Max Malins praised Saracens’ late defensive stand that ensured they came out on top 27-22 against Leicester Tigers to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

The fly-half guided the reigning Premiership champions to victory as they ran in three tries in a six-minute spell before the break, which would provide the backbone for their eighth straight Premiership Rugby win.

Utility man Alex Lozowski crossed, adding long-range efforts from Ben Spencer and Alex Lewington, to put them 21-3 up at the break.

A second-half brace from Tigers’ Brendon O’Connor and one from Matt Smith set up a frantic finish, especially with Sarries down to 13-men at one point due to Ben Earl and Schalk Burger picking up yellow cards.

The momentum was with the hosts at Welford Road but the Londoners managed to hold on with a dogged defensive stand in the last 10 minutes to secure victory.

Malins said: “That’s what we pride ourselves on – our defence. That’s where we get our energy from.

“We really had to dig deep in those last stages. [There were] a few mistakes but we dug in there and got the result we wanted.

“We always knew Leicester were going to be tough. Coming [to Welford Road] is always hard so we are chuffed.”

Director of rugby Mark McCall echoed his fly-half’s sentiment and praised the leadership of captain Brad Barritt.

He said: “Until we went down to 13 men, it was a pretty even game and then it was an incredible defensive effort.

“There were some outstanding individual performances. Brad Barritt, as the captain, led the effort in terms of putting his body on the line.

“It is a huge experience for the younger players in our squad to come to Welford Road.

“To be 21-3 up and comfortable and then go through that second half but find a way to win is a great experience.”

Saracens welcome Wasps to Allianz Park at 3pm on Saturday as they look to maintain their winning run.