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Herring knows size of challenge ahead

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Kiwi flanker Ben Herring was among the try scorers in the nail-biting win over Harlequins but the openside flanker has now set his sights on defeating league leaders Gloucester at Kingsholm on Sunday.

With Heineken Cup qualification already guaranteed, Tigers go into Sunday’s Guinness Premiership semi-final determined to make it all the way to Twickenham.

“That was the big thing last week, getting into the Heineken Cup,” said Herring. “That pressure’s gone but then another pressure arises in that you never want to lose any game. When it comes to semis and finals, you never want to lose those, no matter what. It would be a sinking feeling losing a semi so one pressure is replaced by another.”

Herring, who moved to Leicester following Super 14 experience with the Wellington Hurricanes, was part of the Tigers side that won 20-13 at Kingsholm back in February. However, the 27-year-old is fully aware of size of the challenge facing Tigers this weekend.

“They finished first and they’ve got that status for a good reason. I guess we’ll be underdogs but I quite like that. We’ll be going into it trying to use some of the elements of our game that helped us win down there and we’ll add a few more which will hopefully prove fruitful.

“The only thing that win will help us with is to give us a little bit of confidence at the back of our minds knowing that they are beatable there. Our heads will be up knowing that we’ve done it before but we know we’ll have to be at our best if we want to do it again.”

The win over Quins, coupled with Sale’s defeat to London Irish, ensured Tigers’ passage to the last four, although Herring insists he and his team-mates were totally focused on their job rather than on the situation at Edegely Park.

“It was a little bit surreal that everything went our way. It was good to get the win and even better to see the other results. I was never told during the game and no one around me was either. Someone told me straight after the final whistle that Sale had lost and I couldn’t believe it.

“I was a little bit disappointed with my own performance, though. I didn’t feel like my work rate was what I wanted. I had a couple of nice individual moments which eased that a wee bit but I feel like I need to step up a bit more this week, if I’m selected. I pride myself on working hard and I feel I could have worked a little bit harder personally. I definitely enjoyed it, though. It was nice to get a try and we’ll take the win.”