Saints go marching on despite Ma'afu red card
Northampton 21 Leicester 20
Northampton Saints defied Salesi Ma'afu's red card and the weight of history to bludgeon their way into the Aviva Premiership final with a victory over Leicester Tigers in a bad-tempered battle at Franklin's Gardens.
The Saints overturned a 17-6 half-time deficit and shrugged off tighthead prop Ma'afu's dismissal for punching Tom Youngs to sneak into the May 31 showpiece.
Tries from George North and Tom Wood cancelled out Leicester's scores from Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs, as Jim Mallinder's men avenged their 37-17 Premiership final defeat to Leicester last season.
Last season Dylan Hartley's red card left Northampton heartbroken in the Premiership final at Twickenham.
This time around the Saints shrugged off battling more than 20 minutes with 14 men, to produce a sucker-punch, last-gasp victory with flanker Wood diving into the left corner.
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.