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Burke takes positives out of Tigers fightback

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Paul Burke says there are still lots of positives to take out of the second-half fightback despite disappointment in defeat at Bath on Saturday.

Tigers trailed 21-3 at half-time and had Logovi’i Mulipola and Tom Youngs sin-binned in the first period, but then scored three second-half tries and took a losing bonus point out of the Round 2 trip to The Rec.

“We certainly gave ourselves a mountain to climb at 21-3 down,” said backs coach Burke.

“At that stage they’d scored an interception try and finished an attack after we didn’t get the ball off the pitch. But we felt we’d played some good rugby and created some opportunities which we failed to take.

“At half-time we still thought we could get ourselves back into the game. There were a few harsh words, the players were disappointed and we addressed one or two things.

“The effort the guys showed in the second half was incredible. They can hold their heads up.

“At half-time I felt we could still win this game, the boys felt that and at points in the second half we looked like we could do it. We created opportunities, we scored three good tries. Looking down the line, that holds us in good stead.”

Burke also took the positives out of seeing a return to action for Ed Slater and an Aviva Premiership debut for second-row colleague Sebastian de Chaves.

“We’ve got players missing but we’ve got a few on their way back and it was good to get Ed out there for a full 80 minutes because he hasn’t had much of a pre-season. Seb de Chaves made his first start for the club and Steve Mafi got some good game-time after just 40 minutes in the pre-season games,” he said.

“We’re obviously disappointed to lose here, but to take a point and be in with a chance to win the game at the death says a lot for the guys.”