Having played 80 minutes at lock during the victory over Gloucester at Kingsholm, Croft was back in the more familiar position of blindside flanker for the trip to the Madejski Stadium. However, the new England squad member was unable to prevent Tigers from falling to a 22-13 defeat at the hands of the Exiles.
“It was a massive disappointment for the club,” says Croft. “I can’t fault the attitude, enthusiasm and work rate but we made some basic errors and Irish took advantage. All credit to Irish, they took the points when they could and they picked up on our silly mistakes. Those errors let us down and we’ll need to work on those for next week.”
Despite a delayed kick-off time as a result of frost, Croft made no excuse for Tigers’ first defeat in four outings. The 22-year-old also made it clear that there was no sense of complacency following the impressive win against Gloucester.
“You can never use a frozen pitch as an excuse for why we lost. We still had our heads on the game. Our timings were shifted back but as soon as those timings come around, you get strapped up and get ready to play, so the later kick off didn’t make any difference at all.
“Every week we try to build on the previous week’s performance. The win at Gloucester was a massive win but we all said that we had to move on to Irish as they posed new threats and a new challenge. We tried to build on what we’d achieved at Gloucester but, unfortunately, it didn’t come off.
“We now have to go back to the drawing board and work on our mistakes in training. We’ll look at the game tapes and see where we went wrong and, as soon as that’s done, we’ll look to put it behind us and move on. We can’t change the result now so we have to look forward to next week.”