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Late Murphy drop seals Tigers win

19th February 2012 16:28

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Geordan Murphy Tigers matchwinner v Sarries 2012

Geordan Murphy: Celebrates the Tigers' win with his team-mates

An injury time drop goal from Leicester's captain Geordan Murphy sealed a narrow 20-19 Aviva Premiership win over Saracens at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

In an even contest, the result could easily have gone to the hosts, who thought they had done enough to gain the match points when their full-back Alex Goode slotted a penalty in the 76th minute.

But it wasn't to be and Murphy's heroics keeps the Tigers in the hunt for a play-off place.

After Goode missed two penalty attempts inside the opening 10 minutes the first points of the game came from the boot of Toby Flood.

His penalty goals after 11 and 26 minutes gave Leicester a 6-0 lead, although the visitors' cause wasn't helped when Ed Slater was dispatched to the sin-bin.

Saracens were unable to make the most of the numerical advantage, but they were in front ten minutes before half-time.

Saracens scrum-half Neil de Kock was the man to get the hosts off the mark and, after his try had been rubber-stamped by the video referee, Alex Goode's conversion gave them the lead.

But the lead lasted less than five minutes, as Flood's third penalty of the afternoon gave Leicester the advantage for a second time.

The two sides exchanged further penalties before half-time, making it 10-12 to the Tigers at the interval.

Saracens enjoyed the lion's share off pressure following the restart, with two Goode penalties overturning the two-point deficit and putting the hosts four in front.

But Slater's unconverted try on 64 minutes put Leicester a point to the good and set up a grandstand finish.

Saracens thought they'd won it when Goode pinged over his fourth penalty of the afternoon, but Murphy's drop-goal from in front of the posts broke the home supporters' hearts and sealed the win.

The defeat dents Saracens hopes of catching pace-setters Harlequins at the top of the table, while the win for Leicester sees them gain ground on third-placed Northampton.

The scorers:

For Saracens:
Try: De Kock
Con: Goode
Pens: Goode 4

For Leicester:
Try : Slater
Pen: Flood 4
Drop-goal: Murphy

Yellow card: Ed Slater (Leicester -1st minute)

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Duncan Taylor, 13 Chris Wyles, 12 Adam Powell, 11 James Short, 10 Nils Mordt, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Justin Melck, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 George Kruis, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 John Smit (capt).
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Hugh Vyvyan, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Joel Tomkins, 23 Michael Tagicakibau.

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (capt), 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Matt Smith, 10 Toby Flood, 9 James Grindal, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 George Skivington, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Logoviii Mulipola, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Ryan Bower, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Craig Newby, 21 Scott Steele, 22 George Ford, 23 Scott Hamilton.

Referee: Andrew Small

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