Leicester Tigers Development XV were beaten 38-10 by Northampton Wanderers in the second round of the Premiership ‘A’ League season at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday evening.
The result gave the hosts a Derby Day double after victory in the Aviva Premiership fixture a couple of hours earlier.
It was Tigers who scored first, with a penalty from Tom Hardwick and they built a lead when he converted a try from hooker Harry Mahoney midway through the opening period, but that was to be the last score for the visitors.
Wanderers made their possession tell with five converted tries in the second half to put the result beyond doubt.
Fred Tuilagi was called into the Tigers back row in the only change to the team that started a nine-try win at Worcester in Round 1.
The match opened with both sides running the ball from end to end and with both sides creating opportunities to opening scoring. Charlie Thacker at centre made out-the-back passes to get Jordan Olowefela and hooker Mahoney into space but Wandderers ensured there was no way through to the line.
Valentino Mapapalangi, playing at No8, demonstrated his strength with a break down the righty, breaking through tackles on his way up to the five-metre line before earning a penalty which Tom Hardwick struck for the opening points.
The first try arrived after 22 minutes as a penalty at the breakdown gave Tigers a lineout in the Wanderers 22 and the driving maul was pushed over the line for Mahoney to score for a third time in two games. Hardwick added the conversion for a 10-point lead.
Wanderers looked to score next with a break from the forwards and quick offloads taking them over the Tigers line but were held up for a five-metre scrum. But they continued to build phases of possession and this time chipped in behind but Jordan Olowofela won the race for the final touch and Tigers had the 22 drop-out.
Tigers were pinned back, though, as Wanderers continued to attack. They were held up again, though this time Charlie Thacker was injured in the defence of the tryline and replaced by Will Foster from Loughborough University.
Wanderers won a penalty at the scrum and opted to kick for goal, Rory Hutchinson kicking their first points as the clock hit 40 minutes.
Tigers started the second half under pressure and, although they defended stoutly, quick ball gave prop Jamal Ford-Robinson a line off the ruck and he crashed over to score. Hutchinson’s conversion levelled the scores at 10-10.
The best opportunity for the visitors came when Simmons made a break near halfway and kicked in behind the Wanderers defence, but Olowofela was just unable to collect the ball, beaten by the Wanderers full-back.
Wanderers quickly returned to attack and worked the ball up the wing, building phases in the Tigers 22 before Ford-Robinson scored his second of the match with another run off a ruck and Hutchinson added the conversion to lead by seven.
Tigers were down to 14 men as the match entered the last quarter when Tuilagi tackled the Wanderers wing Jamie Elliott in the air and received a yellow card.
After a break in play for Elliott to receive treatment, he was able to walk off the field and Wanderers quickly made the advantage count with two tries, first with a driving maul for prop Francois van Wyk to dot down and then Tom Stephenson scoring wide on the left for the bonus-point score, with Hutchinson adding the conversions to extend the lead.
With Tigers restored to 15 men, Wanderers continued to put the pressure and this time Juan Pablo Estelles was able to work through into the corner to score, with Hutchinson thumping another conversion over to make the final score 38-10.
The next fixture in the ‘A’ League programme is at home against Wasps on Monday, September 25, kick-off is at 7.00pm. Entry is free for Tigers season ticket holders or £5 on the day for other supporters.
Northampton Wanderers make it a derby day double with a bonus-point win over the Tigers Development XV
Saints extend their lead
Juan Pablo Estelles steps off the right wing to score Wanderers' fifth try of the evening
Hutchinson lands the conversion from the left touchline as Tuilagi returns to the field from his yellow card
Saints secure bonus-point
Tom Stephenson finishes off a big overlap with a slide into the left corner
Northampton move two scores ahead with the conversion by Hutchinson
Hosts extend their lead
A third try for the Wanderers and a third for their front-rowers. This time Francois Van Wyk crosses
Tigers back-rower Fred Tuilagi is shown a yellow card after colliding with Northampton wing Jamie Elliott. Elliott landed heavily and is receiving lengthy treatment
Rory Hutchinson adds the conversion to move Northampton 17-10 ahead
Saints take the lead
It's a double for Ford-Robinson, who charges over from a couple of yards to put The Wanderers ahead
Lightning-quick break by Simmons, who slides a kick towards the left flank where Jamie Elliott beats Olowofela to the ball close to his own line
Hutchinson adds the extras and were level-pegging at The Gardens
A try and handbags
Former Tigers prop Jamal Ford-Robinson crashes onto a pop pass to score from close range. There's a bit of handbags as the players pick themselves back up
Stanko on the prowl
Scrum coach Boris Stankovich gives an appreciative nod as Tigers secure possession at a defensive scrum 5m out and clear their 22
Teams back out
Northampton are first out of the changing rooms for the second-half, with Tigers, led by Will Evans, close behind
Half-time at Franklin's Gardens
A try from Harry Mahoney and five points from Tom Hardwick as Tigers Development XV lead Northampton Wanderers 10-3 at the break
Saints on the board
Northampton win a scrum penalty and fly-half Rory Hutchinson lands a simple kick to cut Tigers' lead
Saints get their driving game going close to the Tigers line but Leicester hold them up. 5m scrum to the hosts
Another impressive touchline conversion by Hutchinson extends the Northampton lead further
Close for Saints
Saints go close to a try but knock-on in-goal as they slide in to touch down
HALF AN HOUR DOWN
Thirty minutes down at Franklin's Gardens in tonight's A League fixture and Tigers lead Saints 10-0.
Conversion successful from Hardwick and Tigers lead 10-0 over Saints after 24 minutes at Franklin's Gardens in the A League fixture.
TRY - TIGERS
Hooker Harry Mahoney dots it down for the first five-pointer of the night, well placed at the back of 5m lineout maul.
Great to see Jamie Elliott walk from the field after lengthy treatment. He is replaced by Fraser Strachan
PENALTY - TIGERS
The first points of the match are on the board as Hardwick adds a penalty goal from in front to see the Development XV lead 3-0.
TEN PAST KICK-OFF O'CLOCK
Both A League teams yet to find points here at Franklin Garden's after ten minutes, despite a clear attacking mindset from both squads. End-to-end rugby on display.
FIVE GONE AT FRANKLIN'S GARDENS
Five minutes gone at Franklin's Gardens in tonight's A League fixture against Saints and neither side is on the scoreboard yet.
TIGERS LINE UP - FORWARDS
Forwards: 1 Kyle Traynor, 2 Harry Mahoney, 3 Ben Betts, 4 Sam Lewis, 5 Joe Maksymiw, 6 Fred Tuilagi, 7 Will Evans (c), 8 Valentino Mapapalangi
TIGERS LINE UP - BACKS
Backs: 15 Jordan Olowofela, 14 George Catchpole, 13 Gareth Owen, 12 Charlie Thacker, 11 Jonah Holmes, 10 Tom Hardwick, 9 Harry Simmons
UNDERWAY IN THE A LEAGUE
We've kicked off in tonight's A League fixture here at Franklin's Gardens.