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Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Sunday, 19 April 2009 16:51 UK

Saracens 13-16 Leicester

Saracens (10) 13
Try: Leonelli Con: Jackson Pens: Jackson 2
Leicester (8) 16
Tries: Hamilton, Erinle Pens: Vesty 2

Leicester fly-half Sam Vesty
Vesty lines up a kick against Saracens at Vicarage Road

Sam Vesty landed a penalty with the last kick of the game to guarantee Leicester a place in the Guinness Premiership play-offs.

Francisco Leonelli's converted try gave Saracens the lead before Leicester hit back with a Scott Hamilton score.

A penalty apiece from Glen Jackson and Vesty made it 10-8 to the hosts.

Leicester took the lead soon after the restart as Ayoola Erinle went over and although Jackson levelled with a penalty, Vesty had the final word.

Vesty, who only had one success out of his previous four attempts, nailed his match-winning attempt from 30 metres.

It was a lucky escape for Leicester, who had seen a late Saracens penalty come back off the post.


The home side, who had Kris Chesney, Andy Farrell and Cobus Visagie making their final home appearances, took the lead on three minutes when Hugh Vyvyan's cute handling played in Lionelli.

The Tigers soon replied after 10 phases and 27 pairs of hands when wing Hamilton evaded Vyvyan's grasp around the fringes to score wide on the right.

Jackson and Vesty traded penalties before the break and the Tigers almost scored when play resumed but centre Dan Hipkiss was stopped five metres short.

Leicester did take the lead for the first time through Erinle's try after the ball was spread wide.

Jackson drilled over a 66th-minute penalty following an offside in the middle of the field before Vesty gave Richard Cockerill a perfect start to his reign as Leicester's permanent head coach.

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill:
"We kept playing right to the death - there was a huge commitment there.

"I thought the performance was quite poor really, but after the emotion of last week it was a tough game. That little bit of edge we had last week wasn't quite with us, but it was understandable."

"We want to finish top. That would be nice - a home draw and to get to the final."

Saracens head coach Richard Graham:
"When you see a result like that you always feel hard done by.

"It was a fair penalty. With four or five minutes to go, Glen Jackson hits the upright, the ball bounces their way and next thing we're under pressure.

"We need to win our last game now, it's quite simple, to make sure we get that seventh spot."

Saracens: Goode; Wyles, Leonelli, Barritt, Penney; Jackson, de Kock; Aguero, Ongaro, Mercey, Vyvyan, Chesney, Jack, Seymour, Melck.
Replacements: A Farrell for Leonelli (67), Cato for Barritt (75), Marshall for de Kock (51), Cairns for Ongaro (62), Visagie for Mercey (50), Ryder for Chesney (69), Barrell for Seymour (49).

Leicester: G Murphy; Hamilton, Erinle, Hipkiss, J Murphy; Vesty, Ellis; Ayerza, Chuter, Castrogiovanni, Croft, Kay, Newby, Woods, Crane.
Replacements: Rabeni for Erinle (62), Youngs for Ellis (51), Kayser for Chuter (56), Cole for Castrogiovanni (62).
Not Used: Hemingway, Pienaar, Varndell.

Att: 11,275

Ref: David Rose (RFU).

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see also
Bath sign Skirving from Saracens
16 Apr 09 |  Bath
Chesney departs in Toulon switch
15 Apr 09 |  Saracens
Saracens 32-13 Newcastle
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Worcester 22-8 Saracens
04 Apr 09 |  English
Cockerill secures Tigers position
17 Apr 09 |  Leicester
Leicester suspend winger Tuilagi
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Cockerill confirms Dupuy to stay
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Leicester 20-15 Bath
11 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Leicester 37-31 Sale
04 Apr 09 |  English

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