Hartley scores as Saints beat rivals Tigers

Luther Burrell’s try was the first the England centre had scored since 23 December
Aviva Premiership
Northampton (17) 24
Tries: Burrell, Hartley, Collins Cons: Mallinder 3 Pen: Mallinder
Leicester (3) 11
Try: May Pen: Ford 2

Northampton beat East Midlands rivals Leicester for the first time since December 2014 at Franklin’s Gardens.

Saints started strongly with Luther Burrell going over early on, and England skipper Dylan Hartley doubling the lead, before George Ford and Harry Mallinder traded penalties.

Ford kicked another penalty even though Tigers had Mike Williams sin-binned.

But Saints dominated as Tom Collins swept over before Jonny May’s consolation try late on for Tigers.

It is the first time in six years that Leicester have lost their opening two league fixtures of the season.

Saints put pressure on the Tigers set-piece from the start, and were rewarded when Burrell scored from 10 metres out after a flowing move from the breakdown.

Hartley, who was impressive throughout, burrowed over from the base of a ruck to double the lead and, but for some dogged defending by Saints on their own try-line, could have had a second before the break.

Tigers were fortunate not to have Matt Toomua sin-binned for what looked like a deliberate knock-on in the closing stages of the first half, but were reduced to 14 men after the restart when Mike Williams was yellow-carded for a no-armed tackle.

Despite being a man down Ford kicked a second penalty, but it was Northampton who kicked on – George North had a try chalked off for a forward pass before Tom Collins went over after a lovely exchange of passes with Nic Groom, before he beautifully rounded the last defender.

Leicester’s England wing Jonny May sensationally latched on to a deep kick in the final minute to give some respectability to the score, but Northampton were impressive as they beat the Tigers for just the third time in their past 20 meetings.

Northampton: Tuala; North, Horne, Burrell, Collins; Mallinder, Groom; Waller, Hartley (capt), Brookes, Paterson, Day, Lawes, Gibson, T Harrison.

Replacements: Haywood, Ma’afu, Hill, Ratuniyarawa, Ludlam, Reinach, Grayson, Foden.

Leicester: Veainu; Malouf, Smith, Toomua, May; G Ford, B Youngs; Genge, T Youngs (capt), Cole, Barrow, Kitchener, Hamilton, O’Connor, Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Thacker, Bateman, Mulipola, Williams, Ryan, S Harrison, J Ford, Tait.

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