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Saracens secure second-half win against Tigers Saracens secure second-half win against Tigers

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Saracens secure second-half win against Tigers

Saracens punished stuttering champions Leicester for their unforced errors to claim a win that moves them to second place in the GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP table.

Decisive second-half scores from Kris Chesney and Adam Powell sealed victory after Richard Haughton touched down in the first half, with Glen Jackson adding a conversion and three penalties.

Leicester got over the line twice, when Jordan Crane and Boris Stankovich scored from lineout drives, with recalled fly-half Paul Burke adding three penalties.

And the end of the World Cup and the arrival of Argentinian coach Marcelo Loffreda cannot come soon enough for the Tigers, who were lucky to escape a heavier mauling from an enterprising Saracens outfit.

Last weekend’s second defeat in 40 games at Welford Road, a thumping one at the hands of leaders Gloucester, prompted major surgery to the Leicester team , most notably at fly-half with Andy Goode axed in favour of Paul Burke.

Other changes included recalls for Sam Vesty, Ayoola Erinle, Martin Castrogiovanni and a first GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP start for scrum-half Ben Youngs, the 18-year-old son of former England number nine Nick Youngs.

Saracens had a much more settled look with Paul Gustard’s return in the back-row the only difference to the side that won on the road against Worcester.

They trailed for most of the first half as Leicester somehow clung to a lead chiselled out with a third-minute try from a lineout drive and two penalties from Burke.

Crane was forced over in the left-hand corner from an ominous Leicester rumble to the line before Jackson got Saracens on the board with a ninth-minute penalty.

The fly-half missed two more kickable shots and was held up over the line from one of a number of promising attacks prompted by Neil de Kock as Leicester clung on and then increased their lead with a pair of penalties from Burke around the half hour.

But the Tigers cracked three minutes before the break when skipper Louis Deacon was sin-binned for reaching over a ruck to grab the ball inches from their line.

Jackson added three points from the penalty that followed and Saracens were level moments before the interval when Edd Thrower’s cut inside and offload gave Haughton the room to hurdle a tackle and race over in the corner.

Jackson’s third penalty nudged Saracens in front for the first time although they had a let-off when unmarked wing Johne Murphy could not hold Burke’s cross-kick 10 metres out.

They finally pulled away by punishing Leicester’s errors with two tries in three minutes midway through the half.

A promising attack appeared to have broken down in the Leicester 22, only for the visitors to give the ball away and see it moved quickly for hooker Matt Cairns to put Chesney into the corner.

Then another move broke down deep in Saracens’ territory, Powell kicked ahead and overhauled the diving Burke to win the race to the line with Jackson converting from wide on the left.

Stankovich was driven over from a line-out late in the game but Burke could not convert and, despite some inventive touches from Geordan Murphy in attack, they were kept at arm’s length for the final six minutes.

Their only reward was a bonus point earned by Burke’s third successful penalty 30 seconds from time.

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