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Loffreda happy with first league win

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Another determined defensive effort and some smart finishing impressed Marcelo Loffreda as he oversaw victory at Leeds in his first Guinness Premiership match as Leicester Tigers head coach.

Tries from Tom Varndell (2) and Tom Youngs gave Tigers a fifth win in seven Guinness Premiership outings and Loffreda said: “We knew it was going to be very, very hard because only once have Leicester won at Leeds. I said to the players in the dressing room they have to be happy with the win.

“We tried not to give them any opportunities to score and we did not concede a try. That was important for the team, they showed very good character in defence and that was a very positive thing.

“We should have played more with our ball in the second half when we had the wind behind us but we played a lot of the time in our own half and had to defend very well.”

Loffreda made a number of changes to his starting line-up and was happy with the efforts of the team, led by captain Lewis Moody in the absence of Martin Corry.

“Players like Tom Croft, Luke Abraham and Tom Youngs had a big responsibility to replace high-quality and, in some cases, international players and they did it well,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a hard game but we have to rest players at certain times and we are able to make some changes because we have a good squad.”

Leeds director of rugby Stuart Lancaster said: "I thought we matched them in many areas but, credit to Leicester, they took their opportunities to score. I thought we limited their opportunities to score, but when they had those opportunities they took them and you end up chasing the game. I thought we won enough ball to be competitive, but not enough ball in key areas to cause them problems." 

Tigers are now fourth in the Guinness Premiership table but return to cup duties this week with a home game against Sale Sharks in the EDF Energy Cup on Friday evening (7.40 kick-off).

Victory would guarantee Tigers a semi-final place and tickets are on sale now from the Tigers ticket office. Contact 08701 28 34 30, book online or call in at Welford Road.