Tigers, Saracens draw in shootout

Date published: November 16 2014

Owen Williams and Charlie Hodgson finished with seven penalties apiece as Saracens and Leicester couldn’t be separated in a 21-21 draw.

Owen Williams and Charlie Hodgson finished with seven penalties apiece as Saracens and Leicester couldn’t be separated in a 21-21 draw.

Hodgson ensured Saracens went into half-time in the lead by kicking four out of his five penalty attempts successfully, despite the visitors having a man in the sin-bin for a period during the first half.

Leicester could not quite capitalise on the advantage but Owen Williams assured they got some points on the board, kicking two penalties, leaving the score at 6-12 at the half-time whistle.

Hodgson went on to score another two penalties in the second half but this time he was out-scored by his fellow fly-half.

Williams had a perfect five out of five record in the second half including a highly pressurised penalty in the last minute of the game to secure the draw for his team.

Saracens fly-half Hodgson was the first to kick a penalty in the first half but his good work was quickly followed by a sin binning for team mate Marcelo Bosch.

Bosch lifted the legs of Tigers’ Blaine Scully above the horizontal and was shown a yellow card by referee Tim Wigglesworth.

Saracens weathered the 10-minute period well, allowing Leicester to score only three points courtesy of a penalty for Williams but Hodgson had already put another three points over by that time.

With his team clearly on the back foot, Williams scored another penalty to bring his side level with the visitors as the rain began to pour down but Hodgson was quick to reply with two more of his own to bring the score to 6-12 at half time.

Fly-half Williams quickly got the scoring off to a quick start in the second half but as always, his opposite number Hodgson was right on his toes and once again extended the visitors lead to six points.

The two players took it in turns to take another 3 points for their teams until Williams slotted over a further two to bring the teams equal with just over 10 minutes to go. In the 74th minute, it looked like Leicester’s ill-discipline had cost them the game when Saracens were awarded another penalty and Hodgson, as expected, scored from it.

It was a gritty final few minutes, with both teams standing firm in defence but Saracens just let their guard down in the dying seconds and allowed Leicester to take a penalty from the scrum.

Only 25 metres out, it was a fairly straightforward kick for Williams and he nailed the kick to get the 21-21 draw for his Tigers side.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Pens: Williams 7

For Saracens:
Pens: Hodgson 7
Yellow Card: Bosch

Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Owen Williams, 9 David Mele, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Brad Thorn (c), 3 Dan Cole, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Jake Farnworth, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Paul Grant, 21 George Tresidder, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Tommy Bell.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Chris Wyles, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alistair Hargreaves (c), 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Ben Ransom.

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick, Peter Huckle