‘There’s plenty of work left to do’ stressed Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick after defeating Brive 39-17 at Welford Road.
Tries from Tom and Ben Youngs, Cyle Brink and Nemani Nadolo ensured Tigers took maximum points as they stuck true to their game plan and eventually the French visitors crumbled.
Here’s what Borthwick had to say after the match…
On sticking to the task and securing a bonus-point win…
“I’m pleased the players got their rewards in the last 15/20 minutes, and somethings games are like that. Sometimes you’re going toe to toe with an opposition and then you get your opportunities late, so I’m pleased the players did stick at it.
“I’m pleased they did get those rewards and then were good enough to take them. I think that shows some real positive development.
“There are clearly areas of the game, in the first 20, too many penalties that we conceded and through that first period of the game we had our opportunities in our attack, we didn’t get into the way we want to play, tactically as well as we could in attack so there were opportunities and we didn’t take them.
“But at that point in time, opposition were fresh, opposition were in the battle and throughout the game we were able to ground that down and take the opportunities at the end.
The England players Ellis Genge, Ben Youngs and George Ford were introduced early into the second half?
“We’re in a project here where we are reshaping this squad, we are reshaping this team and we’re trying to head in a very clear direction of how we’re going to play, how we’re going to train, how we’re going to be.
“Matias Moroni, Luan De Bruin played their first games for Leicester Tigers. Díaz Bonilla playing in his first start for Leicester Tigers, and the combinations therefore need a lot of work.
“Tomas Lavanini returning from injury today, and you see that there’s plenty of work we need to do in terms of the relationships, in terms of those combinations of players. I’m pleased that we’ve got the squad together, pretty much for the first time.
“Now there’s a lot of hard work to be done about bringing it together and getting them familiar with each other.”
Having the Test players back, new signings involved – was it like ‘week one’ at Oval Park this week?
“I think one of the challenges, none of this is ideal now. There’s people who have gone through some very tough times through this last year, so I don’t want to overstate the position we are in if you like, but what you need to do is you need time training together, you need time preparing together.
“Clearly, only just getting the squad together has been a challenge, missing the two weeks of pre-season we missed because of the lockdown, because of the Covid outbreak, for that there’s been disruption.
“So what we’re doing, we’ve got lots of hard work to be done, and I know I say that, it’s true. We’ve got to spend plenty of time on the training field and at the same time we are playing games that we want to get results in as well, so there’s a fine balance.”
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