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Match Report: Saracens 33-10 Leicester Tigers

16 Feb 2019
Match Report: Saracens 33-10 Leicester Tigers

David Strettle crossed with minutes left to send Saracens back to the top of the Premiership Rugby table thanks to a hard-fought 33-10 win against Leicester Tigers.

Mark McCall’s men trailed 10-5 at the break with a Jonah Holmes try on the stroke of half-time cancelling out Richard Wigglesworth’s earlier effort for the hosts.

But they soon rallied after the break, scoring 28 unanswered points to take full advantage of Exeter’s defeat at Gloucester on Friday night.

Tom Woolstencroft, Ben Spencer and wing Strettle all scored tries, while Alex Goode and Alex Lozowski shared 12 points with the boot.

Wigglesworth’s early try was what Saracens deserved for all their early pressure. Matt Gallagher, having recently extended his contract at Allianz Park, was rock solid under the high ball all afternoon, and Matt Toomua’s tactic of testing the young full-back’s mettle was answered stylishly by the ex-England U20s cap.

Fielding yet another aerial hanger close to the touchline, Gallagher took the traffic-laden route ahead of him rather than kicking for safety. Gliding past three would-be tacklers, he found support in Nick Isiekwe, who in turn fed Wigglesworth for an excellent score.

Having weathered the early storm, Geordan Murphy’s side got a grip with the challenge in front of them, happy to soak up a large amount of work defensively and rely on the counter-attacking ability of their wide men.

That plan came to fruition just before the break, when Jonah Holmes, released from the Wales camp this week, scorched home from 20 metres – the rangy wide man profited from George Worth’s dummy and quick feet to open up a Saracens defence that would not put a foot wrong for the remainder of the game.

Toomua missed a second straightforward kick at goal early on in the second half, before a couple of Alex Lozowski penalties took Mark McCall’s men into a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Woolstencroft muscled over from a bruising catch and drive, before Spencer picked off Toomua’s opportunistic pass to scamper home for number three, and despite the clock being against them, they found time for the fourth; Strettle easing his way past some tired tackles to dot down.

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