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Rugby News

Borthwick split between pride and disappointment

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Steve Borthwick admitted to mixed emotions when the Leicester Tigers head coach spoke following the defeat to Bristol Bears in Round 11 of the 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership season.

When asked for his assessment of the loss, Borthwick said: "My emotions are split between immense pride and immense disappointment."

"The disappointment is that we came Bristol to face a team that is top of the league and created opportunities but did not convert them, especially with the amount of possession we had inside their 22.

"But, there is a lot of pride in the way the team played and fought together."

The Tigers missed two chances to add points in the first half with penalty goal attempts landing wide and short, as well as losing Matias Moroni to a yellow card for ten minutes. 

In the Argentinian international's absence, the home side exploited the extra man in attack and crossed for their first try before adding a second late in the first half.

Further assessing the loss, the Tigers head coach did praise the execution of the inexperienced Leicester side's plan to limit opportunities for the league leaders.

"We need to build better to take those opportunities when we create them," said Borthwick. 

"We needed to take away time and space today and the players did that exceptionally well, in the large part."

Borthwick also commended the hard work of his team, who many had written off after the announcement of the two matchday squads on Friday afternoon.

"I am sure all of the Leicester Tigers supporters will have seen when they got space and made those breaks, how hard the players worked off the ball," added Borthwick. 

"There were no lost causes and that says a lot about this group and their hunger and pride in playing for Leicester Tigers, the young men in particular who were given those opportunities today."

See more reaction to the match from Assistant Coach Mike Ford and Dan Kelly on LTTV.