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Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report


By TigerR
May 26 2013

Leicester Tigers 37-17 Northampton Saints                                                                                                                 There are a significant group of Tigers supporters who will tell you that the true champions are Saracens.  They can keep their own count of titles won, but in terms of trophies presented this was to be the 10th English championship for Tigers.  Not that I like the playoff system but living only 30 minutes from HQ, I regard it as my duty to turn up and support the team. 

Leicester celebrate victory in the Aviva Premiership Final at Twickenham, London.


However this year I was nearly not afforded the opportunity.  Not being a season ticket holder I waited for the general sale of tickets with four others willing to join me (all have been to several games featuring Tigers in the last three years).  All the Tigers 7500 tickets had gone to season ticket holders and their mates so I had to inform my four friends that we were not going.  Then some tickets became available on Ticketmaster (at inflated prices) but they went before I could contact four others to reverse the original message.  I think there should be a rule that all remaining tickets go on sale through the finalists, however it will never happen; in the end money talks. Then four days later Sean, contributor to this site, put up a message that he had a spare ticket to offer at face value out of the Tigers allocation.  I snapped it up within a minute or three of the message being posted.  What a relief because I never pay over face value for a ticket.


It was a sunny day with little wind but cool enough to ensure that the players would not wilt.  Ideal for what some people call ‘rugby’.  However for the supporters of these two old rivals (from near enough to Rugby) the scrum and maul are as much enjoyed as open play.  Unlike previous finals, where a Tigers team built for domination in the mud and narrow confines of Welford Road seemed to be at a disadvantage in the sun and space of Twickenham, I fancied that Tigers had the stronger back line.  Therefore everything depended on whether the Tigers pack could match the power of the Saints up front.  From the first scrum signs were very good.  Not only did Tigers get the nudge but also penalties.  The loss of Marcos Ayerza from the Tigers front row was not key, so a big thumbs up to Logo and the Tigers coaches for bringing on his tight work so quickly.  


With Tigers doing well in the scrum, Saints struggled to get into the match. Tigers kept Saints in their own half from the kick off and eventually an offside in the defensive line gave Flood a reasonably easy kick which he slotted.  Again Tigers pinned the Saints back through a delightful inside ball from Flood to Goneva and quick ball on the Saints 22 saw Flood draw the defence before passing wide to Morris who ran in the try without being touched.  Flood converted.


Saints then took play to the Tigers goal line where Tigers won a scrum but Ben Youngs clearance under pressure did not find touch.  Pisi through a long pass to Foden who found Eliott who was tackled by Tuilagi.  Tuilagi got up and played the ball but referee Barnes deemed that he had not released the man when slow motion showed that he had.  A very quick tap by Dickson ended up with Myler scoring in the corner.  Myler failed to convert.


Tigers attacked again through several phases and Flood took the ball to the defensive line as usual and passed and then was tackled hard into the ribs by Lawes.  Tigers were awarded a penalty on the advice of the assistant referee, Mr Doyle.  However the result of this illegal tackle was that Toby Flood’s head made contact with Dan Cole’s knee but probably more significantly the ground.  He was concussed and the match was delayed for three or four minutes whist his state was assessed.  He tried to carry on but was groggy and so the penalty was taken by Ben Youngs who rarely kicks at goal and he missed from almost the same position where Flood had succeeded earlier. 


A few minutes later Flood had to withdraw concussed and was replaced by Ford who went on to prove how much his goal kicking has deteriorated this year.  Flood’s absence cost Tigers 6-9 points in missed goals and blunted their attack somewhat.  For example from a line out near half way Tait made a break to the  just short of the line and quick ball had men over on the left but Ford hesitated to pass and was tackled.  Tiger recycled and a Saints tackler did not release; it was one kick at goal Ford did not miss.


Saints won a line out on the Leicester 10m line and slick passing saw Foden go over the corner.  However thanks to Kitchener and Tuilagi being in attendance he had difficulty grounding the ball.  Mr Barnes referred the matter to the TMO on the advice of Mr Doyle.  Saints presumptively retired to half way for the restart.  After about 90 seconds of deliberation the TMO determined that the ball was held up long enough for Foden’s foot to touch in goal and a 22m drop out was awarded.  This was perhaps the start of five minutes of madness with Foden seen to mouth disbelief at the decision.  Leicester won a penalty on the Saints 10m line at a scrum and the Saints captain, Hartley said something that caused Mr Barnes to warn him about the way in which he was being addressed by Hartley.  This was on the stroke of half time.  Ford missed the penalty but Saints touched down for a 22 just before the clock ran out.  They were instructed by Mr Barnes that ‘You can’t kick it out’.  Myler then kicked the ball straight into touch.  Mr Barnes therefore awarded Tigers the option of a scrum on the 22 in front of the posts with the Saints team heading to the dressing rooms and the half time dancing girls running down the touchlines.  Hartley queried the decision.  Tigers shunted Saints backwards and the scrum disintegrated.  Penalty Tigers.  Hartley is then alleged to have said something abusive and the referee interpreted this as being aimed at him and so Hartley was red carded.  Ford converted the penalty.


In the second half, Saints played their hearts out with fourteen men.  The Tigers line out misfired.  Foden was outstanding until replaced scoring one try and making another for Dickson via Burrell.  However in the same period Kitchener scored from 25 metres through the gap between props in the defensive line.  24-17.


Then Tuilagi got the ball in space on half way.  He beat Woods on the inside and ran to the line.  Parling may have been in the way of a Saints tackler at the vital moment but although I’ve seen such offences given they quite commonly are not.  This one was not.  29-17.

Saints had to throw caution to the wind.  Tigers tried a cross kick which bounced kindly for Pisi and he set off down the touchline and as he was tackled threw a speculative pass infield to Mafi who ran back the other way and found Goneva with a South Seas style pass for the final try of the game and the almost inevitable victory by a clear margin.

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Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
TheLeicesterTigers.co.uk (IP Logged)
26/05/2013 14:39
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013:06:04:21:42:46 by Tiggs.

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
Johns (IP Logged)
28/05/2013 07:05
Thanks Rex great report just as I thought from my TV.

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
TigeR (IP Logged)
28/05/2013 07:28
Thanks.

The fcatual part was enhanced by viewing the highlights on ITV4 before I wrote it. I can't lip read ben Foden from behind the posts when he's facing the other way!

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
Purebob (IP Logged)
28/05/2013 07:46
Cheers TigerR
* edit *

Donate now to Cancer research



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013:05:29:10:24:40 by Purebob.

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
Rich W (IP Logged)
28/05/2013 12:08
Hence perhaps his decision to self-censor?

Thanks Rex - excellent.

...

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
TigeR (IP Logged)
28/05/2013 14:13
Very happy to give up doing reports due to lack of judgement if someone else will write them. No distrespect was intended to anyone.

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
Purebob (IP Logged)
28/05/2013 15:40
* edit *

Donate now to Cancer research



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013:05:29:10:25:08 by Purebob.

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
TigeR (IP Logged)
28/05/2013 16:28
No, honestly, I'd be very pleased if others wrote. Please have a go.

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
Stopsy (IP Logged)
28/05/2013 19:40
Many thanks Rex, much appreciated by me.

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
Rich W (IP Logged)
29/05/2013 10:20
I'm sure you didn't mean to sound ungracious 'bob - but it came across that way.

The reason I haven't contributed any articles this year is because I had reached the point where the time and effort required to produce them was no longer equalled by the pleasure to be gained from so doing. Feedback in the form of flames - intentional or otherwise - was a signficant factor in that.

No-one has to like or agree with what people write but a bit of thought in the way disagreement is expressed makes IMO a significant difference to authors.

...

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
Purebob (IP Logged)
29/05/2013 10:23
I am very sorry for any unintended offence. I can only state that the reference I alluded to stands out to me like a sore thumb from a great report, although it seems I am alone in this. Happy to edit / delete pour encourager les autres. thumbs down

Donate now to Cancer research

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
Rich W (IP Logged)
29/05/2013 10:26
thumbs down
Pax.

...

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
TigeR (IP Logged)
29/05/2013 10:51
For the record, I think PureBob made a worthy point. On reflection it would have been better to have omitted the reference we have been discussing.

RichW is also right that the way in which criticism is offered does matter when the person writing is a volunteer.

I, on the other hand, was over sensitive. So apologies.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2013:05:29:10:54:03 by TigeR.

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
Stopsy (IP Logged)
29/05/2013 10:54
(Sm93)

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
(JSF) (IP Logged)
29/05/2013 18:52
Just read this & not seen the original comments. Thanks for the report Rex, its much appreciated.

And great to meet you on Sat as well, in the future if you need odd tickets let me know as we don't usually buy more than 2 at a time smiling smiley

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ0BFYV4zuKiQxAjIXdY4zVnb4bJpjzN3WIJiuYTCU7YKsSpf_yuA

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
TigeR (IP Logged)
30/05/2013 06:43
The openning sentence or two has now been removed at my request.

Thanks Sean.

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
SimW (IP Logged)
30/05/2013 12:58
Good report. Thanks

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
31/05/2013 17:10
It was a good report, and thanks for it

Don't know what the fuss is about, not having seen the disappeared sentence, but I'll bet it wasn't as long as Dylan's

... oops! ... Should I withdraw that?

(Sm151)

'Lions led by donkeys' .. Lest we forget

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
Tiggs (IP Logged)
01/06/2013 18:07
Many, many thanks Rex for yet another sterling effort. I'm sure that no genuine criticism was intended, knowing Bob, and hope to read more from you in the future.
It is often too easy to read reports critically, rather than consider the effort taken for no reward, other than praise for doing so. Thanks again.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.bath1/Bath/Photos/tighthead.gif http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.bath1/Bath/Photos/TigersFire2.gif

 
Re: Tigers v Saints AP Final Match Report
Tiggs (IP Logged)
04/06/2013 21:41
Many, many thanks Rex, always appreciated when anyone makes the substantial effort to try one of these reports. I'm glad that the "small" issue was resolved by all, even though I missed it whilst on holiday.
Respect and self-policing on here always makes me feel proud of all the users who frequent here.
Many thanks everyone, especially all those who make the effort to keep the site ticking over.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.bath1/Bath/Photos/tighthead.gif http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.bath1/Bath/Photos/TigersFire2.gif

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