Two tries from Mike Adlard were not enough for Leicester Tigers as they were beaten 26-14 by Saracens in their second game at the Premiership Sevens on Friday evening.
Both teams had lost their opening fixture against Newcastle Falcons so the head-to-head would settle second place in the pool at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton.
Adlard, who has played both rugby codes in Hull, claimed the opening try as he latched on to a chip from skipper Harry Simmons to run in. Scrum-half Simmons added the conversion from in front of the posts for a 7-0 lead.
Sarries replied with the first of three tries from Ratu Naulago and the conversion from Matt Gallagher levelled the scores.
It remained that way for less than a minute, though, as Adlard darted through a gap on halfway to run clear for his second try of the game. Simmons again supplied the extras as Tigers led 14-7 with two minutes remaining in the opening period.
The scores were even at half-time, though, after Naulago broke clear again and Gallagher kicked the extras.
Simmons was active in defence as Sarries enjoyed possession in the early stages of the second half but he had just left the field when Naulago completed his hat-trick to make it 19-14 in his side’s favour with just three minutes left to play.
Phil Woodhead produced a superb try-saving tackle on the ankles of Sarries skipper Joel Conlon to keep Tigers in the game as the clock ticked down, but there were just 20 seconds remaining in the contest when Reuben Bird-Tulloch broke a tackle in front of the posts and scored to make it 26-14.
Sale Sharks 26 Bristol Bears 12
Bath 29 Worcester Warriors 12
Newcastle Falcons 26 Saracens 17
Northampton Saints 22 Gloucester Rugby 20
Harlequins 41 Bristol Bears 12
Exeter Chiefs 28 Worcester Warriors 14
Newcastle Falcons 21 Leicester Tigers 14
Wasps 33 Gloucester Rugby 7
Harlequins 24 Sale Sharks 21
Exeter Chiefs 31 Bath Rugby 15
Saracens 26 Leicester Tigers 14
Northampton Saints v Wasps to come