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Match Report: Saracens 24 Leicester Tigers 10

29 Oct 2016
Match Report: Saracens 24 Leicester Tigers 10

Saracens have enjoyed a great recent run against Leicester Tigers and the Aviva Premiership Rugby champions extended that run with a convincing 24-10 win at Allianz Park.

With just one loss all season, Mark McCall’s side are once more positioning themselves as the team to beat in England, and ran in three tries to extend their lead at the top of the table.

First-half scores from wing duo Chris Wyles and Sean Maitland allowed them to open up a comfortable 17-3 lead at the break.

Billy Vunipola then went over early in the second before brother Mako was sin-binned but Leicester struggled to take advantage initially.

However with virtually his first involvement George Catchpole crossed and the rest of the half saw the visitors on the front foot but unable to go over again, and have still not won away to Saracens since 2012.

Saracens were first on the scoreboard with their ability to do the basics well crucial to Wyles’ score. Winning the ball from a Leicester lineout, they went through three phases in the 22, before was played out to the wing through the hands with Jackson Wray delivering the final pass to the American to cross in the left corner. Owen Farrell converted from the touchline to make it 7-0.

Leicester responded with a penalty from Owen Williams after the home side had failed to roll away at the breakdown while inside their 22.

Farrell added a first penalty of the afternoon to stretch Saracens’ lead back to seven, and they had soon extended it with a fine try for winger Maitland. After Alex Goode and Farrell had combined brilliantly, the fly-half drawing the defender before putting Goode through a hole, the full-back then floated the ball out to Maitland to cross. Farrell duly converted to stretch the lead to 17-3.

He could have stretched the lead even further just before the break, but his penalty attempt bounced away off the outside of the post.

Deprived of injured duo George Kruis and Maro Itoje, the pressure was on the Saracens pack to show what they were made of, and they did just that early in the second half.

With a lineout inside the Leicester 22, Saracens turned to their maul, and quickly identified a weak point, powering through a crumbling defence before Billy Vunipola reached over. Farrell again converted.

It looked a long way back for Leicester, but their task was made a little easier just after the hour when Mako Vunipola was sent to the bin for taking out Freddie Burns after a little kick over the top.

Richard Cockerill replaced World Cup winner JP Pietersen with Catchpole and the move paid off. Burns spotted a gap in the Saracens defence and made the initial break and after quick ball from the next phase, Catchpole held off three defenders to crash over. Owen Williams converted.

The victory looked beyond them but there was still a chance of a losing bonus point. However a huge tackle on Ellis Genge from Brad Barritt forced a knock-on and the Tigers never got back into position to score.