Sam Harrison is confident that Friday’s Round 19 win over Newcastle Falcons is a result that his Leicester Tigers side can build on in the final three games of the season.
Harrison – who made his 50th Premiership start in Leicester colours on Friday evening – was a key cog in the Tigers machine that scored three tries at Kingston Park, though he declared the final quarter of the game as the ‘longest 18 minutes of his life’ as he was forced to watch on from the sidelines.
Tigers built a 13-0 lead in the opening half-hour, but two quick tries put the home side within a point at the break.
“The first 35 minutes could not have gone any better for us,” Harrison said. “But I put up an average kick and they come back and score, then they score off a scrum in their own half and it becomes a nail-biting game.”
“The main thing is we won, and that is all that mattered tonight.”Sam Harrison
A brace from Guy Thompson either side of a Sonatane Takulua score put Tigers back in the pound seats at the end, but with the Falcons battering the Leicester tryline in the dying moments the result hung in the balance before Thompson turned over the ball in the final play of the game.
For Harrison, who was replaced by Ben White just after the hour mark, watching on from the away dugout was a tough ask.
Harrison continued: “I think it was the longest 18 minutes of my life. I couldn’t really watch at that point.
“Obviously you would like it to be a bit easier to see a win than that…[but] it is one of the best feelings I’ve had to get that win.”
And with home games against Bristol and Bath still to come, plus a trip to Twickenham Stoop to face Harlequins, the Round 19 result will go a long way in giving the Tigers squad confidence for the league run-in.
“The main thing is we won, and that is all that mattered,” the scrum-half added. “It was an unbelievable effort to dig in at the end.
“All we can think about now is how important that was for us, and we have a performance and also a result to build on, which is something we haven’t had for a long while.
“Now we’ve got Bristol at home and we’ll have a bit more confidence.
“When we get things right we still think we are good enough to beat anyone.”
Tigers welcome Bristol Bears to Welford Road on Saturday, April 27 (3.00pm), with tickets still available from £25 for adults or £10 for juniors.
Secure your place in person at Welford Road, by phone on 0116 319 8888 (option 2), or online using the link below.