George Ford scored a full house of try, conversion, penalty and drop goal for Leicester Tigers on Saturday in what head coach Matt O’Connor described as his best performance since returning to the club.
The England fly-half contributed 20 points as he captained Tigers to the 35-13 victory over Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium which confirmed a place in the European Champions Cup next season and he also collected the Aviva Premiership man-of-the-match award for good measure on a triumphant afternoon.
“I thought that was as good as Fordy has played for us in this spell with the club,” said O’Connor.
“It was a big ask for him with no Tom Youngs or Matt Toomua around that leadership group and I thought he did fantastically well.”
Tigers club historian Stuart Farmer pointed out that Ford was only the second player to score a full house of points in a fixture in the last 20 years, following Freddie Burns against Saracens in 2015/16.
Ford opened his account with a conversion of an early Jonah Holmes try but then saw successive penalties come back off a post before scoring his first try of the season shortly after half-time. After adding that conversion, he kicked two penalties, converted a Mike Williams try and then slotted a drop goal to push Tigers more than two scores ahead.
His final action was granting Logovi’i Mulipola a farewell conversion attempt in the Samoan prop’s last game for the club.