MATCH REPORT | Saracens Men 8-45 Leicester Tigers
Saracens Men signed off their Premiership Rugby Cup campaign with a 45-8 defeat to Leicester Tigers at StoneX Stadium.
A youthful Sarries side gained more crucial experience but were ultimately outclassed by a physical and clinical Tigers outfit who dominated proceedings in North London.
Both sides were looking to work each other out in the opening stages which resulted in lengthy kicking battles, however it was the hosts that looked the more likely with Brandon Jackson getting on the outside of the defence twice as the attacking threat grew.
The first points of the day went to the visitors with an opportunistic try to put them ahead. Charlie Atkinson’s dink over the top was gathered by Joseph Woodward, and then another loose ball bounced up perfectly to Marcus Ramage who could dive over from five metres out.
Sarries looked to grow in to the game with their kicking game once again, and a sequence of penalties took them right up to the line but a knock on at the base of the ruck allowed Leicester to escape.
From the next attack they took advantage though to get themselves level. Tom Howe spotted some space on the shortside and released Francis Moore down the right, who drew in the final man and allowed Tobias Elliott to stroll over from 20 metres out. The conversion went wide, but the score was now 5-5 with 20 minutes gone.
Leicester then looked for a quick response and a counter ruck gave them some space down the left, but Moore did well to force Phil Cokanasiga in to touch as it looked like a dangerous attack.
The Tigers edged themselves in front just before the break as Sean Jansen bundled his way over from the base of a five metre scrum and Atkinson’s extras gave them a 12-5 advantage, however Elliott’s penalty almost straight from the restart cut the deficit to four points.
There was a hammer blow for the hosts right on half time though as Cameron Henderson powered through a number of defenders to score Leicester’s third, and now all a sudden Sarries found themselves 19-8 down at the break.
Leicester started the second half strongly and put the outcome firmly in their grasp when Jansen scored his second just four minutes after the restart from another attacking scrum, extending their advantage to 16 points.
Sarries almost got themselves back in to the match when the impressive Jackson made another break and powered towards the line, but his pass to Moore was intercepted and Leicester managed to clear.
A host of changes then brought a new wave of energy to the home side but they couldn’t stop another powerful attack from the visitors, as this time it was Francois van Wyk who snuck over from close range to put the result beyond doubt.
It got better for the Tigers with 10 minutes remaining as they powered over for their sixth from a huge rolling maul with Tom Horton the beneficiary, meaning the hosts now trailed by 30 points.
Obinna Nkwocha almost got a consolation try in the closing stages with a brilliant break through the defence but he was hauled down short, and that proved to be the final chance on a disappointing afternoon for the young Sarries side.
Tigers had time for one more as Horton scored an identical try from the maul, and Atkinson’s conversion confirmed a 45-8 win for the visitors.