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Eastmond: ‘We managed to dig it out’

Leicester Tigers centre Kyle Eastmond was delighted with his side’s attitude in Saturday’s 19-14 win over Wasps in Round 15 of the Gallagher Premiership.

“It’s really pleasing,” he said, following Tigers’ first home game for six weeks. “We stuck together, dug in there, and got a good win.

“The crowd were just awesome, and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Every player really appreciates the support in those difficult moments when the crowd are behind us.”

More than 25,000 supporters packed into Welford Road for the game, setting the highest attendance of the season so far.

“We had a lot of things go against us…but we managed to dig it out.”

A strong defensive display saw Tigers hold out the visitors for the entire second half, though they still had to survive a last-minute call for a Wasps try which required TMO checks before referee JP Doyle blew the final whistle.

“I was thinking ‘oh no, not again’,” explained Eastmond, referring to February’s last-gasp defeat at Worcester.

“Wasps are a very good team, and it was a really difficult game. We had a lot of things go against us with injuries and a lot of players that couldn’t return to the field, but we managed to dig it out.”

Eastmond played a key role in reorganising the backs division after Tigers lost both Ben White and replacement nine Sam Harrison to injury early in the first half, forcing fly-half Joe Ford and wing Jonah Holmes to share scrum-half duties.

Fellow wing Sam Aspland-Robinson also shone on his debut Premiership start, as did Leonardo Sarto in his first league appearance off the bench.

Eastmond added: “Losing [Ben and Sam] has a massive effect, because Joe had to go into nine and you lose all your combinations, your wings are getting changed around, and it’s difficult.

“But it’s one of those things you have to deal with, and we dealt with it brilliantly.

“There were some young guys out there today who really put their hand up, so I’m really pleased.”