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Rugby News

Defence stands up to academy rivals

Back-rower henri Lavin played a prominent role in attack and defence in the Finals Day victory
Back-rower henri Lavin played a prominent role in attack and defence in the Finals Day victory

Back-rower Henri Lavin says the Leicester Tigers defence was just as important as a free-scoring attack in winning the Premiership Rugby’s Under-18s Academy Finals for the first time.

Tigers scored five tries in a 43-21 victory over Gloucester in the Final on Sunday to remain unbeaten throughout the season.

The team also conceded just 10 tries in the six Northern Conference fixtures leading up to the final and, despite being crowned champions, there was still an element of disappointment in conceding three in the final, including two in the last 10 minutes of the game at Allianz Park.

“It was a really good performance from the whole team,” said Lavin who was among the Tigers tryscorers as they lifted the trophy for the first time.

“It was a really good start with four tries in the first half, but we said they would come out and throw the kitchen sink at us at the start of the second half and we had to match that.

“We’ve prided ourselves all season on our defence and we showed good intent there, we were physical and everybody got off the line.

“If you’re nit-picking, we dropped off a bit and Gloucester started coming into the game, but we’re national champions at the end of the day and we can enjoy it.”

After the final whistle, Lavin and his team-mates were already looking to the future as well as celebrating their win.

“We said at the end that we’ve got room for improvement and we have to kick on as players,” he said. “We were just reflecting as a group and spoke about what we should do from here, but first we can enjoy it.

“We didn’t do anything extravagant, we played as we have all season, the forwards set the tone well and released the backs, and it’s a really good win.”

Watch the highlights of the Finals Day action on the Tigers website by clicking here.