Match Centre: Gallagher Premiership: Northampton 40-17 Leicester

George Furbank kicked two conversions and penalties apiece
George Furbank kicked two conversions and penalties apiece
©Steve Haag

Northampton Saints 40-17 Leicester Tigers, cinch Stadium @ Franklin's Gardens

Northampton Saints defeated a 14-man Leicester Tigers as they sealed a 40-17 victory in the latest round of the Gallagher Premiership at cinch Stadium @ Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.

This is 11th win for Northampton in 15 games as they consolidated their position at the top while Leicester are at seventh position.

Northampton suffered an early setback in the 9th minute as Elliot Millar Mills was sin-binned for a high tackle on Ollie Chessum and Leicester immediately punished them as Julian Montoya dived over at the back of a line out drive. Handre Pollard kicked the conversion to make it 0-7.

The response from the Saints came in the 13th minute when George Furbank kicked a penalty goal but his effort was negated with Pollard kicking a three-pointer of their own after the home side infringed at breakdown making it 3-10. As the Tigers were penalised for an offside, Furbank kicked his second penalty goal in the 33rd minute making it 6-10 before Leicester's Jasper Wiese was yellow carded for repeated offside infringements.

Northampton were the quickest to get off the block in the second half as Alex Moon sent a wide pass for Curtis Langdon to dot down and shortly Jamie Shillcock was sin-binned for deliberately knocking on Furbank’s pass that also resulted in a penalty try for the Saints making it 18-10.

The Tigers clawed their way back into the game when Jasper Wiese powered over the line in the 55th minute and Pollard's conversion made it a one-point game but their momentum was dented when Solomone Kata was sent off in the 60th minute for a high tackle on Fraser Dingwall.

With the numerical advantage on their side, the Saints dominated with tries from Robbie Smith and George Hendy extending their lead to 32-17 before George Hendy was sin-binned in the 71st minute for a cynical offside offence. Any chance of a comeback for Leicester was put off with Tom James collecting a loose ball to dive over before Fin Smith kicked a drop goal in the closing stage to complete a 40-17 victory for the hosts.

Team line up:

Northampton: Ramm; Hendy, Litchfield, Dingwall, Seabrook; Furbank, Mitchell; Waller, Langdon, Millar Mills, Moon, Mayanavanua, Coles, Ludlam (capt), Augustus

Reserves: Smith, Haffar, Davison, Lockett, Graham, James, Smith, Freeman

Leicester: Shillcock; Steward, Kelly, Kata, Hassell-Collins; Pollard, van Poortvliet; Cronin, Montoya, Cole, Wells, Chessum, Carnduff, Reffell, Wiese

Reserves: Clare, van Wyk, Hurd, Hatherell, Cracknell, Youngs, Cokanasiga, Brown

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?

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