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'Scrappy win' keeps Tigers in top spot

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Leicester Tigers go into the final pool game of the LV= Cup in Cardiff on Saturday with an unbeaten record after beating Northampton Saints at Welford Road.Tries from Sebastian de Chaves and Laurence Pearce gave Tigers a 17-8 win in front of a capacity crowd and kept them in top spot in the pool with one fixture remaining.   Assistant coach Geordan Murphy said: “You always know it is going to be a battle with Saints whichever teams goes out there. Traditionally the games are very close, probably just one score either way, and all in all we’re happy with the result.   “Conditions were difficult but we’re a bit disappointed because with the number of mistakes. There was a bit of rustiness and with the cold, the wind and the pitch tearing up, it was scrappier than we would have liked.   “But it’s great for the guys to get some gametime and go out and perform.   “Credit to the guys for digging in at the scrums at the end of the first half and then with some strong goalline defence later on. We showed a bit of pride in our defence.”   In a much-changed team, Tigers gave a first start to centre Jack Roberts and lock Greg Peterson, while George Catchpole made his appearance of the season. Jack Whetton made his debut from the bench in the second half and Terrence Hepetema also returned from injury for his first game in 12 months.   “There were a lot of guys who have been training hard week in, week out but haven’t had the chance to get much gametime, so this was their opportunity,” said Murphy.   “It’s great to have Terrence Hepetema back after a long time out injured. It was his first 20 minutes in a year.   “Niall Morris, too, has just come back from injury. He got 10 minutes last week and made an impact and today he got his hands on the ball but it was more about getting 80 minutes under his belt and when the Premiership comes back around he will be ready to roll.”   Tigers are four points clear of second-placed Wasps in the pool and go to Cardiff Blues on Saturday in round four.