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Blaze praise for Tigers composure

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Leicester Tigers scored six tries in victory at Cardiff Blues on Saturday but it was the team's defence and composure under pressure that pleased coach Richard Blaze most. The 43-9 victory at the Arms Park – a first win there in the club’s history and a record Blues home defeat since the start of regional rugby in Wales – gave Tigers No1 seeding in the semi-finals and they will now host Exeter Chiefs in the last four on the weekend of March 13-15.   But it was at the other end of the field where a young team really impressed Blaze, who has led the coaching throughout the LV= Cup tournament.   “There was a bit of indiscipline early on and we gave away too many penalties which allowed them to establish a platform,” said Blaze, who played for Tigers on their last visit to the Arms Park in this tournament.   “Those penalties gave them the opportunity to go three points in front, then six, then nine, and it can start to get away from you. But in the second half they didn’t score at all. That is the main thing for me.   “Our defence away from home has been quite poor. Phil Blake has done an excellent job but it has probably been more mental side. For mem the main thing was not so much the number of tries we scored but not conceding one against a team that attacks without fear and scores a lot of tries.   “We spoke to the senior guys, the leaders in this group, about composure and not panicking if we went behind.   “There’s a strong wind here and we thought if we are within nine points it still gives us a chance. We adjusted our defence at the breakdown and put pressure on them in different ways.   “We were probably lucky to come in at half-time in the lead with those two tries right at the end of the half, but in the second half we finished the opportunities when we needed to.”   Adam Thompstone (2), Fraser Balmain, Niall Morris, Tommy Bell and David Mele shared the tries.   “Cardiff play with no fear but us going into the lead made them play from places they didn’t want to play from and that almost fed into our hands,” added Blaze.   “The guys have been outstanding in this tournament and the enthusiasm we get from them is great.   “A home semi-final is massive and we’ll look forward to it.”