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Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints put on a second-half show to rout Leicester Tigers

Northampton Saints ran in 34 second-half points to beat local rivals Leicester Tigers, growing their gap at the top to 10 points. 

They only had two George Furbank penalties to their name at half-time, but a penalty try and other scores from Curtis Langdon, Robbie Smith, George Hendy and Tom James guided the Saints to victory in the final forty.

After a cagey first 10 minutes, Leicester gained the upper hand. Elliott Millar Mills was sent to the sin-bin, and Leicester made this count straight away as Julian Montoya crossed from the back of a maul. Handre Pollard knocked over the extras.

Northampton came back strong, and threatened the Leicester line. A deliberate knock-on from Jack van Poortvliet allowed George Furbank to kick a penalty, pulling his side back within four points.

This didn’t last long though, as Pollard slotted a penalty of his own.

With the clock winding down, Furbank added his second penalty to make it 10-6. Things quickly went from bad to worse for the Tigers. A string of penalties saw Jasper Wiese was sent to the sin-bin just before half-time.

Northampton made this man advantage count just after half-time, as Curtis Langdon coasted home from 30 meters. His effort was swiftly followed by a penalty try, with Jamie Shillcock also seeing yellow in the process.

Leicester hit back instantly though, as Wiese atoned for his earlier sin-binning to score his side’s second.

Ill-discipline had been a common theme for the Tigers, but things went up a gear as Solomone Kata saw red for a high tackle. Northampton again made their man advantage count straight away, as Robbie Smith drove over from short range.

Just four minutes later, George Hendy notched Saints’ fourth, reaping the rewards of a stellar Fin Smith line break. Hendy might have been the hero then, but he quickly became the villain as he was sent to the sin-bin.

This didn’t stop Northampton’s momentum though, as Tom James crossed for the Saints’ fifth of the match after a Tommy Freeman break.

There was one final hurrah for the Franklin’s Gardens faithful, as Smith knocked over a cheeky drop-goal in the final minutes to round off an impressive second-half performance.

Northampton Saints 40-17 Leicester Tigers

Credit: IMAGO

Northampton Saints: 40

Tries: Langdon, Smith, Penalty, Hendy, James

Conversions: Furbank (2/4)

Penalties: Furbank (2)

Drop-goals: Smith

Leicester Tigers: 17

Tries: Montoya, Wiese

Conversions: Pollard (2/2)

Penalties: Pollard