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Tigers up to second
Leicester now six points of bitter rivals
Posted Dec 08, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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Northampton’s lead at the top of the Aviva Premiership remained largely in tact this weekend despite having their game at basement boys Leeds Carnegie postponed due to the weather.
The Saints were lucky that the games still on, between London Irish and Leicester Tigers, Wasps and Exeter and Saracens versus Harlequins, couldn’t affect their position as the top team in the country at present. Northampton are six points ahead of now second placed Tigers.
The biggest game of the weekend was the Exiles versus the Tigers and the result saw the London side slip out of the top two for the first time this season, falling to fourth.
Tigers have been putting a run of results together as they remain in the hunt for a play-off spot at the end of the campaign and this 14-23 victory will do their confidence the world of good.
A penalty try and a maximum from Thomas Waldrom, plus three Billy Twelvetrees penalties and two conversions, was enough to see off Topsy Ojo’s try and Ryan Lamb’s three penalties for the hosts.
This defeat also stretches the Irish losing streak to five matches and came as a result of Tigers dominating the pack and the Leicester defence made sure Irish were unable to take any advantage of the decent possession that they enjoyed for the 80 minutes.
The Irish fans must be scratching their heads and wondering how such a positive start could turn so drastically and leave them well off the pace in the Premiership. They now look a fairly ordinary side but despite elements of their game not being good enough, they remained in reach of the reigning champions throughout.
The Exiles must learn and learn quickly if they are to avoid a thoroughly disappointing season after an incredible start. Rugby is about momentum, pressure and making people do things. If you fail to keep possession for lengthy periods of time, it doesn’t matter how good the team or individuals are, you won’t be able to sustain pressure and force the result.
Tigers on the other hand, cemented their position in the top four with this win, a win that is, incredibly, their first away from home this season. They looked like they had a massive belief in themselves, something that’s been synonymous with them over the years.
This was a great win for Tigers and they will be looking to build on this in the coming games.