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Rugby News

Batley calls for Tigers to assert dominance

Tigers forward Joe Batley asserts the Leicester side are not getting ahead of themselves in European competition with one round of the pool stages remaining.

Geordan Murphy’s men sit top of their European Challenge Cup group with five wins from five, and will remain top of the pile regardless of results this weekend.

While a quarter-final place was confirmed by last week’s 30-20 victory over Cardiff, Tigers now travel to Pau looking to secure home advantage for the all-important knockout rounds – though Batley explained the team must first focus on the challenge at hand on Saturday (January 18).

“If we win, and win well, then we’ll guarantee ourselves a home quarter,” said the utility forward, currently on loan from Bristol Bears.

“We’re taking it one game at a time, and momentum is going to be massive for us moving forward in both Europe and the Gallagher Premiership.

“Last week was a good solid win for us, but we’ve got more in the tank, so we’re going to try and replicate that against Pau.”

The 23-year-old made his club debut in Round 5, and expects a physical battle from the get-go at the Stade du Hameau.

“They’ll be physical, just like any French side,” he said. “Maybe a little bit of joué as well, but if you allow them to get on top of you in any way, whether that be scrums, mauls or at the breakdown then that gives them real rise, but we’re aiming to shut them down early.

“The scrum will be a huge challenge for us, but we’ve got a good plan in place.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in our scrum, and in the last few weeks it’s kept us on the front foot against a lot of teams, so we need to make sure that we keep going. This week will be a different challenge, but one that we’re relishing.”

Equally, travelling to the Pyrenees searching for a sixth successive win in Europe will serve as a shot in the arm for the men in green, white and red.

Batley concluded: “There are a lot of good teams left in this competition, and we’re one of them.”