Match report | Saracens Men 12 - 15 Leicester Tigers
Saracens men suffered defeat in the Gallagher Premiership Final as they were beaten 15-12 by Leicester Tigers in the final seconds.
The Men in Black trailed by six points at half time and looked to complete a second-half comeback but were eventually undone by Freddie Burns’ 80th minute drop goal.
Sarries enjoyed most of the early possession, and they came away with points from their first attack. A high shot on Owen Farrell gave them a penalty, and he kicked it straight through the posts to put his side 3-0 ahead.
Leicester then had the chance to hit back with a five metre scrum when Sarries were caught over-playing on their own line, but in an early sign of intent, the Londoners were awarded a penalty and their fans could breath a sigh of relief.
Billy Vunipola then threatened to extend the lead with a barnstorming run which eventually ended inside the Tigers 22, but the big number eight was stamping his authority with a lively opening quarter.
Leicester’s first chance for points came with 21 minutes played as George Ford lined up a penalty but he dragged it to the right and the score remained 3-0.
Aled Davies was then sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle, and Sarries were punished immediately as Janro Liebenberg scored from the next phase to put the Tigers ahead.
Some neat work from Freddie Steward and Chris Ashton saw them enter the 22, and then they powered over from close range with the flanker there to dot down from just a metre out. Freddie Burns added the extras to put his side 7-3 in front.
Sarries hit back straight away with a long range penalty from Elliot Daly, cutting the deficit to just a point as we approached half time.
A charge-down by the Tigers then almost released Ashton to race clear for a trademark score, but thankfully the ball bounced away from his grasp following his grubber kick.
However from the resulting scrum Leicester got a penalty, and they took it quickly, meaning that there was no stopping Jasper Wiese who bundled over the defence and crashed over in the corner. The conversion went wide, but Sarries now trailed 12-6.
Goode again put the Tigers defence under pressure with a neat grubber just before the break, but they managed to withhold it and Sarries went in at half time knowing they would need to overturn a six point deficit.
Burns had the chance to land the first blow of the second half with a penalty from 40 metres out, but it dragged to the left.
They then had another golden chance with a succession of penalties in the 22 then resulting in them kicking cross field with a huge overlap, but Daly gathered brilliantly and stopped a certain try.
Two brilliant bits of maul defence then kept Sarries in the game with 20 minutes to go, and then they started to get some much needed possession.
A couple of half breaks in to the Tigers 22 threatened to create a scoring opportunity, but they could settle for another penalty which Farrell kicked to cut the deficit to just three points.
They then gave everything in the closing stages and got level with just there minutes left. Andy Christie’s brilliant break took play right up to the line, and then a high shot on Vunipola sent Matt Scott to the sin-bin, and gave Farrell the opportunity to make it 12-12 with seconds left.
There was more drama to come as Burns dropped in to the pocket with just one minute left, and his drop goal meant it would be Leicester Tigers who lifted the trophy.