The week before the Gallagher Premiership rugby campaign kicks off, we faced Leicester tigers our local rivals in the last pre season game. The saints vs tigers rivalry has been going strong for more than 100 years and is probably the most greatly contested local derby in the country. Just a stones throw away, Welford road the home of Leicester tigers played host to another derby day!
On a bright autumn afternoon, the Welford road pitch was in perfect condition. Dry, not too much wind and sunny! Just what you’d ask for on a Saturday afternoon for some running rugby. And both sides delivered that’s. Saints started the stronger of the two sides, scoring first and playing some really exciting rugby. The issue was that we didn’t really manage to turn pressure into points. The reason for this was because our discipline let us down, silly penalties here and there and we let the tigers off the hook a couple of times. David Ribbans led the charge however crossing the white wash twice, and Jonah Holmes on the Tigers wing did the same for them. Also picking up a first half brace. We went into half time very close on the score board, but we definitely felt that we were in the game and could pull away! The second half commenced and the home side came out roaring, scoring a couple of quick tries and go ahead. They had the momentum, and it was on us to try and wrestle it back. A brilliant couple of minutes from Fraser Dingwall saw him get an intercept and set up Tom Collins, and also go over for a try himself. We were back in the lead and with 10 minutes to go, a penalty took the score to 8 points. This meant the tigers needed to score twice to take the lead. Our defence held strong at the end to keep them out and we managed to hold on to what was our 3rd win at Welford Road on a row.
Our attention moves swiftly onto the coming weekend against Saracens. As we know, a very dangerous team who have been very successful over the last few years. They are a team with a big pack who like to scrum and maul for penalties. Their back line is quick and strong and they also score a lot of tries for the north London team. We travel there on Saturday in the first league game of the season and are looking to get off the mark with a good start! This weeks preparation has been sharp and intense and the boys are in a good place to go down and give it a good crack!
Thank you for all your support over the last few week. The real work starts now!