'You never get tired of beating Leicester' - Dowson steers Saints to derby-day win

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Saints boss Phil Dowson said 'you never get tired of beating Leicester' after steering his side to a superb derby-day win on Saturday afternoon.

Dowson's men were 40-17 winners at a sold-out cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens as they put their poor recent record against Tigers to bed in style.

Saints had lost five of their past six league meetings with Leicester but they refused to be defeated again.

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They were aided by Solomone Kata's 61st-minute red card for a high tackle on Fraser Dingwall as the score was 18-17 in Saints' favour at that point.

George Hendy scored for Saints (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)George Hendy scored for Saints (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
George Hendy scored for Saints (photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

But the way the black, green and gold then took the game away from Tigers was typically impressive as they scored a total of five tries in the second period.

And Dowson said: "You never get tired of beating Leicester.

"It's such a historic fixture and we knew the intensity with which they would start the game.

"We maybe didn't get as much of our game as we wanted on the pitch during the first half but we drove the game in the second half and got some reward.

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"I don't think we played particularly well in that first half. A lot of the things we knew they were going to come after in terms of the breakdown and set piece we didn't deal with particularly well, so that was frustrating.

"It was a very turgid, slow first half and we came in at half-time a bit frustrated and a bit annoyed that we hadn't managed to do more with what we had in terms of possession.

"We managed to keep the ball for multiple phases and clearly a red card has an impact because it was 18-17 at that point and then it was one-way traffic in the last 10-15 minutes so we were fortunate in that space.

"But I thought the work we did in the first half and the work we did in the first 20 minutes of the second half had put them into a place where we could exert control.

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"We got on top of them and the card obviously has an impact. That's just the way life is."

Dowson opted to make seven changes to his team as he rested the likes of Courtney Lawes and Ollie Sleightholme.

The decision paid off but when asked if he felt his team selection was vindicated by the result, Dowson said: "Not really. If it hadn't gone as well as it did today, we'd stand by that decision because in the context of all the things we're balancing up in terms of this fixture, those moving forward and what we want to do, there's certain decisions and you can't just look back in hindsight and think that went well.

"We've got to make sure we keep doing that (resting players) because the game takes it out of you and the training week takes it out of you so we've got to make sure we keep people fresh."

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