Tigers maul sorry Saints
By Ben Blackmore
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Leicester Tigers made a sensational start to the season, beating Northampton 32-0.
Guinness Premiership, Welford Road, Saturday September 3Match Stats
Martin Corry's reign as captain of Leicester Tigers got off to the perfect start at Welford Road, as Leicester ran riot to triumph 32-0 against Northampton.
A five try blitz from James Hamilton, Michael Holford, Alesana Tuilagi, Dan Hipkiss and Tom Varndell ensured a bonus point for Pat Howard's men, who dominated from start to finish in their opening match of the season.
All of the talk before the game centred on the Northampton debut of All Black talisman Carlos Spencer, but the genial fly half played the role of spectator for large parts of the match as the Tigers overpowered Saints up front.
And it was no surprise when Leicester's opening two tries came from awesome forward surges, allowing Hamilton and Holford to score.
If there was any doubt about the Tigers' ability to maintain standards in their renowned forward pack after the retirements of Neil Back and Martin Johnson, the first two tries surely quashed such thoughts.
A breakaway score from Tuilagi followed before Corry's men showed the other side of their game shortly after the break. Tuilagi was once again involved - carving through Saints' defence to provide the assist for a Hipkiss to touch down.
Northampton's misery could have been much worse had Andy Goode brought his kicking boots to Welford Road, with the fly half missing six of his first seven kicks during the afternoon.
However, Goode picked a good day to be wasteful as his team-mates continued to pound the Saints rearguard, who by this time were merely playing for pride.
Northampton director Budge Poutney will undoubtedly struggle to sleep when his head hits the pillow this evening, with the prospect of playing arguably the Premiership's toughest forward pack in Bath next weekend.
Hooker Steve Thompson is likely to return for that match after Poutney chose to adhere to RFU demands by resting his captain due to his Lions tour participation.
After his side's blatant inferior opposition to the Leicester pack, which incidentally did include Lions representative Corry as well as Graham Rowntree and Ben Kay on the bench, Poutney will surely opt for Thompson's experience in their next fixture.
Leicester continued to dominate possession and territory as Saints became increasingly frustrated, highlighted by the sin-binning of Tom Smith for a cynical foul, and Varndell capped off a fine day for the home side with a late score.
Northampton (0) 0.