Steve Borthwick says the Leicester Tigers players were “excellent” in adapting to conditions at a rainswept Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Sunday.
Tigers kicked off a new year with a 31-0 victory over Newcastle Falcons in Round 12 of the Gallagher Premiership season, scoring a bonus-point try in the final play of a game which was dominated by the conditions after a first-half downpour.
“The ball was wet and slippery, it was tough, but players did really well and ultimately got the win, but it was hard. They hard to work hard every score,” said head coach Borthwick.
“I’m really pleased with how the players adapted to the conditions, that was excellent.
“In conditions like that, it can become a lottery and the players managed to find a way to score four tries against very tough, resilient opposition.
“In a game like that territory is important, discipline too, keeping the penalty count down as low as possible.
“They adapted really well, they played the game that needed to be played, given how wet it was.”
The players showed further adaptability when Ollie Chessum’s late withdrawal due to illness meant a move into the back row for Harry Wells and he finished the game at the base of a back row with also featured hooker Nic Dolly and wing Kini Murimurivalu.
“Right now this isn’t just rugby, it is life,” added Borthwick. “We all have to adapt.
“You can have the best-laid plans but everyone has to adapt and I’m sure there will be other things thrown at us too.
“I am so proud of the players, they keep working so hard and want to get better.
“In the last 18 months I have asked them to change and they have embraced it, had the courage to do things differently and I am so proud of them.”