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Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 21 Northampton Saints 27

Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 21 Northampton Saints 27

Northampton Saints bounced back from their heavy defeat to Saracens last week with a moral-boosting East Midlands derby victory over Leicester Tigers.

Ben Foden and Cobus Reinach went over for the Saints in the first half with Telusa Veainu and Matt Toomua dotting down in between the two tries.

Ahsee Tuala’s 43rd minute try proved crucial as Tigers failed to cross the tryline after the break as fly-half George Ford slotted three penalties.

Man of the Match

Jamie Gibson was everywhere at Welford Road making 11 tackles and being a constant menace at the line-out disrupting Tigers’ ball as well as winning his own.

His work around the loose was also impressive as the former Tigers came back to haunt his old club with the standout performance of the match.

Moment of the Match

Tuala’s try proved crucial and gave Saints a lead that they would never relinquish. With a five-point lead at the break, it was extended by seven points on 43 minutes.

Reinach’s dart created the score and it proved to be a score too far for the Tigers to recover from despite Alex Waller’s sin bin on the hour.

Try of the Match

Reinbach had already grabbed the try of the game as a training ground move at the line-out worked like a treat for Northampton.

A hole was created close to the line-out which the South African international stormed through and dotted down to put Saints back in control of the match.

What They Said

Northampton winger Ben Foden said: “If you can’t get up for a derby game you shouldn’t be playing the game.

“Today we toughed it out and credit to the boys. There were times that we thought it might slip from our reach but we managed to score the tries when it mattered.

“The theme of our season is that we have been a 40-minute team or a 20-minute team and we have shown that we can beat the best sides.

“We needed an 80-minute performance and we did that today.”

Leicester Tigers boss Matt O’Connor said: “It was a golden opportunity for us, not only for bragging rights in the derby but to keep ourselves in the mix in the top four, and that is what hurts the most.

“There were a lot of opportunities out there and the guys were really keen to put out a performance at home.

“We got a little carried away. We did an enormous amount of good things but didn’t execute on the big moments.

“There were two or three definite tries there that we should have taken – you do that and we win comfortably.”

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