Leicester Tigers beat Saints to win Premiership title

Manu Tuilagi gets into space for Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers beat Northampton Saints 37-17 in the Aviva Premiership title to win the Premiership title at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.

The match was not without controversy though as Northampton Saints captain Dylan Hartley was shown a Red Card for allegedly calling referee Stuart Barnes a “XXXXing Cheat”.

The incident happened directly before half time when Saints were awarded a free kick and Stephen Myler kicked the ball straight into touch after Ref Barnes had said that the ball could not be kicked into touch.

Barnes called for a scrum and after the scrum Barnes awarded Leicester Tigers a penalty in front of the posts and Hartley uttered the words that saw him sent off.

Two minutes earlier Hartley had been warned about how he speaks to Referee Barnes.

Despite the loss of their captain Hartley Northampton Saints refused to lie down and bravely kept the pressure on the Tigers but with an extra man the Tigers were able to survive and win the title in front of 81,703 fans.

The Hartley rumpus overshadowed a see-saw match between two local rivals with Leicester
bidding to win the title after being runners-up for the last two years.

This was their ninth successive Premiership final and they came out of the
blocks sharply after spending the time since their semi-final win over Harlequins
emphasising how important it was to win the title again.

Toby Flood opened the scoring with a penalty before Niall Morris crossed for
Leicester’s first try to give them an 8-0 advantage – before Stephen Myler replied
with a touch down of his own for Northampton.

Then the fireworks started with England second row Courtney Lawes hitting Flood
with a late tackle.

The tackle was not high but Flood’s head bounced off the turf and off Dan Cole’s
knee and he was prone on the pitch for five minutes before staggering to his
feet.

A second Lawes hit finished Flood’s contribution to the game and he was replaced
by George Ford who slotted a penalty ahead of a disallowed effort by Ben Foden,
who was held up over the line.

Hartley was then warned for talking back to the referee and Soane Tonga’uiha
was penalised for an early engagement at the scrum, meaning more points to Leicester
as they went to the break 16-5 in front.

The clubs swapped tries shortly after the break with Foden piling over for
Northampton before Graham Kitchener ran in for Leicester after being set free
by Ben Youngs.

There was more to come as Lee Dickson dived over after smart work from Luther
Burrell and the gap was narrowed to seven points.

But Tuilagi smashed through the defence to score Leicester’s third try and
when Vereniki Goneva smashed over the game was up for Northampton.

Final Score Leicester Tigers 37 (16) Northampton Saints 17 (5)

Scorers

Leicester Tigers
Tries – N.Morris, G. Kitchener, Tuilagi, V. Goneva
Pen – T.Flood, G.Ford (4)
Con –
Drop –

Northampton Saints
Tries – S.Myler, B. Foden , L.Dickson
Pen –
Con – S.Myler
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee
: Wayne Barnes (122nd Premiership match, 5th final).
Assistant Referees: Greg Garner & JP Doyle
TMO: Graham Hughes.

Teams

Leicester Tigers

15 Mathew Tait , 14 Niall Morris , 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi , 12 Anthony Allen , 11 Vereniki Goneva , 10 Toby Flood (c) , 9 Ben Youngs , 1 Logovi’i Mulipola , 2 Tom Youngs , 3 Dan Cole , 4 Graham Kitchener , 5 Geoff Parling , 6 Tom Croft , 7 Julian Salvi , 8 Jordan Crane

Replacements :16 Rob Hawkins , 17 Fraser Balmain , 18 Martin Castrogiovanni , 19 Ed Slater , 20 Steve Mafi , 21 Sam Harrison , 22 George Ford , 23 Matt Smit

Northampton Saints

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