Saracens win at Welford Road

Date published: January 1 2017

Saracens started the new year with a win on the road as they beat Leicester 16-12 on Sunday, moving one point behind leaders Wasps.

Injury to Manu Tuilagi was cause for concern early on, the Leicester centre was brought down by three men before limping away from the action.

On the scoreboard, Owen Farrell and Owen Williams kept it ticking over with two first-half penalties apiece to send the sides in level.

Both players had slightly more erratic second halves from the tee but Farrell was able to add a crucial try which proved to be the difference.

Victory sees Saracens retain second place in the Premiership, behind Wasps. Meanwhile, the losing bonus point does not affect the Tigers' league position as they remain fifth.

In front of Eddie Jones, England man Tuilagi was forced off with what appeared to be a knee injury with 11 minutes played. Owen Williams kicked a penalty for Leicester once the centre was off the pitch to send Tigers into an early lead.

An offside ruling from JP Doyle gave Saracens a chance to draw level in the 24th minute. Farrell was typically unerring in his execution of the kick to make the score 3-3.

The visitors took the lead with a fantastic penalty kick from Farrell after 31 minutes. Tom Youngs was penalised for not rolling away and Farrell's kick from 40 metres was successful, nudging Sarries into a three-point lead.

Leicester levelled things up with a second penalty from Williams five minutes before the break. This meant that the sides went into half-time level at 6-6.

Williams nudged Leicester back into the lead six minutes after the break. A long-range effort from 45 metres needed the assistance of the crossbar to go over but it was successful and made the score 9-6.

Sarries scored the first try of the match after 54 minutes. Brad Barritt stole the ball off Williams before playing in the England man who threw a dummy before running clean through past the stationary Tigers defence. Farrell added the extras himself to make the score 13-9.

The visitors nudged themselves into a seven-point advantage with a 71st minute penalty from Farrell. Tigers hit back straight away with a penalty once more from the boot of Williams, but couldn't find the try to salvage a late win.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Pens: Williams 4

For Saracens:
Try: Farrell
Con: Farrell
Pens: Farrell 3

Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Burns, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Jack Roberts, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Greg Bateman, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Will Evans, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Worth, 23 Tom Brady

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Nathan Earle

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Roger Baileff
TMO: David Grashoff