Ben White admitted to mixed emotions after the narrow Anglo-Welsh Cup defeat to Bath Rugby on Friday evening.
Scrum-half White, 19, made his first start for Leicester Tigers and scored his first try in the 33-31 reverse at The Rec.
Tigers led from the ninth minute when 18-year-old Hardwick kicked a penalty for his first points for the club until a penalty try saw Bath snatch the victory two minutes from time.
White said: “It was mixed feelings afterwards. We did ourselves justice. We went out there, we put on a performance and we really took it to them.
“However, we were a bit gutted by the result. We wanted to win it, so to lose at the end was disappointing.
“But we’re positive. There is a lot to take out of it, and we got two match points from it.
“We have to be proud of ourselves. We really took it to a more experienced side and, on another day, we might have won it.”