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For the first 50 minutes or so it looked as though Northampton would be the side facing Saracens in this final after a dominant first half display where they were somewhat wasteful, and then an early second half try put Leicester behind. Though a timely Saints yellow card and some slick George Ford play shifted the game in Leicester’s favour as they ran out 27-14 winners.
That’s now seven wins from their last eight Premiership outings for Steve Borthwick’s side, though confidence won’t be as high as that may suggest after quarter and semi-final exits from the Champions and Premiership Cups, respectively.
Saracens were in an equally competitive clash with Harlequins in their semi-final. Harlequins took the game by the scruff of the neck early doors with two early tries, though Sarries came back into it and with just three points in it at the break it could have gone either way. A blistering start to the second period took the game away from the travelling Quins and made it five wins in six for the men in black.
Leicester +6 Handicap
While Leicester finished the regular season seven points clear of their opponents here, the head-to-head record this season reads favourably towards Mark McCall’s side who inflicted a 34-27 defeat on the Tigers back in March, albeit on home soil, while they only suffered a 13-12 defeat when away from home.
Ultimately, it’s surprising to see Saracens as such strong favourites here. While they have been impressive of late, Leicester have only lost four times all season, with all four coming against a side with the home advantage, with neither have here.
Saracens are looking dangerous, though and with Owen Farrell pulling the strings they can certainly cause a lot of damage. However, the same can be said of George Ford who put on a 22-point display in the semi-finals for the Tigers. Ultimately, there’s not much to split these sides but Leicester’s ability to continually churn out results shows that they’re the value side here, and we’ll take some caution in getting behind them on the handicap.
LEICESTER +6 HANDICAP
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