Rebuilt Tigers expose Pontney's illusions

Leicester 32 Northampton 0

Can it be too early to make a prediction of that sort? On the evidence they offered on Saturday - in a game which could have finished in a record defeat in the series of East Midlands derbies that began 111 years ago if Andy Goode's goal-kicking had been up to scratch - Saints have much more to do than their director of rugby, Budge Pountney, suggested afterwards.

"We can take some positives from that," said Pountney. "It's going to take some time for our newcomers to settle in. I know from experience that Welford Road is a very difficult place to come and play well."

What Pountney did not say was that it would be difficult to imagine how they could play as poorly again. Given that Saints had won four of the previous five Premiership matches against the Tigers, this was a loss going well beyond what could be considered acceptable.

At least they adhered to the Rugby Football Union's stricture about an 11-week rest period for their Lions and England players who were on summer tours. This meant an afternoon summarising on local radio for their Lions hooker Steve Thompson. Whether his considerable on-field presence would have made much difference is questionable.

Leicester, rebuilding now the Martin Johnson and Neil Back era has ended, did not just front up, it was up front where they were so in command. Two of their five tries came out of the Johnson textbook on how to execute a forward drive, while the others bore testimony to their superiority in broken play.

If Goode had been in anything like prime kicking form this would have been a rout rather than an embarrassment for Saints. Before the interval, Goode had squandered 19 points by missing four penalties, two conversions and a drop at goal.

Two of the Tigers' first-half tries came while the Saints prop Tom Smith was in the sin-bin for tipping Leo Cullen out of a line-out. The third came when Alesana Tuilagi scooped up a pass spilled by Daniel Browne and ran 75 metres to score.

With two Bruce Reihana penalty attempts sailing wide, that made it 17-0 at the break. After it Tuilagi made the break to send Dan Hipkiss in and Carlos Spencer - Saints' All Black summer signing - was shaking his head in disbelief.

Goode's conversion, a penalty, and a try from Tom Varndell made the truth even harder to bear for Saints.

Leicester: Tries Hamilton, Holford, Tuilagi, Hipkiss, Varndell; Conversions Goode 2; Penalty Goode.

Leicester: S Vesty; A Tuilagi, D Hipkiss (L Lloyd, 48-58), D Gibson (Lloyd, 58), T Varndell; A Goode (R Broadfoot, 68), H Ellis (A Healey, 68); M Holford (J White, 59), G Chuter (E Taukafa, 70), A Moreno (M Holford, 78), J Hamilton, L Cullen (B Kay, 55), W Johnson, S Jennings, M Corry (capt; L Abraham, 49).

Northampton: B Reihana (capt); J Rudd (S Lamont, 71), J Clarke, S Mallon, B Cohen; C Spencer, M Robinson; T Smith (C Budgen, 59), D Hartley (D Richmond, 78), B Sturgess, M Lord, Damien Browne, A Rae (S Boome, 40), D Fox (B Lewitt, 61), Daniel Browne.

Referee: R Maybank (Kent).

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot