Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Howard happy with attack and defence

Figure image
Pat Howard took pride in the performance at both ends of the pitch in a 39-5 victory over Newcastle Falcons which took Leicester Tigers to the top of the Guinness Premiership table.

Tries from Shane Jennings, Jordan Crane, Marcos Ayerza and then two in the closing 10 minutes from Tom Varndell ensured the bonus-point triumph, but Howard was also delighted to restrict a lively Falcons backline to a solitary score.

Tigers have now conceded just 11 points in three outings - the Heineken Cup victories over Cardiff Blues and Munster, followed by the win over Newcastle, who welcomed back Jonny Wilkinson as a first-half replacement.

"At 6-5 in the first half it was fairly tight but then we got two scores and they lost a couple of guys to the sin bin before half-time which probably distorted the scoreline slightly at that stage," said Howard.

"Newcastle scored three tries against us when they beat us a couple of weeks ago and they deserved that victory. They scored one try today and we had not conceded in last two games so we know they are a reasonable side. But defensively we worked very hard and did not give them many opportunities to score. And in the second half we also got some good attacks going."

Howard made significant changes to his line-up after the historic win over Munster, but was happy that so many players "stood up" when given their opportunity.

"Paul Burke did exactly what we thought he would. He is a solid pro, he kicks his goals, he finds touch, he makes his tackles, he does exactly what we want of him and he has been fantastic in that regard. We also had a look at Sam Vesty at centre, playing against some of the English players. It is a big challenge for our guys every time they come up against that kind of opponent and I like to throw that challenge at them."

Newcastle director of rugby John Fletcher said: "We never got into the game. It was a bad day at the office. Leicester are a well organised team, they are pretty comfortable with how they play the game and they deserved to win."