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Ford looking for Tigers ‘grit’ in final fixture

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Leicester fly-half George Ford praised the commitment of his Tigers side to grind out a bonus point at Harlequins – but warns that the squad must produce a similar level of effort for their final game of the season in two weeks’ time.

Tigers led 12-10 at half time at the Twickenham Stoop despite three HIAs in the opening period, but a late Semi Kunatani score tipped the balance in Harlequins’ favour before a last-gasp Mike Fitzgerald try salvaged a losing bonus point for Leicester.

“I want to build on that.”

George Ford

And Ford – skipper on the night in the absence of club captain Tom Youngs – praised the determination of his forward pack to keep turning the screw on fifth-placed Quins with the clock well into the red.

“That’s exactly what we want to do,” Ford explained, referring to the effort shown to pin the home side into their own corner with more than 80 minutes gone.

“When we get into those sorts of field positions – five, six or seven metres out – we want to stay in there until we come away with something.

“We didn’t quite do it in the first half and came away with three points instead of seven, but to do that at the end and learn from what we did was great from the boys.

“It would have been disappointing, given the effort we had put in, to come away with nothing, so we managed to kick the ball into the corner and the boys were patient and had the grit to score.”

The England fly-half, who collected the Players’ Player of the Year award in the week leading up to the Harlequins fixture, also singled out his side’s defensive display as a positive to build on ahead of Round 22 of the Gallagher Premiership season against Bath.

“The way we committed and fought for each other…I want to build on that,” he explained. “It’s special being out there with a group of lads when you’re putting your body on the line, so if we can build on that that would be great.”

Tigers host Bath on the final day of the season next Saturday, May 18 (4.00pm), and tickets are available from £25 for adults and £10 for junior supporters in person at Welford Road, by phone on 0116 319 8888 (option 2), or online using the link below.