Northampton Saints pick up first victory at Welford Road in 11 years in Midlands derby.
Saints end their 11-year dry spell at Welford Road with a 21-27 victory fuelled by the usual hostility the Midlands derby provides.
The visitors do not leave the weekend with a try bonus point or the chance to qualify for play-offs or Champions Cup rugby, but take away something far more precious to the Franklin's Gardens faithful, a victory over the Tigers.
It was far from a pretty result, but putting their season into perspective, this may well be the best game of the 2017/18 campaign for the Black, Green and Gold. The 2014 Premiership champions bounced back from a thrashing at Saracens hands in front of a home crowd to put a spanner in the works of their fiercest rivals top four ambitions.
Leicester turn a full 180 from their Twickenham victory over Bath last weekend, struggling to gain ascendancy in the pack outside of the opening quarter. In the initial 15-20 minutes, Leicester had been enjoying tremendous front-foot-ball from their forwards. Even lumbering locks were cutting fine running lines to cause Saints defence problems. However, this did not last. Whether they ran out of steam or lost focus after Saints early scores, Matt O'Connor's men failed to reproduce the 80-minute performance they brought to Twickenham.
The home side had ample opportunity to see out the win today but the lack of any real clinical edge in any aspect of their performance resulted in an end to their promising run of form in recent months. Nothing sums up Leicester's issues today like the great Matt Toomua wasting a 3 on 1 for a certain try.
The stats make for ugly reading for Leicester fans, with their side dominating as far as the numbers were concerned.
Possession: Leicester 67% - Saints 33%
Territory: Leicester 72% - 28% Saints
Defenders beaten: Leicester 31 - 12 Saints
Metres made: Leicester 612 - 326 Saints
Clean breaks: Leicester 12 - 4 Saints
Leicester have only to find the closest mirror to cast blame this week. The home side did just enough to put themselves into a winning position but demonstrated a demonstrous level of capitulation when it mattered most. Tigers fly-half and captain during the final 25 minutes, George Ford, may be ruing his decisions to take the three instead of kicking for the corner and going for the full seven on three occasions in the final 20 minutes. Although in defence of England's fly-half, there was no guarantee his side would put the finishing touches on any moves or lineout drives cobbled together.
Man of the match Jamie Gibson terrorised his former side at the set piece, causing Tigers plenty of headaches at lineout time and hampering the prospect of a Leicester rolling maul. Any hope of a Tigers eight marching towards the line in Roman testudo-fashion to raise the voices of Welford Road were well scuppered by Gibson et al.
When a club is struggling as Saints have been of late, Gibson is the type of player that sees them fight until the last. There are shades of Ireland's Peter O'Mahony in the London-born backrow.
Saints result will do nothing significant as the table goes and they may well be feeling slightly fortunate their fiercest opposition failed to capitalise on their chances, but today's result will go a long way to setting up a potential regroup and return to form ahead of the 2018/19 season.
Leicester slip out of the top four with their loss to Saints and will have to double-down in their last two games of the regular season against fellow play-off contenders Newcastle Falcons and Sale Sharks. If they are to stand any hope of securing a place in the semi-finals, two bonus point victories are a must.
Tries: Veainu, Toomua
Conversions: Ford (1/2)
Penalties: Ford (3/3)
Tries: Foden, Reinach, Tuala
Conversions: Myler (3/3)
Penalties: Myler (2/2)