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Match reaction: Northampton Saints 47-20 Leicester Tigers

Match reaction: Northampton Saints 47-20 Leicester Tigers

Northampton Saints are into the semi-finals of the Premiership Rugby Cup after a comfortable 47-20 win over Leicester Tigers.

Chris Boyd’s men ran in seven tries at Franklin’s Gardens, including two for Gallagher Premiership Rugby player of the month for December Cobus Reinach.

The result means they will top Pool 3 and can not be caught by Gloucester Rugby even if the West Country outfit get a bonus point win next weekend.

The hosts led at half-time thanks to nine points from James Grayson as well as tries from James Fish and Dominic Barrow.

Heinz Brüssow added the crucial fourth try after the break before Reinach and Tom Collins got in on the act late on.

Joe Ford had 15 points for Tigers, with Fred Tuilagi getting their other score on the day.

 

Man of the match

Northampton’s James Grayson orchestrated his backline for their seven tries, knowing they needed the bonus point to confirm their place in the next round.

The young No.10 started it all by touching down for the first, as he weaved through the Tigers defensive line to score.

It was a good day from the tee for the youngster, missing just one of his seven attempts.

A special mention should also go to Saints kitman Kev Buckby – who was marking his 500th game with the club.

 

Moment of the match

Tigers had come back into the match in the second half with Joe Ford’s try with 13 minutes to play seemingly making it a contest at 26-20.

But Reinach got the crucial score as he burrowed over in the corner with four minutes left after some pacey play from his side.

It provided the foundation for Saints late burst of tries, as they accelerated away from Leicester.

 

Try of the match

Hopefully nobody left Franklin’s Gardens early – otherwise they would have missed Reinach’s second try at the death.

The in-form scrum-half showed his trademark electric pace to capitalise as the clocked ticked down at the end.

It came from Jamie Gibson’s turnover inside the Saints half, before Reinach blazed in from 60 metres out to give the home fans something to cheer as the game came to close.

 

What they said

Returning Leicester winger Tom Varndell said: “I absolutely loved it. I’m so proud of the boys, it was a young team out there.

“The boys stuck at it for 70 minutes, obviously the wheels came off a bit at the end so we’ve had a little talking to.

“For me it was like starting a fresh again. There’s a lot of young boys out there so I’m a bit of granddad out there. I was gutted not to get the try down because that would have been perfect.

“The boys can take a lot from the game. It was 26-20 with ten minutes to go.  The boys should be proud of themselves.

“That was a good performance but we have to look at the last ten minutes, we can’t do that. A lot of these boys are going to be playing in this block of games with the internationals away.”

 

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