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Rugby News

Missed chances cost Tigers on opening day

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Matt O’Connor says Leicester Tigers created enough opportunities to take more than a single point out of the opening game of the season against Bath on Sunday.

Tigers scored two tries in the last seven minutes of the game to cut the deficit to 23-27 after the visitors had scored three times in the first half, but could not find a final push to go for the win in front of a 22,000-strong crowd. Scroll down to watch the highlights of the game.

“It is incredibly disappointing,” said head coach O’Connor.

“We gave Bath too much of a start. They were opportunist in the first half and gave us a mountain to climb in the second half and we just ran out of time.

“We probably had enough opportunities to win it. We left a lot of opportunities on the field. We made a lot of line breaks and didn’t execute, and weren’t good enough to reel it in at the end.”

Two scores from centre Max Clark and an interception try from Semesa Rokoduguni gave Bath a 21-8 lead at half-time and they stretched the advantage to 16 points before Jonny May marked his Aviva Premiership debut for Tigers with two tries in a five-minute spell which had Welford Road rocking, especially as the visitors had picked up three yellow cards for high tackles in the closing stages.

But when one final opportunity was lost at an attacking lineout, Bath were able to close out the result and celebrate a first league win at Welford Road since 2003.

“They played with a good plan and we were a bit inaccurate,” said O’Connor. “We had opportunities to do better and created opportunities which we didn't take. They took their chances really well and took their points.

“It is incredibly disappointing but there are 21 games to go in the league and there are a lot of new combinations and new bodies in there.

“We were pretty potent with the ball and created more than enough opportunities to win the game but we have to be more accurate and manage things bit better.”