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Johne earns high praise from Kay

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Full-back Johne Murphy was the toast of his Leicester Tigers colleagues after his try-saving tackle secured five vital Guinness Premiership points in the win over Bath Rugby at Welford Road on Saturday.

Tigers had already gained a bonus point after celebrating tries from Murphy, Leon Lloyd, Tom Varndell and Daryl Gibson, but were down to 12 men when they were defending their own line in the closing stages. And the final whistle blew only after Murphy and Paul Burke had held up 16-and-a-half-stone Bath replacement Eliota Fuimaono-Sapulo over the try-line.

"The defence all round the field was fantastic," said Ben Kay, who captained Tigers to a 12th Guinness Premiership victory of the season. "And I have to make a special mention of Johne Murphy at the end for his cover tackle. From where I was stood, I thought it was a certain try. But he has learned what it means to play for Leicester in a game against Bath and I am sure all the lads owe him.

"There were a few disappointing times in the game when we lost our discipline and gave away penalties, and that is probably why the game was so close in the end."

The final play of the game stemmed from a close-range penalty in front of the Tigers posts, from which Bath skipper Steve Borthwick chose to scrummage, with the Tigers pack down to seven and the backline comprising only five after yellow cards to Henry and Alesana Tuilagi, and injury to replacement Scott Bemand.

"In that situation, the adrenalin is flowing and you just have to concentrate on not giving away any more penalties," said Kay. "And I thought Michael Holford, who came into the front row in the second half, did a great job there."