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Murphy delighted by pride and passion

Geordan Murphy says he "could not have asked for a lot more" in the Leicester Tigers performance during Saturday's derby win over Northampton Saints.

Tigers triumphed 27-20 to extend their unbeaten run in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and secure a place in the semi-finals with a game to spare. Will Evans, Dom Barrow and Harry Thacker scored the tries in front of a record attendance for the pool stages of the tournament.
 
“We talked before the game about a performance being vital and I thought we played with a lot of passion and pride,” said assistant coach Murphy. “I’m really pleased for the guys.
 
“It was a tough game, they brought a strong side and brought first-team players off the bench while we had a very young bench and brought them on later in the game.
 
“Everyone at the club was really disappointed with the performance last week in Europe and did not do ourselves any justice. We have a very loyal following –  it was a 25,000 sell-out today – and we just wanted the players to work hard for each other. I’m really happy with the win but even more happy the team showed what it meant to them. There is not a lot more you can ask.”
 
Mathew Tait, Matt Smith and Tom Croft provided the experience in the Tigers line-up, while Michele Rizzo made his first appearance since the 2015 Rugby World Cup after injury. The replacements included six academy graduates, with Will Owen and Ireland Under-20s prop Ben Betts making their club debuts.
 
“The aim for that whole side is to put a performance in and put your hand up. Quite a few of them did that,” added Murphy.
 
“They played with pride and passion and did their reputation a world of good. It makes it tougher for the coaches to pick the side.
 
“There were really good performances across the board. We had guys like Rizzo, Barrow, Croft who are experienced but have not played a lot of rugby recently and then some of the younger lads who have been waiting for an opportunity. It’s been great those guys have come in and put their hands up and done a good job.”
 
The last pool stage fixture is away to Saracens on Sunday (4.00pm). Match tickets are available from the host club.
 
Semi-finals are to be played on the weekend of March 10/11/12.