May 09, 2014
Leicester Tigers vs Saracens - Preview
Saracens face Leicester Tigers this weekend in the Aviva Premiership, here Henry Fraser previews Saturday's clash.
Tigers - Form guide, won 14, drawn 2, lost 5.
With many of their big names returning, the Tigers have hit form right when it matters. The experience of players who have been in this situation are showing how important they are to the team.
The defending champions know how to win when it matters. They are on a great run going into the playoffs.
The Tigers pack definitely lead the way for the team. They are extremely well drilled and boast one of the best set pieces in the league. When their scrum is going forward it's almost unstoppable especially five metres out. They're second highest try scorer is penalty tries accumulated through hurting teams in the scrum.
The Tigers also have the most successful line out going with many options throughout. The recent return of their line out general, Geoff Parling is very important for them as his experience could be huge during these big games. Sarries will need to be very physical up front as usual to not allow the Tigers to get any momentum.
With Owen Williams and Toby Flood both starting, Leicester will be looking to move the ball around and keep a fast tempo to the game. Sarries must shut these two down early to stop Tigers getting front foot ball and releasing the dangerous runners.
The trip to Welford Road is always a tough one and Leicester have an outstanding home record. They are one of only three teams to have lost only a single home game so far this season. However over recent years Sarries have had the better of the home side and this will give fans and players great confidence.
Saturdays game does not have a lot riding on it, in terms of league position, however recent rivalries between these two teams will stay add a bit of heat to the match.
21/12/13 Saracens 49 - 10 Leicester Tigers
23/2/13 Leicester Tigers 27 - 32 Saracens
9/11/12 Saracens 38 - 21 Leicester Tigers
Players to watch
Manu Tuilagi - His return from injury has key and very timely for the Tigers. They lacked the fire power in the back line to trouble defences constantly. Tuilagi provides a threat every time he touches the rugby ball. His shear size and power is enough to bust through any defender. It's no coincidence that his return has seen a rise in performance for Leicester, and heading into the playoffs, he will be a vital player.