Saracens dismantle Leicester

Date published: January 2 2016

Saracens' forward pack produced the first hat-trick of penalty tries in Premiership history in an impressive 26-6 win over Leicester Tigers at Allianz Park.

A fourth try from Jamie George in a dominating performance from Mark McCall's side meant they opened 2016 with a bonus point victory.

Resilient defending from Saracens limited Freddie Burns to only two attempts at the posts, both of which he slotted through.

Although Leicester took a 3-0 lead from the boot of Burns, table-topping Saracens went ahead after being awarded their first penalty try after 12 minutes, allowing Charlie Hodgson to convert his first points of the afternoon.

Burns' second penalty after 22 minutes meant the sides went in at half-time with only a point between them, as Hodgson and Alex Goode both got penalty attempts caught in the wind and dragged wide.

Despite a quiet first half, Saracens came out after the break with a spring in their step and scored their second try of the game through George after another strong maul got them over the line – a poor day of kicking continued for Hodgson as his attempt flew wide again.

A second penalty try for the London club saw them move further ahead of Leicester, giving Hodgson a much easier chance to add the extras from the tee.

After a succession of scrums on Leicester's five-metre line were penalised, Dan Cole saw yellow and a third penalty try secured the bonus point for Saracens seeing them move further ahead at the top of the Premiership.

A dominant second half performance from Saracens saw them ease past Leicester in the rain at Allianz Park, extending their lead at the top of the Aviva Premiership to six points after Exeter lost in a low-scoring encounter with Northampton on New Year's Day.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Tries: Penalty Try 3, George
Cons: Hodgson 2, Farrell

For Leicester:
Pens: Burns 2
Yellow Card: Cole

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Duncan Taylor.

Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Laurence Pearce, 7 Tom Croft, 6 Ed Slater (c), 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Mike Fitzgerald, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Adam Thompstone.

Referee: Gregory Garner
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Peter Huckle
TMO: Graham Hughes