May 12, 2014
Leicester v Saracens - the stats
A much changed Saracens outfit may have narrowly lost 31-27 to a strong Leicester Tigers side at Welford Road on Saturday afternoon, but there were plenty of positives to take out of a spirited display away to the reigning Premiership champions. Here Henry Fraser looks at some of Saracens' top performers on the day.
Maro Itoje - It was certainly a league debut to remember for Itoje. Not only was it the fact he started, but that he was part of a young team that pushed the Tigers very close at Welford Road. He looked like he had been playing in the Premiership for a long time. Itoje made the fourth most carries, with 5, and had an excellent average gain per carry of 5.4 metres. One carry was a brilliant try assist after pouncing on Tigers fumble he beat 2 defenders and gave a superb offload to put Wilson over for a try. He made 14 tackles a long the way too. Itoje didn't shy away from any work and took his opportunity to make an impact.
Ben Spencer - In a young team, Spencer had to add his league experience to help push the team forward and it really showed. Everything he did had impact and guided the team around the field. He did this by kicking a lot out of hand, 17 kicks, to put the team deep and pressure Tigers in their own half. It was this pressure that gave him such good stats with ball in hand. Although he only made 4 carries each had a big impact on the game, two of them resulted in tries, the second of which was a superb individual effort.
Jamie George - George definitely led from the front on Saturday and had a very good captain’s knock. It was a big defensive effort again with lots of the team making lots of tackles and none more so than captain George. He made 17 tackles and only missed 1, a success rate that is rarely seen. In attack he made 6 carries, equal 3rd most in the team, with an average gain of nearly 1 metre per carry. George's stats show a huge work rate and willingness to dig deep for hard yards. He certainly set the example for the rest to follow.