1. ITV Report

Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers in play-offs: A look at great Midlands matches

Leicester Tigers have won four Premiership Finals Photo: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images


Leicester Tigers celebrate their victory during the Guinness Premiership Final at Twickenham, London. Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Leicester picked up their third title in four years after beating Saracens in one of the all-time great Premiership finals.

Sarries held an early 6-3 advantage after converting a couple of penalties before the Tigers took the lead with a stunning try from Matt Smith.

Leicester Tigers' Dan Hipkiss (second right) is mobbed by his team mates after scoring the winning try Credit: Clive Gee/PA Archive/Press Association Images

But Saracens replied to take the lead once more with a superb try of their own from skipper Ernst Joubert.

After both sides scored penalties the Tigers went up 20-14 going into half-time when Ben Youngs crossed for a converted try.

Ben Youngs scores the second Leicester Tigers try Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

After the break, following a Tigers penalty, Joubert scored his second try for Saracens to cut the deficit to five. Two more penalties meant Sarries held a narrow lead going into the last five minutes.

But Dan Hipkiss raced over for a dramatic try to break Saracens' hearts and clinch yet another trophy for the Tigers.


The Northampton players stand dejected on the final whistle Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Saints were cruelly knocked out in the Premiership semi-finals after Glen Jackson's late kick saw Saracens creep in.

Sarries got the first score when Alex Goode broke through to finish off an excellent move. But Saints moved into an 8-7 lead at half-time with a Soane Tonga'uiha try.

Northampton Saints' Soane Tonga'uiha is congratulated by his team mates after scoring their first try Credit: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

But Saracens regained the lead in superb fashion with a Chris Wyles try.

A drive by the Northampton forwards allowed Brian Mujati to score, putting Saints ahead but Jackson converted Schalk Brits's late try to seal a painful loss for Northampton.


Leicester Tiger's Julien Dupuy (left) and Benjamin Kayser celebrate with the Guinness Premiership Trophy Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Leicester claimed their sixth Premiership title in eleven years in a low-scoring win over London Irish.

Julien Dupuy's penalty tied the game after a Peter Hewat drop-goal which left the sides level 3-3 at half-time.

Leicester Tigers' Sam Vesty celebrates at the final whistle Credit: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

Delon Armitage gave Irish the lead with a penalty before Jordan Crane scored what would prove to be the only try of the game. Crane went over from close range after a series of offloads to leave the Tigers 10-9 up.

Leicester Tigers Tom Croft takes on London Irish's Richard Thorpe Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images

London Irish had their chances but Leicester held on to claim their second title in three years, and a record eighth in all.


Leicester Tigers win their second Premiership Final Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Leicester won their first domestic double after trouncing Gloucester.

Despite trailing early, the Tigers began to take control through their forwards line and Frank Murphy scored their first try on 23 minutes, one that needed the video referee to confirm.

After Gloucester lost their skipper Peter Buxton to a broker hand Leicester took control. Alesana Tuilagi burst through the defence to score their second try and captain Martin Corry added a third just before half-time.

Leicester Tigers' Alesana Tuilagi dives over to score a try Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Further tries from Any Goode, a second from Tuilagi and Shane Jennings sealed an easy win.

The following week saw the Tigers defeated by Wasps in the Heineken Cup final and miss out on a treble.

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