Planet Rugby

Saracens seal comeback over Tigers

23rd February 2013 21:52

Share:

David Strettle Saracens AVP 2012

Brace: David Strettle

A second-half resurgence from Saracens handed the 2011 Premiership champions a 27-32 victory over Leicester at Welford Road.

Trailing 17-6 at half time, Saracens scored four tries in a one-sided second-half to stay in second place in the Aviva Premiership.

It was their fourth successive win at Leicester, who have suffered two successive defeats having lost at champions Harlequins last week.

Saracens' tries came from wingers David Strettle (two), James Short and full-back Chris Wyles, with fly half Charlie Hodgson kicking 12 points.

Julian Salvi and Dan Bowden scored for Leicester, who were also awarded a penalty try right on full-time when Strettle deliberately knocked on and was sin binned.

Both sides were heavily depleted due to the Six Nations but the Tigers, whose five-match winning run in the Premiership was ended by the Quins last week, were boosted by the return from injury of captain Geordan Murphy and England flanker Tom Croft in front of a 20,000 crowd.

The sides, second and third in the table, drew 9-9 at Wembley in round three but Saracens made a fine start as former England fly-half Charlie Hodgson gave them the lead with a fourth-minute penalty.

Leicester then started to take control and young fly-half George Ford, who is expected to join Bath next season, caused major problems for the Saracens defence with passes that put both Murphy and winger Scott Hamilton through holes.

Ford, however, had left his kicking boots at home and missed relatively easy penalties in the seventh and 17th minutes before finally equalising with one from bang in front of the posts.

Saracens' best moments came at the start of the second quarter when full-back Chris Wyles and centre Joel Tomkins combined well down the right, before winger James Short sparked a fine counter-attack from a quick throw-in.

They failed to rattle the scoreboard though and in the 29th minute found themselves 10-3 down after great work by number eight Jordan Crane in winning a loose ball on half way and Ford, whose kick to the corner earned Leicester a line-out.

It led to the first try of the match, for flanker Salvi after giant prop Logovi'i Mulipola's charge to the line and Ford added the conversion to make it 10-3.

That became 17-3 three minutes later when centre Bowden scored from Ford's brilliant chip after a searing counter-attack by the lively Murphy and winger Adam Thompstone.

Ford kicked the conversion before Hodgson pulled three points back for Saracens with a 36th-minute penalty.

Both sides kicked too much at the start of the second half as the snow continued to fall and while Saracens upped their game they found Leicester's defence rock solid until Strettle produced a bit of magic from a ruck in the 53rd minute.

The try and Hodgson's conversion put Saracens right back in the game at 17-13 and when Short shrugged off a couple of tackles on the right to score a fine solo try three minutes later Saracens took the lead again, leaving the crowd stunned.

Hodgson missed the conversion but 12 points in 16 minutes had given Saracens the momentum.

They then scored their third try two minutes later when Strettle scampered over for his second try after great work by replacement scrum-half Neil de Kock. Hodgson added the conversion to put them 25-17 ahead.

Ford reduced the arrears to five points with a 72nd-minute penalty but Saracens full-back Wyles made the game safe with his side's bonus point try six minutes from time. Hodgson added the conversion.

Leicester were awarded a penalty try at the death after Strettle was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on, with Ford kicking the conversion.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Salvi, Bowden, Penalty
Cons: Ford 3
Pens: Ford 2

For Saracens:
Tries: Strettle 2, Short, Wyles
Cons: Hodgson 3
Pens: Hodgson 2
Yellow Cards: Strettle, Taylor

The teams:

Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 George Ford, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Kieran Brookes, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Brett Deacon, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Micky Young, 22 Matt Cornwell, 23 Mathew Tait.

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 James Short, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Adam Powell, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 George Kruis, 20 Justin Melck, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Duncan Taylor.

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Paul Dix, Nigel Carrick
Timekeeper: Brian Abrahams
Television match official: Graham Hughes
Assessor: Clive Leeke

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Ospreys 26 - 11 ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Report
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 33 - 8 EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615