Saints boss Dowson delighted as hard work pays off in timely success at Tigers

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Phil Dowson was delighted to see Saints' hard work pay off as they tamed Leicester Tigers at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday afternoon.

The black, green and gold, who had lost their past three games in all competitions, gritted their teeth to claim a 19-18 built on their defensive defiance.

It was a much-improved performance in every department, capped with a sensational try that saw man of the match James Ramm set up Ollie Sleightholme.

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Tigers huffed and puffed but they couldn't blow the door down as Dowson's side celebrated a win that pushed them three points clear of their local rivals in the Gallagher Premiership standings.

"It was very compelling and entertaining, although not with too much exuberance," Dowson said. "It was competitive if nothing else.

"We hadn't won away for a long period of time so we've spent a lot of time talking about that, training that and working out how we can do that better.

"We just about creeped by today so we're delighted with lots of parts of our game that we've been working on. They came to the fore today, and that's all you can ask for.

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"It's a derby and there's lots of different aspects to it with the fans, the media and things like that so we're delighted with it."

James Ramm set up Ollie Sleightholme for the crucial tryJames Ramm set up Ollie Sleightholme for the crucial try
James Ramm set up Ollie Sleightholme for the crucial try

There was one major flashpoint in the match as Jasper Wiese appeared to try to twist Alex Waller's ankle towards the end of the first half.

Waller was left incensed, but no punishment was dished out to Wiese by referee Wayne Barnes.

Dowson was asked to comment on the incident, but he said: "I don't really know. I'm going to go full Arsene Wenger and say I've not seen it.

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"Passions are running high and that’s the case in every game because it's a physical sport and I thought, in fairness, Wayne Barnes dealt with those high emotions well.

"It didn't overspill or get out of hand and I thought it was competitive, right on the edge without going over the top.

"During half-time we just tried to make sure we were disciplined because we've had discipline issues in the past."