Burns sinks Saracens

Date published: March 20 2016

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Fly-half Freddie Burns scored 16 points as Leicester eased past Saracens 21-13 at Welford Road on Sunday.

After taking a three-point lead into the break, Tigers sparked into life in the second 40 through tries from Freddie Burns and Vereniki Goneva.

Alex Goode gave Saracens hope late on with a try but it wasn't enough as Tigers sealed the 21-13 win.

Looking to move back to the top of the Premiership, Saracens didn'’t go the best way about it in the first 40. In truth, the first half was a real slog for both sides, with just the three kicks troubling the scoreboard.

Tigers lost Logovi’'i Mulipola 10 minutes in, the number three sent to the bin for a dangerous tackle on Marcelo Bosch.

Bosch’'s run down the left drew the foul, before the visitors threw everything at the Tigers line, but were held up and eventually saw the ball turned over.

The 45 men of Saracens did take the lead soon after with a penalty. Alex Goode made no mistake from close range to put his side three points up. The lead didn’'t last long though, with Freddie Burns slotting through an easy penalty to level.

The hosts came closest to troubling the try line in the first half, with the best chance squandered on 25 minutes. Vereniki Goneva found himself on the ball in a two on two situation and fed the ball into Adam Thompstone, but he spilled possession much to the irritation of the Welford Road crowd.

Jono Kitto was next to go close, pulled down to the ground inches from the line through a combination of Kelly Brown and Mike Rhodes.

That move led to Tigers taking the lead, Burns kicking through again to put his side three points into the lead as the sides went into the break.

But whilst the first 40 minutes had little to write home about in terms of chances for tries, the first five minutes of the second half produced the opener.

Saracens lost Nils Mordt for a foul moments before, and Burns took his tally for the afternoon to 13 points. After controlling possession, Burns found his way through a gap before going over and converting himself.

And the Tigers began to really pull away before the hour mark. Burns let someone else do the scoring this time, Owen Williams breaking before Goneva pounced and went over. Burns missed the conversion but at 15 points ahead, Tigers had set themselves up perfectly for the win.

Saracens gave themselves hope though with a try of their own. Following in Burns’' footsteps, the Saracens kicker Goode continued his fine afternoon after breaking quickly from a scrum. He converted to reduce the arrears to eight and got that down to five with a superb penalty from 40 metres.

Burns dragged that advantage back though with a drop goal, and with four minutes to play Saracens looked doomed. They lost Mike Ellery late on too to a yellow card as Tigers continued their fine form on home soil.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Burns, Goneva
Con: Burns
Pens: Burns 2
Drop Goal: Burns
Yellow Card: Mulipola

For Saracens:
Try: Goode
Con: Goode
Pens: Goode 2
Yellow Cards: Mordt, Ellery

Leicester: 15 Tommy Bell, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Owen Williams, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jono Kitto, 8 Jordan Crane (c), 7 Lachlan McCaffrey, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Tom Croft, 20 Opeti Fonua, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Matt Smith, 23 Telusa Veainu 

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Nils Mordt, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Richard Barrington
Replacements: 16 Dave Porecki, 17 Titi Lamositele, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 Hayden Smith, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Nick Tompkins, 23 Ben Ransom

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff, Robin Goodliffe
TMO: David Sainsbury

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