Saints stun Tigers
- 15 Apr 2018
Northampton produced one of their best performances of the season to beat Leicester 27-21, while there were also wins for Gloucester, Wasps and Newcastle in the English Premiership.
The Saints, up against a Tigers side that was sitting 24 points above them on the table, ran in three tries to end a run of four successive defeats.
Northampton started strongly, with wing Ben Foden sneaking over in the corner. Flyhalf Stephen Meyler converted and kicked a penalty to give the visitors an early 10-0 lead.
Leicester, who are hunting a top-four finish this season, quickly wiped out Northampton's lead when first prop Ellis Genge showed great handling to put fullback Telusa Veainu away for a try and then Matt Toomua charged down a Cobus Reinach clearance to dot down.
However, Reinach atoned for his error when he burst through a gap after a planned move from the back of a lineout, with Meyler again converting to allow the Saints to re-take the lead at half-time.
Northampton extended their lead just after half-time and Reinach was involved again as he spotted a mismatch at the breakdown and cut through before passing to fullback Ahsee Tuala, who crossed for the visitors' fourth try.
The Tigers then regathered themselves and started to pressure the away side with flyhalf George Ford kicking two penalties to cut the gap to six points. The visitors received a further blow when replacement Alex Waller was sent to the sin bin, but Meyler extended their lead with his second penalty, which made it 27-18 with 10 minutes to go.
In the closing stages of the game, Ford kicked his third penalty before Leicester twice threw away golden opportunities to steal a win.
In the weekend's other matches, Gloucester affirmed their status as playoff challengers with a 37-9 bonus-point victory over Harlequins, Wasps recovered from their defeat to Sale with a four-try 30-15 drubbing of the Worcester Warriors, Newcastle climbed into third place as they edged Sale 35-30, Saracens hammered Bath 41-6 and the Exeter Chiefs thrashed London Irish 45-5.
Round 20 results
Leicester Tigers 21 Northampton Saints 27
Gloucester 37 Harlequins 9
Wasps 30 Worcester Warriors 15
Newcastle Falcons 35 Sale Sharks 30
Saracens 41 Bath 6
London Irish 5 Exeter Chiefs 45
Photo: David Rodgers/Getty Images
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