Premiership: Northampton Saints 15-23 Leicester Tigers in Rob Horne send-off

By James LawBBC Sport at Twickenham
Ben Youngs scores for Leicester
England scrum-half Ben Youngs scored Leicester's opening try at Twickenham
Gallagher Premiership
Northampton (10) 15
Tries: Gibson, Ribbans, Haywood
Leicester (20) 23
Tries: B Youngs, Olowofela Cons: Ford 2 Pens: Ford 3

Leicester scored 17 unanswered first-half points on their way to beating Northampton 23-15 in the East Midlands derby at Twickenham.

Tigers trailed to Jamie Gibson's score but Ben Youngs and Jordan Olowofela replied to make it 20-5 before David Ribbans scored for Saints on half-time.

Saints cut their deficit when Mike Haywood was driven over from a maul.

But 13 points from George Ford's boot proved vital as Saints' Dan Biggar missed all three conversion attempts.

The game was moved from Franklin's Gardens to raise money for Northampton's former Australia centre Rob Horne, 28, who was left with severe nerve damage and paralysis in his right arm after a collision in the fixture at Leicester's Welford Road in April.

He brought the ball out for kick-off to a standing ovation, in front of a crowd of more than 40,000.

Both sides lost England internationals to injury before the game started flowing - Saints' Courtney Lawes ruled out after a back spasm in the warm-up, while Tigers winger Jonny May went off with a shoulder problem after seven minutes.

Ex-Leicester flanker Gibson gave Saints a great platform, but the away side won several penalties from their scrum as they turned the screw.

Adam Thompstone's fine flick pass helped set up Youngs for his first Leicester try in 17 games, with the impressive Jonah Holmes setting up Olowofela after a mazy run for his first Premiership try.

Haywood's score - 10 minutes from time - came after Saints were left frustrated by a mixture of a strong Leicester defence and sloppy errors.

Geordan Murphy's Leicester side lost both Premiership meetings last season but now have back-to-back victories for the first time this season.

Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd:

"Every game we've played this year we've expected to perform well enough to win and it hasn't been the case.

"The loss is painful, the fact it's a local derby is painful, the fact we wanted to respect Rob Horne and we couldn't get it across the line is also painful. It's not a very happy changing room.

(On Courtney Lawes injury)"At the end of the day the squad's got to be bigger than one person. I think he'll probably wake up in two days and it'll be gone. He's pretty down on himself, feels that he's let himself and the team down."

Leicester interim head coach Geordan Murphy:

(On Jonny May injury) "He took a bang directly on the point of his shoulder. It was a bit sore, he out some ice on it straight away. It's not too severe, but it was sore.

"The result was great. It was a scrappy affair - it was pretty difficult to play any quality of rugby out there.

"At times our defence was very good but we still leaked some tries, which was disappointing. But I thought it was definitely a step in the right direction."

Northampton: Mallinder; Tuala, Kellaway, Burrell, Naiyaravoro; Biggar, Reinach; Waller (co-capt), Hartley (co-capt), Painter, Ribbans, Ratuniyarawa, Gibson, Ludlam, Harrison.

Replacements: Haywood, Van Wyk, Franks, Wood, Eadie, Mitchell, Dingwall, Collins.

Leicester: Holmes; Thompstone, Tuilagi, Eastmond, May; Ford, B Youngs; Bateman, T Youngs (capt), Cole, Williams, Wells, Denton, Thompson, Kalamafoni.

Replacements: McMillan, Feao, Heyes, Lewis, Mapapalangi, Harrison, Hardwick, Olowofela.

Referee: JP Doyle