Home team Away Team

Northampton

  • Wood, North,
    Penalty goals: Myler (3),
    Conversions: Myler,
21 - 20

Leicester

  • Youngs, Tuilagi,
    Penalty goals: Flood, Williams,
    Conversions: Flood (2),

Aviva Premiership: Tom Wood late try gives Northampton dramatic win over Leicester

By Paul Higham Twitter: @SportsPaulH   Last updated: 16th May 2014  

Salesi Ma'afu Northampton Rugby union

Salesi Ma'afu of Northampton shown red card by referee JP Doyle after fighting with Leicester hooker Tom Youngs

Tom Wood Northampton Aviva Premiership

Tom Wood celebrates winning try for Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Reaction

Teams

Also see

Tom Wood scored a dramatic late try to earn Northampton a thrilling 21-20 victory over old foes Leicester in an all-action Aviva Premiership semi-final at Franklin's Gardens.

A pulsating game played in a pulsating atmosphere saw four tries, three yellow cards and one red - amazingly now making it 12 Premiership games in a row between these two teams in which there has seen a sending-off.

Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs scored first-half tries for Leicester but, despite having Salesi Ma'Afu ordered off for punching Tom Youngs, who was himself yellow carded, Northampton were continually on top in the second 40 minutes.

George North gave them hope with his 65th-minute try, and although a late penalty could have knocked the stuffing out of them, Saints kept pushing and pushing until Wood won it for them as he dived over two minutes from the end.

The result sends Northampton to Twickenham after avenging last year's final defeat against Leicester, while also ending the Tigers' incredible run of making the last nine Premiership finals in a row.

Fast start

Saints swarmed all over Leicester at the start of the game, thundering into bone-crunching tackles, but the Tigers went ahead as Toby Flood kicked a 10th-minute penalty.

Myler responded after 23 minutes but Leicester remained unfazed and they scored the opening try of the night two minutes later when Mathew Tait danced through a couple of tackles before the ball moved right to Tuilagi to simply walk over the line.

The first card of the night then came out as Niki Goneva saw yellow just before the half hour, and Myler slotted the resulting penalty to reduce the gap to 10-6.

Yet even with 14 men Leicester managed to find another try after a Logovi'i Mulipola drive from a line out led to Ben Youngs picking the ball up and diving over for a 17-6 half-time lead.

15-a-side lasted just five minutes of the second half before Leicester's Dan Bowden was given ten minutes in the sin bin for a dangerous tackle, and that was just a sign of things to come.

Red card

Myler made it 17-9 before the game erupted again with Tom Youngs and Ma'Afu clashing off the ball. Youngs got a yellow card and a left hook to the jaw - for which Ma'Afu saw red to continue the long run of sendings off in this fixture.

Northampton kept driving forward though and North set up a thrilling finale as he arrived at pace to crash over from close range to make it 17-16, after the conversion, with 15 minutes still left to play.

It looked like being the same old story for Northampton when Owen Williams slotted a penalty for Leicester to go 20-16 in front just eight minutes from time.

Franklin's Gardens was begging for more from their team, however, and they kept pushing and pushing, switching to the left, right and crucially left again where Luther Burrell fed Wood, who fended off a tackler to plunge over.

Myler hit the post with the conversion as it remained 21-20 and gave the Saints fans one more minute of tension to get through. Eventually the crowd and players alike were able to start celebrating the final whistle as Northampton booked their spot in the Aviva Premiership final.

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 14th November
Aviva Premiership
19:45Gloucester vs Harlequins
19:45Northampton vs Exeter
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
17:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
13:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:15Wasps vs London Welsh
Friday 21st November
19:45Harlequins vs Sale
20:00Newcastle vs Gloucester
Saturday 22nd November
15:00London Irish vs Bath
15:00Exeter vs Wasps
Sunday 23rd November
13:00Saracens vs Northampton
15:15London Welsh vs Leicester
Friday 28th November
19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle vs Sale
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com