|Saracens (22) 34|
|Tries: Woolstencroft 2, Lewington, Maitland, Koch Cons: Lozowski 3 Pens: Lozowski|
|Leicester (13) 27|
|Tries: Snyman, Dolly, Chessum Cons: Ford 3 Pens: Ford 2|
Saracens moved up to second place in the Premiership by beating leaders Leicester 34-27 in a entertaining game.
Eli Snyman put Tigers ahead early on, but tries from Tom Woolstencroft, Alex Lewington and Sean Maitland saw Sarries take a nine-point half-time lead.
Vincent Koch crashed over a for a bonus point just after half-time, but Nic Dolly was forced over from a line-out.
Ollie Chessum went over from close range to bring the scores close before Woolstencroft got his second late on.
Leicester’s losing bonus point sees them 12 points above Sarries, who are one clear of Harlequins and with a game in hand.
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Saracens were dealt a blow when captain and England prop Mako Vunipola limped off with an ankle injury after getting his leg trapped in a ruck inside the first three minutes.
Tigers saw Kini Murimurivalu miss the chance to score soon after as he failed to get on the end of a grubber kick, but Tigers did not have to wait long for Snyman to be forced over from close range.
Woolstencroft’s close-range try drew Sarries level before a George Ford penalty gave the visitors a slim lead.
Saracens took command as a wonderful passing move between Alex Goode and Elliot Daly saw Lewington go over in the corner – and it cost Tigers 10 points as Murimurivalu unnecessarily crashed into the try scorer with his shoulder after he had gone in to concede a penalty and be sin-binned.
Ford and Alex Lozowski exchanged penalties before Snyman dropped Saracens’ kick-off and Nick Tompkins had the presence of mind to steal the ball and set Maitland away in the right corner for his side’s third try.
Koch took advantage of quick hands from Goode to find a gap in the Leicester defence just after the break for the bonus-point score, only for Dolly to strike back from a line-out maul soon after.
The hosts had scrum-half Aled Davies sin-binned after a head-to-head clash with Ford, but their 14-man defence was excellent as they held out Leicester on a number of occasions.
But they were finally broken when Chessum went in from close range after more sustained pressure, only for Woolstencroft to get his seventh try in his past five games with two minutes to go to kill off any late Leicester ambition.
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:
“We probably deserved it overall. There was the odd moment where it felt like we could have packed up.
“We were under a lot of pressure having got ourselves into a decent position with that try just after half-time.
“But the way we fought is something to be proud of and it’s something we can move forward with.
“Leicester are one of the best teams in the competition at taking opportunities down your end. They had a lot of opportunities but didn’t score that many. That level of commitment in the team was pretty special.”
Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick:
“Saracens are the best team in the league, I have said it all along. This performance shows there is a lot of potential and growth in this team.
“We have been here 18 months, Saracens have been together a decade. We saw what a good team they are and quite rightly they have been at the top of European rugby for years.
“They have run that system of defence for a lot of years and it is very well drilled. We are still at a young stage but we will take a lot from the game.”
Saracens: Daly, Maitland, Lozowski, Tompkins, Lewington; Goode, Davies; Mako Vunipola (capt), Woolstencroft, Koch, Hunter-Hill, Swinson, Christie, Wray, B Vunipola.
Replacements: Segun, Taylor, De Haas, Earl, McFarland, Wainwright, Barrington, Lewis.
Sin-bin: Davies (60)
Leicester: Burns, Potter, Moroni, Scott, Murimurivalu; Ford (capt), Van Poortvliet; Whitcombe, Dolly, Heyes, Green, Snyman, Chessum, Reffell, Martin.
Replacements: Nadolo, Porter, Wigglesworth, Wiese, Robinson, Leatigaga, Van Wyk, Clare.
Sin-bin: Murimurivalu (29)
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (RFU).
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original source: Saracens beat leaders Leicester to go second in Premiership