Terrific Tigers tame Sarries to close in on top four

By Christopher Devine 26 February 2018 1
Terrific Tigers tame Sarries to close in on top four

Leicester Tigers gave their Premiership hopes a welcome shot in the arm with a 28-20 victory at European champions Saracens on Sunday.

The Tigers arrived at Allianz Park trailing fourth-placed Newcastle Falcons by nine points, but more than halved that deficit by running in four tries to claim a bonus point.

Manu Tuilagi was among a number of impressive performers for Leicester, scoring the first try of the match and unselfishly putting Jonah Holmes over for his side's fourth as Saracens missed out on the opportunity to return to the top of the table at the expense of Exeter Chiefs.

Tuilagi and Greg Bateman scored similar tries to put Leicester on top during a bruising first half punctuated by a succession of injury-enforced substitutions, both men powering over from the base of a ruck.

A glorious Telusa Veainu score, which saw the full-back produce a powerful, slaloming run after Matt Toomua's half-break, was converted by the latter to make it 21-6 at the interval.

Nathan Earle then spurned two chances in quick succession for Saracens and when the wing failed to collect a loose pass from Brad Barritt, Tuilagi pounced to power down the left flank and set up the Holmes score that clinched a bonus point.

Two wonderful individual tries from replacement Max Malins at least made the scoreline more respectable for Saracens, who welcomed back Schalk Brits from a lengthy injury lay-off, but Leicester were not to be denied a first Premiership win at Allianz Park.

Earlier in the day, Greig Tonks kicked 17 points as rock-bottom London Irish beat fellow strugglers Worcester Warriors 22-9 to secure only their second league win of the season.

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Christopher Devine