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
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London WelshSale vs London Welsh Preview
London Irish vs SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Preview
Harlequins vs WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Preview
Bath vs LeicesterBath vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets vs Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Preview
Wellington vs TasmanWellington vs Tasman Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Auckland 32 - 7 North Harbour
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 29 - 15 Pumas
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter310
2Saracens29
3Bath29
4Leicester Tigers29
5Northampton26