10 with 55 minutes on the clock.
Ten points in a four-minute spell then swung momentum in the champions’ favour as Lozowski added a penalty after Holmes had been whistled in possession and then, in a repeat of that offence, they went to the corner and hooker Tom Woolstencroft took control to drive over for their second try of the day. Goode added the conversion for an 18-10 lead entering the last 15 minutes.
Goode missed an immediate opportunity to add to that but missed his penalty from the right-hand side.
Sam Aspland-Robinson was sent on for his Premiership debut in place of Owen but he was still waiting for his first touch of the ball when Tigers were penalised again in front of their own posts and Goode made it 21-10 with seven minutes left to play.
With Tigers forced to play from deep, Sarries ran in a third try when Ben Spencer picked off a pass from Toomua to run in and Goode added the extras, leaving them with just under three minutes in which to find a bonus-point score to return to the top of the table and it came as Strettle got on to turnover ball just a few metres out and dotted down on their right.
Thank you to all the travelling supporters who made the journey to Saracens for today's match, we hope you have a safe journey home.
Saracens 33 Tigers 10
Goode takes the conversion but the ball goes wide.
Saracens find space on the far wing for David Strettle to run in for a late try.
The ball is run from one end of the pitch to the other as Saracens run back the restart kick from Tigers and make their way into Tigers 22.
Alex Goode makes the conversion to take the score to 28-10.
Saracens make an intercept and it's Ben Spencer who takes the ball and dots down for the try.
Tigers win the ball at the lineout and create phases to get out of our 22 with some big carries from our forwards.
Kyle Eastmond is replaced by Tom Hardwick.
Tigers win a penalty
Tigers defence holds strong in our 22 and we win a turnover penalty at the breakdown. Toomua kicks for the lineout between our 22 and 10 metre line.
It's a good run from Sam Aspland-Robinson as the ball goes out wide from the scrum but there's a turnover and Saracens are on the attack and work back into Tigers 22.
Richard Barrington, Vincent Koch and Matt Gallagher are replaced by Ralph Adams-Hale, Titi Lamositele and Max Mallins.
RUnning ball from the restart
It is fast running rugby from the restart as Saracens chip ahead and into the Tigers 22 for a possible try but the ball was knocked-on and Tigers have a scrum on our 22.
Greg Bateman and Dan Cole are replaced by Facundo Gigena and Joe Heyes.
Goode lands the penalty to take the score to 21-10 after 72 minutes.
Sam Aspland-Robinson replaces Gareth Owen.
Testing the Defence
Saracens run the ball from the scrum and Tigers look for a turnover at the ruck but the referee penalises us and awards Saracens a penalty, Goode points to the posts.
Brendon O'Connor is replaced by Will Evans.
The 22 restart kick is charged down but we recover the ball, the ball is passed out wide but a maul is called on the far side and Saracens turn over the ball for a scrum outside Tigers 22.
The kick goes wide
Goode's kick is wide of the posts and Tigers have the 22 restart kick.
More Kicking from both sides
There is plenty of running but both teams look to keep kicking and as Tigers contest a ruck just inside our half Saracens win a penalty. Goode points to the posts for what will be a huge kick.
Alex Goode takes the conversion who lands it to make the score 18-10 after 66 minutes.
Saracens create the driving maul at the lineout and manage to push their way over the line for the try and replacement hooker Tom Woolstencroft is the scorer.
Tigers chip ahead and Saracens have the ball in their half, their is a chip ahead and Tigers look to have recovered the ball but are penalised in the breakdown. Saracens kick for the lineout on Tigers 5 metre line.
Tigers with the ball
Saracens return the restart kick and Tigers are on the attack inside our half.
Nick Tompkins replaces Alex Lozowski.
Tom Youngs and Mike Fitzgerald are replaced by Jake Kerr and Harry Wells.
Lozowski lands the penalty to make it 11-10 after 62 minutes.
Tigers and Saracens trade kicks from the scrum but a ball recovered by Holmes is turned over as the referee awards a penalty to Saracens. Lozowski points to the posts.
Throw not straight
Tigers win a penalty at the lineout for the throw not straight from Saracens at the lineout and we have the scrum outside our 22.
Good Tigers Defence
Saracens run the ball from the scrum and go wide with a chip ahead but Jonah shows his skills to recover the ball and keep it for the ruck, Tigers kick clear for a lineout outside our 22.
Tigers create a driving maul and look to work it out but there is a loose pass and the ball goes loose, the referee calls a knock-on and Saracens have the scrum just inside Tigers half.
Mike Rhodes replaces Callum Clark.
Saracens collect the restart kick from Tigers and kick clear for a Tigers lineout on halfway.
Saracens are awarded a penalty for obstruction and Lozowski lines up to take the kick and lands it to make the score 8-10 after 55 minutes.
Ben Spencer replaces Richard Wigglesworth.
Saracens have the advantage
Saracens have an advantage from the driving maul and go wide with the ball and try a chip ahead but it goes dead and the referee calls them back but they go to TMO to check a possible obstruction.
Saracens with the driving maul
Saracens create a driving maul from the lineout but the referee calls a penalty for Saracens, they kick for another lineout on the 5 metre line.
Saracens win a penalty at the scrum and kick for touch and a lineout in Tigers 22.
Dom Day is replaced by Will Skelton.
Saracens get the lineout ball but as the ball goes out it goes loose and Tigers try to collect but knock it on and Saracens get a scrum on halfway.
Kick finds touch
Some more kicks from both sides before George Worth's kick finds touch and Saracens have the lineout on halfway.
Tigers and Saracens both go for kicks from the restart, Worth collects and makes a good break before being brought down but Tigers are on the attack on halfway.
Unlucky for Toomua
Toomua's kick goes just wide of the far post and Saracens have the restart from their 22.
Lineout penalty for Tigers
Tigers win the ball at the lineout but Saracens are penalised for engaging early and Tigers are awarded a penalty. Toomua points to the posts.
Tigers on the attack
Tigers win the ball at the lineout and build phases working up the Saracens 22, Toomua tries a chip ahead collected by Tom Varndell but he is brought to ground. Tigers win a penalty and opt to kick for touch, giving Tigers a lineout 6 metres out from the Saracens tryline.
Christopher Tolofua is replaced by Tom Woolstencroft.
Tigers win the scrum
Tigers again with a big scrum and we win a penalty, kicking to touch for a lineout outisde Saracens 22.
Tigers with the ball
Saracens collect the kick and kick clear to touch for a Tigers lineout in our half and the ball is messy from the lineout and goes to ground but the referee calls the ball unplayable and Tigers have the scrum.
The teams are back out and we kick-off the second-half as Toomua gets things underway.
Saracens 5 Tigers 10
Plus the Extras
Toomua makes no mistake with this kick and the ball goes straight between the posts to add the conversion and make it 5-10 as the clock heads to red.
TRY FOR TIGERS!
What a break! Tigers look to run the ball and Worth shows a dummy on the far wing to step the defender making a break down the wing before offloading to Jonah Holmes who runs in to score.
Tigers back on attack
Tigers take the ball from Saracens restart and look to build phases from our own half.
The ball goes just wide
Toomua with the kick at goal but the ball goes just wide of the post and Saracens will restart from their 22.
Reset and Free Kick
We have a reset scrum before winning a free kick, Ben White looks to go quickly but as he is tackled Saracens are penalised for a high tackle from Callum Clark and Toomua points to the posts.
Tigers win the ball at the lineout and look to go quickly but the ball is knocked-on for a Saracens scrum on their 10 metre line.
Quick lineout ball
Tigers with a long lineout throw collect the ball and are on the attack on Saracens 10 metre line but as the ball goes out wide Tigers are bundled into touch for a Saracens lineout.
Tigers with a big scrum
Tigers look good at the scrum and win a penalty, Toomua kicks to touch for a lineout inside Saracens half.
Tigers clear the ball
Tigers win the ball at the lineout and kick clear up field but Saracens keep the ball in play and run it back at Tigers. Tigers defence holds strong as Saracens look to break into Tigers 22 but a pass goes forward and Tigers have a scrum just outside our 22.
Strong Tigers Defence
Tigers force a turnover at the driving maul from the lineout and Toomua kicks clear up field and Saracens are on the attack on Tigers 10 metre line before Wigglesworth finds space and chips ahead into touch for another lineout in Tigers 22.
TIgers with the ball
Goode kicks from the mark but finds Worth who goes on a run and before being tackled on halfway. Tigers are on the attack before more kicking from both sides before Saracens win a turnover at the breakdown on halfway and kick for the lineout in Tigers 22.
Both teams go for some kicks ahead, testing the back field players from both sides before Holmes kick find Goode and he calls the mark.
Tigers turnover the ball
Tigers defence holds out Saracens and a loose ball is turned over. Tigers go wide and Jonah makes some good metres before being brought down near halfway.
Bounce of the Ball
Saracens go wide and chip ahead from the lineout but as the ball looks like it will bounce for the Saracens chasing players it falls the other way.
Saracens are still on the attack at Tigers 22 but Tigers defence has had time to reset.
Tigers kick clear
Tigers win the ball at the lineout and kick clear to touch for another Saracens lineout on their 10 metre line.
One 22 to the other
Saracens win the ball at the lineout and as the ball is passed out wide a kick ahead beats all the players and finds touch just inside Tigers 22 for a lineout.
Tigers into touch
Tigers work the ball across the pitch but some good hands to Varndell is caught by Saracens defence and pushed into touch for a Saracens lineout.
Tigers on another attack
Tigers with the ball at the lineout and create a driving maul, the maul is brought to grounfd but Tigers continue to build phases in Saracens 22.
Tigers win the ball
Tigers get the ball back at the lineout and run it out wide, Varndell calls for it and Owen chips it ahead forcing Saracens to kick into touch in their 22 for a Tigers lineout.
Saracens clear the ball
Saracens run the ball at the scrum but a big tackle from Toomua brings them down, Tigers look to chase down the ball but the referee calls offside. Saracens kick for the lineout just inside Tigers half.
Tigers on the attack
Tigers win the ball at the lineout and are on the attack in the Saracens 22, Tigers try a chip ahead which is recovered by Jonah Holmes but Saracens win a turnover and it is a Saracens scrum in their 22.
Tigers with the ball
Tigers with the restart but we turn it over and attack Saracens in their half, we're pushed back but win a penalty at the breakdown and kick for the lineout just outside Saracens 22.
Losowski pushes the conversion wide of the posts and the score stays at 5-3 after 12 minutes.
It's quick play from the restart, Tigers kick clear but Saracens full-back Matt Gallagher catches it and finds a gap to run through Tigers defence and with an offload to Wigglesworth to run in a score the first try of the match.
Penalty for Tigers
Toomua lands the kick to put the first points on the scoreboard and the score is 0-3 after 10 minutes.
Loose Lineout Ball
The ball goes loose at the lineout and Saracens look to make a break but the referee pulls play back for offside at the lineout and a Tigers penalty.
Toomua points to the posts and lines up the kick at goal.
Tigers win a penalty at the scrum and Toomua kicks for touch and a lineout on Saracens 10 metre line.
Tigers Kick Clear
Sione Kalamafoni runs from the scrum and Tigers start a kicking game with Saracens before a break from Alex Goode puts Saracens into Tigers 22 but a tackle from Ben White stops him and we win a scrum penalty at the breakdown. Tigers will have the scrum on our 22.
Tigers strong in defence
Tigers continue to show good defence as we hold out Saracens from the 22 and force a knock-on for a Tigers scrum in front of the posts on our 22.
Saracens with the Ball
Tigers kick the ball down field from the turnover and it is Saracens in attack in their half but a chip ahead is collected by Strettle outside Tigers 22 and it's more defence for Tigers.
Testing the Defence
It is all Saracens from the lineout as they continue to build phases testing Tigers defence but we keep them around the 22 line before Brendon O'Connor makes a turnover.
Saracens on the attack
Tigers clear their lines with a kick from Ben White and it is Saracens on the attack back into Tigers half.
Saracens can't find a whole in the defence and a chip through goes into touch via Tigers for a Saracens lineout on our 22.
Here we go!
Saracens Alex Goode kicks us off today and for Tigers 500th Premiership game.
Here come the teams
Tom Youngs leads Tigers out on to the pitch ahead of Saracens and we are ready for kick-off.
Both teams have finished their warm-ups and have headed back into the changing rooms as we are minutes away from kick-off.
Hello and welcome back, if you're joining us we are back for the return of Premiership action as we take on Saracens.
Just a quick weather update for those who have been here before but the weather is unusually mild today, should make for good conditions for the match.