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Modest Holmes praises ‘sharp’ performance

Leicester Tigers wing Jonah Holmes was quick to play down his try-scoring heroics after putting four past Pau on Saturday afternoon.

The Wales international doubled his try tally for the season as Geordan Murphy’s men opened their European Challenge Cup account with a 41-20 win over the side who currently sit third in the French TOP14.

But a typically modest Holmes praised the effort of the Tigers team, which also included five of England’s Rugby World Cup stars.

“We were sharp,” he said. “We didn’t step off the gas for the whole game. Our execution was on point, and that’s a good thing to have.

“It’s credit to every single player who played in that game, the moves were run perfectly.

“There’s always things that we can improve on, but everyone played their role spot on.”

The 27-year-old picked out the Tigers pack for particular praise, with the forwards creating a solid platform that allowed half-back partners Ben Youngs and George Ford to put Holmes and Co through holes across the pitch.

“They were making metres and it’s good to see,” he added. “It’s great to be playing off the back of.

“We knew [the physical battle] was coming, but it’ll be just as hard – if not harder – when we go to Pau.”

Tigers resume their European campaign with a trip to Cardiff Blues this Saturday (November 23, 8.00pm), before back-to-back clashes with Italian club Calvisano in December. A return fixture with Pau awaits at the end of January.

For Holmes, building on the display at Welford Road is key if Tigers are to compete in their pool – and when the side return to domestic action.

He said: “Backing up that performance this week against Cardiff is big, so we’ll review the game and go from there.

“For me, it’s just about each game as it comes.”

But what about a favourite try of the four?

“Probably the one where everyone thought the game had stopped and we carried on,” he laughed.

“Ben White passed the ball to me and … yeah! It was nice to get that one. Thank you Ben White.”