Planet Rugby

Tigers edge Saints in thriller

03rd December 2011 16:17

Share:

Matt Smith Chris Ashton Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints  Aviva

Opening try: Matt Smith scores for Tigers

Leicester needed a late Horacio Agulla try to sneak past Northampton 30-25 in a thrilling Aviva Premiership clash at Welford Road on Saturday.

Leicester came out on top in a feisty East Midlands derby to record their first Premiership home win of the season .

Northampton made an encouraging start but, after settling for a Ryan Lamb penalty, it wasn't long before Leicester worked their way back into the game and regained parity through Toby Flood.

Things really heated up after 13 minutes though when Chris Ashton dragged Alessana Tuilagi into touch by his hair, sparking a mass brawl. Tuilagi received a straight red card for his reaction, seemingly a much lesser offence than his younger brother's on the same man in the same fixture at the end of last season when a yellow card was the punishment.

Northampton flanker and reported England captaincy candidate Tom Wood was also sent off though for his part in the melee, making it 14-a-side for the remainder of the match, and the Saints found it difficult to adjust a man light in the back row.

Ashton escaped the incident unscathed but was made to suffer moments later when Matt Smith ran straight through him, carrying him over the try-line before touching the ball down as close to the corner as possible for one of the finishes of the season so far.

The Leicester pack gradually began to dominate more and more and, after an attacking line-out, Steve Mafi powered through some half-hearted Northampton tackling to score the second try of the game.

Lamb did reduce the deficit slightly for the Saints but they found themselves 15-6 down after an action-packed first half.

Flood edged the Tigers further ahead just two minutes into the second period but Northampton, inspired by Jim Mallinder's team talk, responded immediately. After sucking Leicester's defence into the middle of the field, the ball was spun wide to the left wing for Ashton to apply the finish.

Ben Youngs scored the home side's third try in the 60th minute after a handling error and lack of concentration from the Saints' pack but again Northampton's reply was swift.

Two tries in the space of three minutes gave them a 25-23 lead in what was turning into another classic East Midlands derby. Veteran centre Tom May's score was followed by one from Phil Dowson after Ashton had expertly kept the ball in play out wide.

Further drama was yet to come though as, with less than five minutes remaining, Leicester attacked from deep inside their own twenty-two and created an overlap for Horacio Agulla to surge down the left wing to score and secure a first home Premiership win of the season.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Smith, Mafi, Youngs, Agulla
Cons: Flood 2
Pens: Flood 2

For Northampton:
Tries: Ashton, May, Dowson
Cons: Myler 2
Pens: Lamb 2

Red cards: A. Tuilagi (Leicester - 13th min) ; Wood (Northampton - 13th min)

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (capt), 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 George Skivington, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Ben Woods, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Jeremy Staunton, 23 Scott Hamilton.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom May, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Jon Clarke.

Venue: Welford Road
Referee: Wayne Barnes

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00