Sunday, 16 September 2012

Bore Draw at Wembley

Tigers and Saracens drew 9-9 at the home of English Football as Owen Farrell's woeful kicking gave Tigers a let off from their worst performance since Exeter in February and their first tryless performance since October 15th 2011 when Llanelli  beat a young Tigers side 31-3.

It all looked so promising in the early stages, good Leicester pressure inside the Saracens' 22 forced a penalty from Market Bosworth's Martin Fox, quite why a man from the hear of Tigers country is allowed to referee Leicester games is beyond me, is it fair to put him under that kind of scruntiny?  From searching the record books I believe this was the first time he has refereed the Tigers first XV and the first time a Leicester official has refereed the Tigers since Rob Debney whistled an encounter with Leeds at Headingly in September 2005.  Back to the match and after Flood converted the penalty Farrell's kicking nightmare was about to begin.  Farrell booted the ball straight into touch, and Saracens scrum melted under pressure from the pack of Tigers.  6-0 inside the first 4 minutes, it looked like it might be a good day.

It looked even better when Farrell missed his first two attempts on goal both pushed wide right, the first after a ruck offence the second a scrum one.

On 22 minutes after a run by Goneva Fox again blew for a Saracens' infringement and Flood duly made it 9-0.  That was the high water mark for Leicester as they were not to trouble the scorers again.  To not score in 60 minutes of Rugby is frankly unacceptable in any circumstances.  A lot of work for Matt O'Conner in the week to refresh the faltering attack.

Farrell missed a third penalty, pulling this one wide left, before finally nailing one that was dead straight.  On the stroke of half time Farrell missed his fourth and last kick after a Waldrom off side again the ball missing right.

In the second period Hodgson replaced Farrell and immediately repaid his coaches decision after a mix up between Allen and Salvi handed Sarries yet another opportunity. Salvi was again the villian as he infringed to give Hodgson the tie-ing kick.

The game ended with both sides skewing drop goal attempts wide. Hodgson and Saracens had first bite of the cherry after a lineout and a series of drives.  Next up were Tigers who after a series of blunt drives on the 22, and an aborted attempt, Flood put the ball wide left.

Whilst the defence has to be credited in a game like this really the attacks were woeful, given this game featured the three most recent England Fly Halfs, the two most recent Englad 12s plus the next in line at 12 it really wasn't hard to see why England have been so poor recently.  Manu Tuilagi and Alex Goode had some good purposeful bursts but Flood, Allen, Farrell and Hodgson were absent for large parts of the game.  

Tigers need to make sure this is the nadir of our attacking game as a side like Toulouse or Leinster, not to mention Harlequins, will take one or two of their chances and we will be facing an up hill battle.

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