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Tigers cubs defeated by Saracens in U17 friendly

Leicester Tigers Under-17s suffered a 19-47 loss to Saracens in a friendly fixture played at the Oval Park Training Ground on Saturday afternoon.

The third and final of a series of friendly fixtures for the young 'cubs' aimed at bringing together the next generation of Tigers Academy prospects, after the recent graduation of a host of players on the back of U18 League Grand Final success, was played in wet and windy conditions at the Leicester Tigers headquarters.

Despite the tough weather players had to contest with, both sides were willing to show their attacking ability and the opening 15 minutes was full of end-to-end action on the pitch.

It was the visitors however who struck first, with a converted try 13 minutes in to the match backed up just 10 minutes later as the Saracens hooker crossed for his - and the London club's - second of the match in the 22nd minute.

Just five minutes later the Tigers were in for their first of the match, when open-side flanker Lynx Noumey pushed his way over from close range and fly-half Harry Glynn converted to close the deficit to seven points.

Leicester then managed to get within two points as the first half neared a close through winger Simone Panella, who crossed out-wide for the home side's second.

However, Saracens managed to extend their lead to nine points as their No.8 stepped, ducked and weaved his way through the Leicester defence from 30m out to dive over near the posts. The try was converted and Tigers would trail 12-21 at the half-time break.

After a tussle between the teams in the opening ten of the second-half, it was the 48th minute when the visitors made it four scores for the afternoon, as a Tigers attack inside the Saracens 22 was turned over by the visitors and kicked down field just a few phases later before the London club's replacement scrum-half out-paced back tracking Leicester defenders to swoop on to the ball and score.

Poor ball-handling and indecision from the young Leicester side allowed Saracens to dominate the next 14 minutes of the game as they added just as many points in the period, including a penalty try awarded against Tigers which saw Noumey sent to the sin-bin for preventing a certain try by holding back a chasing player.

Leicester added what would be their final points of the match in the 67th minute, when right winger Joe Browning chipped and chase on counter attack and retrieved well before shrugging of four Saracens defenders to score in the corner. Replacement fly-half Charlie Titcombe converted from out-wide to close the deficit to 21 points with ten minutes remaining.

The visitors however had the final say on the scoreboard as Saracens left-winger crossed for his second of the match in the 70th minute, which was converted and extended their lead to 47-19 where it would remain until full-time.

Speaking after the match, Tigers development coach Ant Allen said: "The lads are disappointed, everybody is disappointed. You certainly never go out there to lose a game."

"Now we need to ensure we and they learn from it and get better. There's plenty of areas we can improve, as a team and for many of the individuals ... and that's what we will now push forward and try to do in to the pre-season."