Leicester secure semi-final spot, Saints up to fifth


Leicester Tigers battled to a 31-17 victory over Worcester Warriors to secure their place in the Premiership semi-finals for the 12th successive year.

The 10-time champions came into Saturday's clash at Welford Road knowing victory would be enough after Sale Sharks' 12-11 defeat to Gloucester on Friday.

Vereniki Goneva intercepted Chris Pennell's pass to put Leicester 7-3 up inside quarter of an hour, but Worcester moved back in front courtesy of Bryce Heem's score.

A topsy-turvy first half continued as Opeti Fonua's try regained the lead for the Tigers, only for Andy Symons to mark his 50th appearance for Worcester by going over following good work from the forwards.

Leicester went into the break 21-17 ahead, though, as Telusa Veainu touched down and 10 unanswered points in the second period - featuring Will Evans' first Premiership score - sealed a bonus-point success for the hosts.

Elsewhere, Northampton Saints kept their hopes of European Champions Cup qualification on course with a stirring comeback to overcome Bath 15-14 at Franklin's Gardens.

Trailing 14-0 at half-time thanks to two Jeff Williams tries, Saints got themselves back in the contest with Teimana Harrison's unconverted try and Stephen Myler's penalty.

Intense pressure on the Bath line with eight minutes remaining eventually paid off as Mikey Haywood went over at the back of a rolling maul, Myler adding the extras to seal victory and move the Saints above Sale into fifth.