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An ugly win - but a bonus-point win

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Leicester Tigers backs coach Paul Burke admitted to a mixture of relief and frustration after a 34-3 win over Benetton Treviso at Welford Road on Friday evening.

Tigers led 13-0 at half-time, with Thomas Waldrom grabbing the only try of the opening period, and although further scores came from Tom Youngs and Blaine Scully, they were made to wait until the last attack of the game before Adam Thompstone secured the vital bonus point with the team’s fourth try.

“It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t a classic by any means, but we did get the job done and got the five points,” said Burke.

“There are some very disappointed guys in the dressing room. We won ugly, that’s how I look at it. We missed a lot of opportunities, especially in the second half, and the error count was far too high. We made things difficult for ourselves and we allowed Treviso to stay in the game on the back of our mistakes, but we got the job done in the end.”

Tigers have now taken six points from two games in Pool 5, snatching a losing bonus point with a late penalty in Ulster last Friday and then adding a bonus-point win over Treviso with an 80th-minute score at Welford Road last night.

“We never doubt the endeavour of the players,” said Burke. “They work very hard for each other. To get a point at Ulster was a good achievement when they looked like pulling away from us and again we just kept playing to the death.

“Treviso are a big, physical side and they will make it difficult for you. They’re are a team you must not underestimate and we certainly didn’t tonight. But it was essential we got the bonus point because it is going to be a very tight pool.

“We’ve got two difficult places to go now with Montpellier in December and then Treviso in January. But for the moment we’ll put Europe to bed for a little while and we go back to the Aviva Premiership.

“We are all disappointed with the performance tonight but we’ll have a good look at it and we’ll work hard this week. We have got a nine-day turnaround now before we go to Wasps next weekend and we have a lot of work to do.”

Tigers, already without Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Allen, Matt Smith and Mathew Tait in the backline, lost Vereniki Goneva with a calf injury after just six minutes of Friday’s match, giving an opportunity for Terrence Hepetema to make his home debut in front of a 19,838 crowd.

“Losing Niki early wasn’t great, but Terrence did really well for a young man making his home debut,” added Burke. “That is a positive for him and he’ll have gained a lot from that experience.”