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Leicester

Leicester

Saracens obliterate Tigers

21st December 2013 17:23

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First over: Jack Wilson

Chris Ashton grabbed a brace of tries as league leaders Saracens thrashed Leicester Tigers 49-10 in the rain at Allianz Park.

Tries from Jack Wilson and Chris Ashton, plus eight points from the boot of Owen Farrell, helped Sarries into an 18-10 lead at the interval, while the Tigers responded though Graham Kitchener's converted touchdown and Ryan Lamb's penalty.

But the London-based outfit dominated in the second period as scores from Billy Vunipola, Jackson Wray and Ashton, as well as a penalty try, sealed an impressive win.

Leicester have endured a difficult start to the campaign, with injuries hampering their chances of moving up the table.

However, performances have improved over recent weeks and successive victories over Montpellier hinted that their form from the end of last season was returning.

But in facing league leaders Sarries at Allianz Park, the Tigers were arguably taking on their biggest test of the year.

They were also playing into a strong breeze in the first half and it was the hosts that dominated the opening exchanges. It took just six minutes for Saracens to score the first try.

Instigated by a Richard Wigglesworth break, the ball was sent through several pairs of hands before Wilson touched down. Farrell superbly converted and added a penalty to take them 10-0 ahead, but Lamb reduced the arrears with a three-pointer of his own.

The hosts' stand-off then restored their 10-point advantage before the England player was charged down by Kitchener and the lock had the simple task of crossing the whitewash.

That looked a severe dent to Sarries' chances of emerging victorious, particularly with the conditions against them after the break.

However, the hosts went on the front foot once again and, after Kitchener was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle, Ashton scampered over to give them an 18-10 lead at the interval.

They carried that momentum into the second half and another excellent passage of play ended in Vunipola touching down.

Farrell extended the advantage with a penalty before Wray went over following impressive work from Neil de Kock. And further scores in the final 10 minutes from Ashton and a penalty try secured an outstanding win over one of their Premiership rivals.

The scorers:

Saracens:
Tries: Wilson, Ashton 2, B Vunipola, Wray, Penalty Try
Cons: Farrell 2, Hodgson 2
Pens: Farrell 3

Leicester:
Try: Kitchener
Con: Lamb
Pen: Lamb
Yellow Cards: Kitchener, Waldrom

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Chris Wyles, 11 Jack Wilson, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert. 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Billy Vunipola, 5 Alastair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 James Johnston, 19 George Kruis, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Ben Ransom.

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Matt Smith, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane (c), 7 Pablo Matera, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Boris Stankovich.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Jérôme Schuster, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 David Mélé, 22 Terrence Hepetema, 23 Adam Thompstone.

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Andy Watson, Robin Goodliffe
Television match official: Graham Hughes

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