Burrell revels in Saints’ stunning derby-day success

FEISTY ENCOUNTER - Saints and Tigers scrapped it out at Franklin's Gardens (picture: Sharon Lucey)

FEISTY ENCOUNTER - Saints and Tigers scrapped it out at Franklin's Gardens (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Luther Burrell helped power Saints to victory over Leicester and declared: “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Burrell was named man of the match for a gargantuan display that ensured his side would not pay the price for the dismissal of Dylan Hartley.

The skipper was sent off in the 17th minute for elbowing Leicester centre Matt Smith, leaving Saints needing to reshuffle.

Centre Tom Stephenson was sacrificed so that hooker Mike Haywood could be brought into the action and Jim Mallinder’s men went on to earn a stunning 23-19 win.

“It was a huge performance,” said Burrell. “I take my hat off to every single player who took part in it.

“To go down to 14 men and put in that sort of performance is amazing to be part of.

“That’s the benchmark of what it means to play for this club; every time we put our shirt on we’re very proud.”

Jamie Elliott’s try three minutes from time secured the Aviva Premiership success in a typically enthralling east midlands derby.

It was the second victory in succession against Tigers, with the game mirroring the dramatic play-off semi-final win in May.

And Burrell said: “We went back to the semi-final and atmosphere we had then.

“This is why players want to join these clubs because it doesn’t get any better than that.

“It’s as close to a Test match at you’re going to get.

“It’s two top teams, 135 years of rivalry and it’s fantastic to be part of.”