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'Massive moment' in defence tilts the balance

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Ben White’s try-saving tackle in the second half of Saturday’s victory over Wasps was a huge moment in a tight game and, according to Geordan Murphy, an illustration of the young scrum-half’s competitive character.

Tigers had just edged themselves in front for the first time at 13-9 after a disappointing first half but, just moments after Greg Bateman’s crucial try from a rolling maul, they looked like conceding at the other end when Wasps created space in the right-hand corner.

But with wing Zach Kibirige closing in on the tryline, scrum-half White timed his tackle to perfection, knocking the ball loose in the process and preserving that lead.

Head coach Murphy said: “That was a huge moment from Whitey.

“You see in games every week at all levels people giving up on opportunities to make a huge pay like that. But 99 times out of a hundred the wing should score and it’s great play from Whitey to stop him.

“Ben is incredibly competitive, he’s never going to give up. He got a lot of exposure last year and people think he’s been around a while, but this is effectively only his second season. He fights for everything, he does a lot of unseen work and I’m pleased for him.”

The swing in momentum was complete when Telusa Veainu ran in an interception try just a few minutes later to seal the 18-9 victory and secure a third home win in succession for Tigers who go to Sale Sharks in Round 11 of the Gallagher Premiership season next Friday.