LV= Cup joy for Leicester

18th Mar 2012, 17:12

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Opening try: Steve Mafi

Opening try: Steve Mafi

Leicester booked their place in next term's Heineken Cup after defeating Northampton 26-14 in the LV= Cup Final at Sixways.

Leicester booked their place in next season's Heineken Cup after beating Northampton 26-14 in the LV= Cup Final at Sixways Stadium on Sunday.

Steve Mafi and Scott Hamilton were the try-scorers as the Tigers went over in each half while George Ford - picked over Toby Flood - kicked 16 points.

In what was the first ever final between the rivals, it was Saints who enjoyed most of the early ball and were 0-6 up after good work at scrum-time.

But in a swift move, Leicester boss Richard Cockerill introduced prop Marcos Ayerza from the bench after just 11 minutes for Boris Stankovich.

Ford then stepped up with two penalties of his own before Myler pushed the Saints back in front at 6-9. Still, the Tigers looked ominous though.

And their dominance paid off in the 25th minute when Irish full-back Geordan Murphy sent Mafi over for a strong finish. Ford converted the try.

Ford added another three just five minutes into the second half after great work from replacement Ayerza against Paul Doran-Jones in the set-piece.

Things got worse for Northampton soon after when the experienced New Zealander Hamilton intercepted fly-half Myler's miss-pass on his own 22 and raced to the try line.

Saints did manage to fight their way back into proceedings and despite some ferocious defence from Leicester, Saxons second-row Christian Day finally breached the line.

It was too little too late for Jim Mallinder's side though as Leicester lifted the LV= Cup.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Mafi, Hamilton
Con: Ford 2
Pen: Ford 4

For Northampton:
Try: Day
Pen: Myler 3

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Scott Hamilton, 10 George Ford, 9 James Grindal, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Craig Newby, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 George Skivington, 3 Logoviii Mulipola, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 Boris Stankovich.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Julian White, 19 Calum Green, 20 Julian Salvi, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Andy Forsyth.

Northampton: 15 Paul Diggin, 14 Vasily Artemyev, 13 George Pisi, 12 James Downey, 11 Scott Armstrong, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark (c), 5 Christian Day, 4 James Craig, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 2 Andy Long, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Ryan Glynn, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.