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Tigers return to winning ways

02 Jan 2006
Tigers return to winning ways

However they had to survive a second-half scare from Saracens to stay in touch with the Premiership pace-setters. Tigers were leading 21-14 at the break and the visitors were handed a chance to get back into the match when Ben Kay and Graham Rowntree were shown yellow cards inside the opening 11 minutes of the second half.

But Leicester defended their line ferociously when they came under intense pressure and drove Saracens back to the approval of a sell-out crowd.

Tiger supporters were given further reason to cheer at half-time by the presence of Matt Hampson. The 21-year-old has been recuperating since suffering a serious neck injury while training with England Under-21s in March. Tigers head coach Pat Howard made 10 changes from the team beaten at Bristol six days earlier as his side defended an unbeaten record at home which stretched back to January 3, 2004.

They drew first blood with an Andy Goode penalty after eight minutes and Saracens responded three minutes later when Alan Dickens sent Ben Johnston over in the left corner.

Goode put the home side back in front with two penalties in the space of six minutes – the first from just inside the visitors´ half – before Glen Jackson replied to peg it back to 9-8 after 22 minutes.

Tigers roared back instantly. They attacked down the left flank and were awarded a penalty try when Saracens collapsed a five-metre scrum awarded after winger Geordan Murphy was held up by Adam Powell. Tigers piled on the pressure and went further ahead after 28 minutes when Dan Hipkiss and Goode combined to set up an attack which ended with Darren Morris being driven over in a corner.

Jackson´s penalty after 31 minutes made it 21-11 and the visitors were dealt a blow two minutes later when Tevita Vaikona was yellow-carded after impeding Murphy.

Tigers were unable to press home their advantage and the final score of the half was Jackson´s drop goal in the 40th minute. The yellow cards for Kay and Rowntree meant Leicester were up against it, but their defence was outstanding. Remarkably, Leicester even stretched their advantage when they were outnumbered, with Goode finding the target with a penalty from 60 metres.

Jackson replied with two penalties to reduce the deficit to 27-20 with nine minutes remaining. Tigers replacement Tom Varndell put the game beyond the visitors when he touched down with five minutes left and Goode added the conversion. Vaikona grabbed a late consolation try for the visitors which Jackson converted.

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing

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