Ellis Genge reaction says it all as Leicester stun Saracens
LEICESTER 13-12 SARACENS
"It's going to be a penalty try... " It felt like it had been coming, and it made the Leicester eruption all the sweeter.
There were a few eyebrows raised when Leicester Tigers appointed Ellis Genge as their captain for 2021/22. 'The Baby Rhino' can be outspoken at times, and has past issues with discipline, but Tigers boss Steve Borthwick has identified him as a real leader within the squad.
The first massive test of where this Tigers team stand arrived at Welford Road, this afternoon, when Saracens came visiting. The Sarries side are restored close to full power after their season in the Championship and were in town to make a point.
That was certainly how it looked all the way until the 70th minute, as Mark McCall's side led 12-3. Leicester kept plugging away, though, and George Ford put them within a converted try of victory with a 75th minute penalty.
Saracens would have been hoping to run down the clock, but the hosts won back possession and camped out in the visitor's 22 for the final few minutes. They beat on the door several times and victory arrived when Billy Vunipola was deemed to have illegally brought down the Tigers maul.
The referee had no doubts about the late, late call and with no conversion needed for penalty tries any more, the seven pointer saw Leicester pip Sarries by a point. The emotions were writ large on the face of captain Genge at full-time.
On the Sarries bench, Maro Itoje and Jamie Georger were incredulous with the call:
WELFORD ROAD ERUPTS!
Clock in the red, @LeicesterTigers are awarded a penalty try and beat Saracens by a single point! 🐯
Three wins from three for Steve Borthwick's side! 👏#GallagherPrem pic.twitter.com/jptIWQloFg
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) October 2, 2021
Victory sees Leicester with a perfect start of three from three in the Premiership.
"How much have we missed this?" declared BT Sport commentator Nick Mullins. "If you love rugby, you must love this."
Elsewhere in the league, Northampton Saints beat London Irish 23-21, Gloucester beat Worcester at Sixways and Newcastle Falcons defeat Wasps 18-14, despite having Tom Penny sent off after 55 minutes.