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Commitment to attack and defence pleases Mauger

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Aaron Mauger says the Leicester Tigers squad can grow in confidence and belief after securing a bonus-point win over Gloucester Rugby at Welford Road on Saturday.

An early try from Luke Hamilton set the ball rolling and Tigers claimed a penalty try, a score from Adam Thompstone and then a crucial last-minute touchdown from home debutant Maxime Mermoz to claim all five points in a 34-7 win in Round 14 of the Aviva Premiership season.
After slipping to seven in the table overnight after Harlequins and Northampton picked up points in the opening action in Round 14, Tigers climbed back into fifth place in the table with an eighth win of the campaign.
“We showed more like the kind of game we’re capable of,” said head coach Mauger.
“It’s still a long way from where we can get to but we can take confidence from that and from the fact that after all the things we talked about and worked on in the week we went out there and did it so we can build belief in that performance.
“I’m proud of the boys. We got a spark with the boys in the Northampton Saints game in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and that was a bit of a springboard. We saw what the group brought into that Cup game – the energy, the belief and confidence – and tried to wipe all the other stuff.
“The guys went out and attacked today across the field, backing their skills, and that is how we want to play.”
As well as picking up a third bonus-point win of the season, Mauger was also delighted to shut out the Gloucester attack and limit the visitors to three kicked penalties.
“We put ourselves in a position to be a threat ball in hand and defended with our hearts too,” he said. “I’m really pleased with the bonus point and very pleased with defence – though not as pleased as Brett Deacon who has taken on the defence, He’ll be very proud of the zero tries conceded.
“The commitment in defence was outstanding. We were hard at the ball, Brendon O’Connor was outstanding there, he led that very well.
“The tight five worked very hard, they put pressure on ball and that got us a good shape on the defence.
“We showed good character to come back and finish it. We talked about resilience and I’m happy for that to come through right at the end.”
France international centre Mermoz was at the back of a lineout drive to provide the clinching score – a sharp contrast to his last try at Welford Road.
“The last time he scored here back in 2009 for Perpignan, I was playing and he scored from 80 metres,” said Mauger.
“I played in that game and was one of the guys he fended off, then he ran rings round Geordie Murphy – we both remember it!
“This was a bit different. He has integrated very well, it’s good reward for him at the end of a couple of testing weeks.”
Tigers are back on home turf next Saturday with a Round 15 match against Bristol Rugby. Kick-off is at 3pm and match tickets are available now. Book in person at the Welford Road ticket office, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 23)(open 9am-5pm Monday-Saturday) or click here to book online any time.