Two tries from Alex Lewington proved to be the difference as Saracens defeated Leicester 24-13 at Allianz Park. The former Tigers academy graduate crossed once in each half as the Londoners were too strong for the visitors despite a Ben White score.
The early stages passed without much incident as neither side could really get a firm foothold in the game until just before the 20-minute mark when the home side took the lead. Quick hands through the backs opened up the space for Lewington to take the ball on the burst and a perfectly angled run meant he ran through the Leicester line unscathed to touch down.
The away side thought they were back in the game almost instantly, a well-worked lineout routine ending with Jonah Holmes bursting through with a straight run to the posts only for the play to be called back for a forward pass in the build-up. They had to settle for a Tom Hardwick penalty after the hosts were penalised at the scrum.
A penalty for holding on at the ruck gave the visitors another chance to get back into the game. After Hardwick had kicked for touch, a barrelling run from Joe Batley got them within five metres. A subsequent penalty for offside by Saracens in front of the posts gave Hardwick an easy kick to cut the lead to one point heading into half-time.
The hosts had the first decent chance of the second half as they slowly made their way down to the Leicester five-metre line, but a penalty for holding on right on the try line meant the chance went begging.
(Continue reading below…)
The confusing Mako Vunipola fallout
It would prove costly as the visitors took the lead soon after. Batley again made a line-breaking run and his offload inside allowed White to race the last 40 metres towards the line. Despite the last-gasp efforts of Lewington, he was able to reach out and touch the ball over the line.
A Manu Vunipola penalty cut the lead to three before Telusa Veainu saw yellow for a deliberate knock-on. Saracens moved back in front when Dom Morris dived over from short range and they almost had another straight after but a knock-on by Rotimi Segun after the ball had been spun from touchline to touchline meant that points went begging.
They held a four-point lead heading into the last ten minutes and extended their lead when once the ball made its way from one flank to the other. Lewington had a more difficult task than his previous try as he got the ball wide on the left and still had to beat Veainu, but he sidestepped him before touching down in the corner.
– Press Association
WATCH: Jim Hamilton discusses the ramifications of the Six Nations going behind a TV pay wall
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now