Rugby Union

Leicester Tigers claim Premiership crown against 14-man Saints

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Leicester Tigers claimed a fourth Aviva Premiership title in nine seasons with victory over Northampton.

The 37-17 victory will be best remembered for a moment of madness from Saints skipper Dylan Hartley however, with the England hooker dismissed for foul and abusive language towards referee Wayne Barnes.

At the time, Leicester were already 13-5 ahead through a penalty and conversion from Toby Flood and try from Niall Morris. 

Stephen Myler had gone over for the Saints and George Ford kicked another penalty for the Tigers after Flood had to leave the field, but it was Hartley’s moment of madness after a penalty was awarded against his side on the stroke of half-time that proved the turning point.

Ford kicked the three points, and with the score at 16-5, there was little hope for Jim Mallinder’s side with only 14-men.

Ben Foden did cut the gap to six when he went over early in the second period, but Graham Kitchener then went over for Leicester before another Ford penalty made it 24-10.

Back came Saints to within a converted try after Lee Dickson went over and Steven Myler added the extras, but there was to be no miracle comeback at Twickenham.

Manu Tuilangi and Vereniki Goneva both crossed the whitewash to secure the title, and Ford kicked a late penalty to cap off a professional performance from one of the greatest teams in English rugby history.

Things would get even worst for Hartley after the match as well, with the number two now out of the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia with an 11-week ban.

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Northampton Saints
Rugby Union
Leicester Tigers
Aviva Premiership

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