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Derby defeat ends winning run in 'A' League

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Leicester Tigers Development XV fell to a first defeat of the season in the Premiership 'A' League, losing 20-11 to Northampton Wanderers at Franklin's Gardens on Monday evening.

Wanderers took over top spot in the northern conference as they claimed three tries to one from Tigers scrum-half Ben White in a competitive derby on a chilly nightat The Gardens.
Tigers trailed 12-11 at half-time, weathering the storm after two tries from Wanderers centre Juan Pablo Estelles to cut the deficit with White’s score to go with two penalties from fly-half Tom Hardwick.
A further score when Tigers had a man in the sin bin midway through the second half stretched the home side’s advantage to nine points and the visitors were unable to extend their winning run to four games.
Harry Thacker led a young Tigers team, with fellow forward Will Evans the only other player to have started a first-team game this season.
Hardwick gave Tigers an early lead with a penalty, but Wanderers were on the scoresheet after seven minutes when Sam Olver’s chip was gathered by Estelles for the opening try. Olver added the extras.
Estelles added a second approaching the quarter-hour, cutting back on a line from the edge of the Tigers 22. Olver this time thumped his conversion attempt off the outside of the post.
Sam Yawayawa’s work on the kick-chase put Wanderers under pressure and, when referee Dean Richards whistled at the next breakdown, Hardwick kicked his second points of the evening to cut the gap to six points.
Smart work from hooker Thacker averted the danger from a lineout drive near the Tigers tryline when Wanderers threatened again.

When Tigers finally established an attacking platform from a lineout, the skipper steered the maul towards the line. With a penalty coming, Tigers managed to recycle ball just short of the line and scrum-half White dived in for a try. Hardwick was unable to add the extras from the left touchline but the score did cut the deficit to just a point as the interval approached.
White took over the captaincy in the second half as Thacker made way, and Evans was replaced by Tommy Reffell on 50 minutes.
By that point, Northampton had stretched their lead to four points as Olver kicked a penalty from a central position on the 22.
Reaching the three-quarter mark in the game, Tigers showed great determination in defence as Wanderers attacked space on their right, but moments later the visitors lost back-row Fred Tuilagi to injury and Ryan Olowofela to a yellow card.
Wanderers made the advantage count as Tigers repelled an attack on one flank but could not cover the space on the opposite side as Sion Bennett ran in.
Tigers did, though, stay in the game, Charlie Thacker hacking ball 50 metres up towards the Wanderers line and they kept up the pressure with a number of penalties which eventually cost Northampton a yellow card when prop Max Beesley caught Yawayawa high.
The home defence stood firm, though, eventually overturning an attacking scrum to clear their lines and Tigers were unable to find another breakthrough.