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Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Saturday, 28 May 2011 14:30 UK

Leicester v Saracens as it happened


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By James Standley

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill: "I don't think this season has been a failure, we lost to the side that won the Heineken Cup by seven points in the quarters and we lost by four points today. It's tiny margins - today Saracens took the spoils and you can't argue with that. I'm very disappointed we didn't get the win today, but we have to look forward, shake Saracens' hand, say well done and move on."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall: "For the first hour we seemed to be in control. Had we lost at the end there it would have been very hard to take but it's somehow fitting it ended that way, because it says a lot about Leicester and a lot about our group - the character, how they work for each other… it's a big relief, a huge, huge day for the club."

Man of the match Schalk Brits "After last year, revenge feels very sweet. The Leicester boys came out and had an amazing second half; they are an amazing side with a never-say-die attitude. I'm over the moon."

Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell: "I'm lost for words. To come to this special place and win - especially against a great team like Leicester - is unbelievable."

1709: Saracens lift the trophy in a shower of champagne to get the party started.

BBC Sport's Adam Jones at Twickenham: "Wow - what a breathless finale - there are scenes of sheer delirium and utter relief among Saracens' players and fans. Leicester look exhausted after their Herculean efforts at the death but I take my hat off to Saracens for their defence. I lost count at 33 phases that they held out the Tigers for. On the day deserved champions."

Full time: Leicester 18-22 Saracens What a nerve-shredding finish to a gripping game. It may not have been the spectacular these two teams served up last year but it was a full-blooded contest throughout and those last agonising minutes will live long in the memory. In the end it was the unrelenting defence of Saracens which made the difference - just - to ensure they are crowned the new kings of England.

80+7 mins: It's over! Leicester are penalised for holding on at a ruck and Owen Farrell defies cramp to belt the ball into the stands as Saracens win their first ever title.

80+6 mins: Leicester go one final time to try and retain their title. Saracens' defence is immense.

80+ mins: Still going. 32 phases! Now a penalty to Leicester. Time is up but the game goes on. Extraordinary finish.

80 mins: Leicester are within inches now. Unrelenting drama.

79 mins: Leicester are hammering away at the line but Saracens are holding firm.

78 mins: Leicester win a penalty at the scrum and kick the ball to the corner. This is going right to the wire.

77 mins: The chant of Tigers, Tigers, rings round Twickenham as the champions go on the attack, but Saracens are defending like their lives depend on it. Alesana Tuilagi blasts through a couple of defenders but the tireless Schalk Brits - a hooker, remember - gets back to haul him down from behind, and a subsequent knock-on brings relief to the Londoners.

75 mins: Oh it's nip and tuck at Twickenham today. Toby Flood lands his sixth penalty and there's only four points in it once again. A try would win it for the champions.

74 mins: PENALTY: Leicester 18-22 Saracens

73 mins: Saracens extend their lead after Horacio Agulla handles in a ruck and Owen Farrell lands a tricky kick from the touchline, but Saracens immediately fall off-side to hand Toby Flood a shot at goal.

72 mins: PENALTY: Leicester 15-22 Saracens

70 mins: This time Toby Flood makes no mistake from the kicking tee and Leicester are within four points.

69 mins: PENALTY: Leicester 15-19 Saracens

68 mins: Hugh Vyvyan dives off his feet as Saracens look set to turn over Leicester at a ruck to hand Leicester a penalty.

65 mins: Jordan Crane comes back onto the pitch - he was only off for a blood injury. Craig Newby is the man coming off, with Thomas Waldrom moving to open-side.

62 mins: Leicester are enjoying the better of the second half but a fluent attack ends courtesy of a Saracens hand and the Londoners launch a surging attack of their own, before being penalised at the breakdown. Saracens bring on prop Petru du Plessis for Carlos Nieto.

56 mins: The wheels are coming off for Toby Flood, who misses his second kickable penalty within a couple of minutes - the Tigers could have been within a point. Hugh Vyvyan comes on for Sarries to make his 238th Premiership appearance.

53 mins: Toby Flood misses with a penalty after Saracens infringe at a scrum. The Tigers then take off prop Martin Castrogiovanni, with England tight-head Dan Cole coming on. Thomas Waldrom is also on at number eight for the Tigers in place of Jordan Crane.

51 mins: James Short handles in a ruck to concede the penalty and Toby Flood brings Leicester back to within a converted try. Saracens take off prop Matt Stevens and scrum-half Neil de Kock, with Rhys Gill and Richard Wigglesworth coming on.

50 mins: PENALTY: Leicester 12-19 Saracens

44 mins: Matt Stevens gains revenge on Martin Castrogiovanni at a scrum to earn Saracens a kickable penalty, which Owen Farrell duly notches, his fifth successful kick out of five so far.

43mins: PENALTY: Leicester 9-19 Saracens


5LiveRugby @ Twitter: Sarries 16-9 up at HT. Their dominance has been greater than that. Short try set up by brilliant Brits run. Farrell 4 from 4. Tigers shaky.

41 mins: Owen Farrell gets the second half under way. Leicester may have the majority of the fans in the 82,000 crowd but the Saracens supporters will be the happier at the moment.

40 mins: Toby Flood kicks Leicester to within a converted try, but it has been Saracens' half. They have looked the more threatening with ball in hand and are well worth their 16-9 half-time lead.

39 mins: PENALTY: Leicester 9-16 Saracens

38 mins: Owen Farrell takes Saracens out to a 10-point lead as he drills the kick over from right in front of the sticks, but Leicester are quickly awarded a penalty as Matt Stevens loses his bind at a scrum.

36 mins: PENALTY: Leicester 6-16 Saracens

33 mins: Leicester mount a rare attack in the Saracens half but struggle to break down the Londoners' ferocious defence, led by Jacques Burger. A knock-on ends their assault and Saracens are awarded a scrum. From it they launch an incisive attack through Neil de Kock and David Strettle and the Tigers concede a penalty in desperation.

30 mins: Saracens take the lead with a superb counter-attacking try. Schalk Brits runs back a Leicester clearance and draws the cover before feeding winger James Short. He still has plenty to do but produces a fine finish in the corner, with Owen Farrell landing the conversion from the touchline.

29 mins: TRY: Leicester 6-13 Saracens

28 mins: Saracens hooker Schalk Brits produces a superb off-load to Mouritz Botha as he is hammered back by Martin Castrogiovanni. Botha immediately concedes possession and Toby Flood drills a low kick into the Saracens 22, which Alex Goode clears to touch under pressure. From the line-out the champions try to get a driving maul rumbling forwards, but Botha redeems himself by stopping their momentum and earning Sarries the put-in at the scrum.

25 mins: Owen Farrell puts up a high kick and is clattered late by Craig Newby. Leicester's Alesana Tuilagi spills the ball and Saracens go on the attack inside the Tigers 22. They work the ball back for Alex Goode to drop at goal, but he pulls his kick to the left of the posts.

23 mins: Owen Farrell, still only 19, levels the scores for Saracens.

22 mins: PENALTY: Leicester 6-6 Saracens

21 mins: Toby Flood makes no mistake to give Leicester the lead for the first time in the match, but the champions promptly concede a penalty through hooker George Chuter.

20 mins: PENALTY: Leicester 6-3 Saracens

19 mins: Saracens are penalised for off-side and Toby Flood lines up the kick.

17 mins: Ben Youngs returns to the action after his 10 minute spell on the sidelines. Saracens sweep the ball left and right but flanker Kelly Brown is tackled into touch as he tries to off-load under pressure.

13 mins: Horacio Agulla tries a drop-goal from halfway. He fails by some distance.

11 mins: Toby Flood levels the scores as 14-man Leicester make light of the loss of Ben Youngs to the sin bin. An errant pass from makeshift scrum-half Anthony Allen then puts the Tigers in big trouble, but he scrambles back to touch down behind his own line and give Saracens a five-metre scrum. Sarries are then penalised for an early engagement.

9 mins: PENALTY: Leicester 3-3 Saracens

8 mins: Owen Farrell drills the kick between the posts but Leicester launch a surging attack and earn a kickable penalty of their own.

7 mins: PENALTY: Leicester 0-3 Saracens

Yellow card
6 mins: Marcos Ayerza concedes the first penalty of the match, with Saracens kicking to touch midway inside Leicester's half. Neil de Kock scythes to within a couple of metres of the line and Ben Youngs is sin-binned for cynically killing the ball.

3 mins: Leicester struggle on their first throw-in but retrieve the ball and kick deep, with Saracens winger James Short embarking on an elusive run before the Tigers' defence snares him.

1 min: And Toby Flood kicks off for the Tigers, with Neil de Kock clearing for Sarries.

1500: The teams are on the pitch...

1455: Style-wise what can we expect? Saracens have been playing in a fairly conservative manner this season, while Leicester have been more adventurous than they have been in the past. Are we looking at an arm-wrestle, or will the two sides put on a show? We're only a few minutes away from finding out as kick-off looms.

1451: Leicester are chasing a third consecutive title and have won three of the past four finals. Astonishingly, this is their seventh final in a row, and they are the most successful club in England with nine titles to their name.

1447: Leicester have stuck with their recent policy of starting Jordan Crane at number eight ahead of players' player of the year Thomas Waldrom, who is on the bench. Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni is at tight-head, with England's Dan Cole on the bench. For Saracens Neil de Kock won the coin toss and starts at scrum-half, with Richard Wigglesworth on the bench.

1436: Here are the teams: Leicester: Hamilton; Agulla, Smith, Allen, A Tuilagi; Flood, Youngs; Ayerza, Chuter, Castrogiovanni, Mafi, Skivington, Croft, Newby, Crane. Replacements: Hawkins, Stankovich, Cole, Slater, Waldrom, Grindal, Staunton, Twelvetrees. Saracens: Goode; Strettle, Wyles, Barritt, Short; Farrell, De Kock; Stevens, Brits, Nieto, Borthwick, Botha, K Brown, Burger, Joubert. Replacements: George, Gill, Du Plessis, Vyvyan, Saull, Wigglesworth, Mordt, Cato.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)

1430: Hello and welcome to our coverage of the Premiership final between Leicester and Saracens. It's grey and overcast in London, let's hope the match can illuminate things. The 2011 final is a repeat of last year's showpiece, which was a magnificent occasion, with the Tigers claiming a record ninth title.

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see also
Leicester 18-22 Saracens
28 May 11 |  English
Tiger Waldrom wins players' award
26 May 11 |  Leicester
No RFU action against Cockerill
24 May 11 |  Leicester
Manu Tuilagi given five-week ban
18 May 11 |  English
Saracens 12-10 Gloucester
15 May 11 |  English
Leicester 11-3 Northampton
14 May 11 |  English
Twickenham epic is greatest final
30 May 10 |  English
Leicester 33-27 Saracens
29 May 10 |  English

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