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Tigers on top in derby 'arm wrestle'

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Victory over Northampton Saints in the East Midlands derby pushed Leicester Tigers back into the top four in the Aviva Premiership table approaching the break for European competition and sets up a big trip to Exeter Chiefs in the next league game at Christmas.

Tigers earned a 19-11 win over Saints with an Adam Thompstone try in front of a 24,000 crowd at Welford Road. Freddie Burns kicked 11 points and Owen Williams added a last-minute penalty to deprive the visitors of even a consolation bonus point.
“We started pretty well but then Adam Thompstone’s yellow card gave them some oxygen and they got into the game. After that it was a bit of an arm wrestle all the way,” said Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.
“There was not a lot between the teams. We controlled field position and kept them under pressure. That was probably the defining factor, notwithstanding the fact that with three of four minutes to go they are on the attack and trying to win game before great defence from Sam Harrison and Ed Slater.
“We’ve probably got that bit of confidence that got us over the line.
“It’s a good win, it pushes us back into the top four and sets us up to go to Exeter, who are just below us, in a few weeks.”
Tigers made it 12 points from consecutive wins over Harlequins, Bristol and Northampton since the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
“We wanted three wins and that keeps us in that top four,” added Cockerill. “But it is tight at the top end of the table.
“The foundations of our game are good and we’ve given away just two tries in three games which is good for us too.”
Tigers lost hooker Tom Youngs ahead of kick-off after suffering a back spasm, meaning a call-up to the front row for Harry Thacker and a place among the replacements for George McGuigan.
“Tom has a bit of a spasm, we were trying to loosen that up and trying to get him over the line but the right thing in the end was to take him out," Cockerill said. "He should be fine for next week, but Harry did a great job starting and George did a great job off the bench.”