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Great way to start in Cup - Heyneke

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Head coach Heyneke Meyer says victory at Bath on Saturday provided a “great start” to Leicester Tigers’ EDF Energy Cup campaign.

Finalists in the last two years, Tigers triumphed 19-15 at The Recreation Ground thanks to a first-half try from scrum-half Ben Youngs – in his first start of the season - and 14 points from debutant fly-half Derick Hougaard.

“We know how hard it can be to win here, especially when you are giving youngsters a chance as well,” said Meyer who gave debuts to Hougaard, teenage back-rowers Dan Hemingway and Seb Pearson, and loan signing Sam Raven in his starting XV then introduced Santiago Bonorino and Josh Goldspink from the replacements’ bench in the second half.

“It is a tough competition for us with two away games out of three, so it is great to start with an away win.

“It was a tough, physical game and we pulled through in the end.”
Meyer also gave a first opportunity of the season to Mefin Davies, Brett Deacon and Sam Vesty, and said: “We have had a lot of guys carrying injuries and guys who have not played for some time so it was a good performance.

“It was good to have Alesana Tuilagi and Derick Hougaard back from injury, the young guys did well and the forwards did a good job. There were a lot of things to be happy with. It was a good team effort.”

Hougaard kicked three penalties from four attempts, converted the Youngs try and also landed a decisive drop goal in the closing stages.

“We had to play tactically well and Derick is a very good player tactically,” said Meyer.

“He has not played for three months due to injury but playing in England will make Derick an even better player.”