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Page last updated at 17:23 GMT, Saturday, 8 May 2010 18:23 UK

Leicester 23-32 Saracens

Leicester (13) 23
Tries: Tuilagi, Ayerza Cons: Staunton 2 Pens: Staunton 3
Saracens (16) 32
Tries: Wyles, Brits Cons: Jackson 2 Pens: Jackson 5, Hougaard

Schalk Brits of Saracens is tackled by Leicester's Jeremy Staunton and Ben Youngs
Schalk Brits is tackled by Leicester's Jeremy Staunton and Ben Youngs

Saracens inflicted a first home defeat of the season on Premiership regular season table-toppers Leicester.

But it was not enough to overhaul Northampton for second place and secure a home play-off semi-final.

Saracens took an early lead through a Glen Jackson penalty and although Alesana Tuilagi's try put the Tigers ahead, Saracens battled back.

Chris Wyles and Schalk Brits tries and two conversions and five penalties from Jackson sealed the win.

Wyles crossed after 25 minutes when he ran onto a loose ball to collect and score with Jackson's conversion putting them 16-13 ahead.

Just after the break Brits intercepted a stray Leicester pass to run 35 metres and score with Jackson adding the extras.

Jeremy Staunton missed a penalty chance for Leicester but after 57 minutes they were back in it when pressure led to Marcos Ayerza scoring with Staunton converting.

Staunton then exchanged penalties with Jackson to leave the visitors 26-23 ahead going into the final quarter.

With 12 minutes to go the Tigers were hit by a double blow. At the ruck close to the Leicester line, Tom Croft, the home flanker, was yellow carded and Jackson kicked the penalty.

The Tigers were stunned into action with skipper Geordan Murphy doing everything in his power to lift his side, but once again Leicester fell foul of the referee.

But Derick Hougaard, who took over the kicking duties after Jackson was forced off through injury, made no mistake with a beautifully struck 45-metre penalty to seal Leicester's fate and give Saracens a first win in 32 visits.

Saracens coach Brendan Venter:

"Next week is irrelevant for the guys as this was a fantastic day. We measure ourselves against Leicester as they are the best side in the Premiership.

"Our second row, Hugh Vyvyan, has won at all Premiership grounds but never here.

"We are really looking forward to the challenge of Northampton. They made a few comments about the extent of our celebrations when we won there but we sing our song when we win as that was another fantastic day."

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill:

"We gave away two soft tries, gave them six points start with two soft penalties and then we dropped the ball and it bounced their way for the try.

"We were ill disciplined, we were very inaccurate and we got exactly what we deserved.

"Our control wasn't good enough and all credit to them as they are a good side and I have no complaints."

Leicester: G. Murphy, Hamilton, M. Smith, Allen, Tuilagi, Staunton, B. Youngs, Ayerza, Chuter, Castrogiovanni, Parling, Kay, Croft, Moody, Newby.
Replacements: Grindal for B. Youngs (72), Duffey for Chuter (50), Cole for Castrogiovanni (50), Crane for Kay (50), Woods for Moody (72).
Not Used: Stankovich, Vesty, J. Murphy.

Sin Bin: Croft (66).

Saracens: Wyles, Haughton, Powell, Barritt, Tagicakibau, Jackson, de Kock, Aguero, Brits, Du Plessis, Vyvyan, Botha, Burger, Saull, Joubert.
Replacements: Ratuvou for Haughton (59), Hougaard for Jackson (72), Rauluni for de Kock (50), Skuse for Aguero (75), Ongaro for Brits (45), Gill for Du Plessis (62), Ryder for Botha (50).
Not Used: Melck.

Att: 24,000

Ref: Andrew Small (RFU).

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see also
Leicester 40-22 Harlequins
24 Apr 10 |  English
Northampton 27-28 Saracens
24 Apr 10 |  English

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