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Freddie Burns inspires Leicester to victory over holders Saracens

Freddie Burns scored 17 points as Leicester dumped holders Saracens out of the Anglo-Welsh Cup with a convincing 32-10 win in a one-sided game at Allianz Park.

George Worth, Luke Hamilton, Ellis Genge and Burns were the try-scorers for visitors Leicester, with the latter also kicking three conversions and two penalties.

The win sees them enter next Sunday's final at the Stoop where they will face either Exeter or Harlequins.

Henry Taylor and Matt Gallagher scored a try apiece for Saracens.

Tigers' triumph also saw them gain some retribution from two previous defeats at Allianz Park this season when Saracens were first 24-10 victors in the league and then 29-20 in the pool stages of this competition.

Leicester had the benefit of greater experience in their line-up with JP Pietersen, Mathew Tait and Burns featuring in their back division and it soon showed after they took an eighth-minute lead.

A well-judged cross-kick from Burns was knocked back by Tom Brady and Worth took advantage of the fortuitous bounce to score the opening try.

Burns converted before Tom Whiteley missed a chance to put the hosts on the scoreboard by hitting a post with a straightforward penalty attempt.

Burns had a more difficult penalty opportunity but he was also off target as Tigers maintained their lead to be 7-0 ahead at the end of an even first quarter.

After 23 minutes, Worth was taken out in the air by Tim Streather as the visitors' full-back fielded a high ball before falling heavily to the floor. A card seemed likely but referee, Luke Pearce, was content with a penalty.

Another penalty award presented Burns with a further chance and this time he made no mistake with a superb wide-angled kick.

Leicester had the better of the opening half-hour but against the run out of play, Saracens opened their account.

Young scrum-half Taylor caught the Leicester defence napping by bursting away on a 35-metre run. He fed Joel Conlon and when the flanker was hauled down just short, up popped an alert Taylor to nip through another gap and score.

Whiteley's conversion again went astray before Burns failed with a penalty. However his miss did not prove costly as just before the break, Harry Thacker broke away to set up a try for fellow flanker Hamilton, with Burns' conversion giving his side a deserved 17-5 lead.

Within a minute of the restart, Leicester sealed victory when Genge finished off a flowing movement for their third try before the hosts introduced more experience into their line-up with Neil De Kock, Alex Lozowski and Schalk Burger all coming onto the field.

The changes made no immediate impact as Burns extended the visitors' lead with a second penalty before a strong run from Mike Ellery created a try for Gallagher.

However any hopes of Saracens clawing back the substantial deficit were soon crushed when Burns intercepted to race 90 metres and just hold off the chasers for Leicester's fourth.


From Belfast Telegraph