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Report | Tigers defeat Saints under lights

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Leicester Tigers scored seven tries to record a 45-14 victory over Northampton Saints at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in the first meeting of the Derby Day Double between the East Midlands rivals.

The 31-point win made it three from three for the home club for the weekend after wins in the Women’s Championship semi-final and Gallagher Premiership.

It took just two minutes for Leicester to get across for the first of the night when skipper Francois van Wyk crashed over from close range.

The home side found themselves in prime position on the back of a fast, physical start and the loosehead prop was the beneficiary several phases into the attack.

Atkinson converted to make it 7-0, which it would only remain for just five minutes before the visitors scored their first through Karl Wilkins.

James Grayson converted to level the scores.

Tigers took back the lead in the 18th minute when Atkinson did it on his own.

After finding touch deep inside the Saints end from a penalty, just a handful of phases from the line out, the fly-half stepped and dummied his way through the line before reaching out score.

He converted his own try to make it 14-7 after a quarter of the game.

Tigers had a third soon after thanks to some quick thinking from Atkinson.

The Leicester fly-half spotted space out wide, behind the Northampton defensive line and landed a cross field kick perfectly to bounce up into the hands of a chasing Harry Simmons.

Simmons was dragged down just short of the line and, almost immediately, Kini Murimurivalu deputised at scrum half with a brilliant ball for Sean Jansen, who dived to over in the south west corner.

Atkinson’s conversion attempt went wide, which meant it was 19-7.

Saints clawed back the deficit to five points soon after with a try to Craig Wright, from the back of a well executed driving maul, and Grayson conversion seeing the score line at 19-14.

However, the home side took the lead back out to twelve points when Murimurivalu got a try of his own.

The full-back, sneakily hunting around the ruck, followed scrum-half Sam Edwards through the Northampton line and ran onto a well weighted flick pass from the No.9 before dotting down.

A third conversion for Atkinson made it 26-14, where it would remain until the break.

Soon after half-time and Leicester’s lead was out to 19 points when Phil Cokanasiga chased down a grubber from his midfield partner Joe Woodward.

Atkinson converted to make 33-14.

After an hour of action at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, Tigers had a sixth and seventh in quick succession from both wingers.

Hosea Saumaki crossed after barging through the Northampton defence on the back of a strong set piece deep in the visitor’s end, before Joe Browning intercepted a pass on halfway and ran it in the rest of the way.

Atkinson converted Browning’s try to extending the lead to 31 points, 45-14, where it stayed to hand Leicester the victory in the first of the Derby Day Double.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score


FT ScoreFull Time Score



Not available


Not available

Leicester Tigers XV
Leicester Tigers XV

Full Time

Northampton Saints XV
Northampton Saints XV
Leicester Tigers XV
Northampton Saints XV



All over here at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, with Tigers running out 45-14 winners. Second-half tries from Phil Cokanasiga, Hosea Saumaki and Joe Browning add to the 26 first half points and ensure a dominant victory for the home side 



Tigers come close a couple of times, Murimurivalu with an offload out the back that is a fraction away from genius, before a couple of minutes later, a nudge through is knocked on millimetres before the line

CONVERSION | Charlie Atkinson

No mistake this time as Atkinson slots the conversion from beneath the posts


Full credit to Saints who attempt to play their way back into the match but flying wing Joe Browning is too switched on, intercepting a looping miss-pass out wide to run it in under the posts from over 40 metres out



Another tough one from out left sees Atkinson unfortunate to miss the target


Saints do well to clear their lines under Tigers pressure but the home side fire right back with several abrasive phases before Saumaki finds space and skips through to score 

SUBSTITUTION | Leicester Tigers

Simon Koroiyadi replaces Rob Carmichael 

SUBSTITUTIONS | Leicester Tigers

A quartet of substitutions between now and the half-time break sees front-row replacements of van Wyk and Dolly exit the field for Archie Vanes and Dan Richardson, whilst Sam Wolstenholme replaces Sam Edwards at scrum-half and Joshua Man replaces Emeka Ilione

CONVERSION | Charlie Atkinson

Atkinson converts confidently from around 10 metres inside the right-hand touchline


Another well-worked try, instigated with great offloading and slick hands that sees substitute Hosea Saumaki dance round his opposite number. Saints defend well but Tigers go back the other way, Dolly feeds it out the back and Atkinson, under pressure pops to Joe Woodward. The centre spots the space in behind and, a delicately weighted grubber later, Cokanasiga receives and touches down in front of an appreciative Mattioli Woods stand



James Grayson kicks off the second 40 minutes with the sun nearly set and the East-Midlands chill setting in 


A frantic first-half ends with an unfortunate disallowed try for Phil Cokanasiga after the centre had run it in from half-way before a Saints counter is well cut-out by captain van Wyk.

Tigers lead 26 - 14 thanks to tries from van Wyk, Atkinson, Jansen and Murimurivalu  


Another simple kick for the fly-half and he makes it count, reestablishing Tigers' 12 point lead


Atkinson has been sending in a bevy of kicks in behind and this is the best of the lot, right into space and a wicked bounce means all Saints can do is touch it down behind the line, Joe Browning a whisker away from touching down himself.

As Northampton attempt to run it back, Tigers steal the ball and play quickly, Murimurivalu finding space and strolling in to score confidently beneath the posts 

CONVERSION | Northampton Saints

James Grayson follows up the try with a quality kick to add the extras and reduce Saints' deficit to an unconverted try

TRY | Northampton Saints

The away side come roaring back, forcing their way upfield before winning a penalty 5 metres out.

They elect to kick to touch and, from there, run a well-worked set piece move that sees flanker Craig Wright go over unopposed


CONVERSION MISSED | Charlie Atkinson

From way out left, Atkinson gives it a massive nudge but doesn't quite have the accuracy


Tigers are showing great endeavour in the carry, Joe Browning especially demonstrating dancing feet to get over the gainline. As the ball comes back left, Atkinson pops a lovely chip over the top and Harry Simmonds collects duly.  

He's smothered agonisingly close to the line but scrum-half Sam Edwards stays cool and spots Sean Jansen in space and the No.8 can touch down 

CONVERSION | Charlie Atkinson

The try-scorer converts his own kick with a simple nudge from in front of the posts

TRY | Charlie Atkinson

The fly-half starts and finishes an extended series of play. It's his astute kick from a penalty on half-way that puts Tigers in a dangerous position. From there, the team continue to truck it up until Atkinson sells the dummy and powers through the scrambling tacklers to finish powerfully one-handed 


James Grayson adds two points from in front of the posts and the two sides are back on level terms


After a succession of scrum penalties, one is called just five metres out and Saints run it in, flanker Karl Wilkins scoring under the posts 


The young 10 confidently slots the extras from close-range 


Today's Captain gets the home side off to the perfect start! A penalty from the intitial scrum is kicked to touch, where Lewis Chessum claims at the front. Saints defend the rolling maul well but Tigers play the phases and, after going from left to right and nearly back again, van Wyk barrels over centrally 


Beneath the evening sun and a cloudless sky, Charlie Atkinson gets us underway with a short, high kick and allows Tigers to force a knock-on for an early scrum



The teams are ready for today's derby matchup so stay with us here on Matchday Live for all the updates as Tigers take on Northampton Saints!



The first game of our derby double-header kicks-off in just half an hour! So get down to Mattioli Woods Welford Road or put your feet up and follow along with all the action right here, it's nearly time for some rugby!

Team News | Leicester Tigers side to play Northampton Saints

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The Leicester Tigers matchday squad to play Northampton Saints at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in the first of The Derby Day Double fixtures has been named.

Francois van Wyk will captain the team at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Monday evening, while Senior Academy Coach Matt Smith will lead the coaching team.

The matchday squad includes 14 players to have graduated from the club’s academy programme in recent seasons and all seven of the Senior Academy players who were part of the 2023 England Under-20s squad.

Nic Dolly will play his first game of the 2022/23 season, starting at hooker alongside van Wyk and Will Hurd in the front-row.

Lewis Chessum and Rob Carmichael are the second row pairing, while fellow England U20s forward Finn Carnduff is at blindside flanker.

Carnduff is joined in the back-row by Emeka Ilione and Sean Jansen.

Sam Edwards and Charlie Atkinson are the starting half-backs, with Joe Woodward and Phil Cokanasiga the centres.

Harry Simmons, Joe Browning and Kini Murimurivalu are the starting back three.

On an extended bench, including five forwards and four backs, are front-rowers Archie Vanes, Dan Richardson, Tim Hoyt and fellow forwards Joshua Manz and Simon Koroyiadi.

Meanwhile, the replacements backs are Sam Wolstenholme, Morgan Meredith, Hosea Saumaki and Jacob Cusick.

15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Joe Browning, 13 Phil Cokanasiga, 12 Joe Woodward, 11 Harry Simmons, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Sam Edwards; 1 Francois van Wyk (c), 2 Nic Dolly, 3 Will Hurd, 4 Lewis Chessum, 5 Rob Carmichael, 6 Finn Carnduff, 7 Emeka Ilione, 8 Sean Jansen

16 Archie Vanes, 17 Dan Richardson, 18 Tim Hoyt, 19 Joshua Manz, 20 Simon Koroiyadi, 21 Sam Wolstenholme, 22 Morgan Meredith, 23 Hosea Saumaki, 24 Jacob Cusick

Form Guide
Last Match
Lost to Northampton Saints XV 26-64
Past Meeting
Lost 26-64
Last Match
Past Meeting
Last Match
Beat Leicester Tigers XV 64-26
Past Meeting
Won 64-26

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers XV45
Leicester Tigers XV
Northampton Saints XV14
Northampton Saints XV
Full Time