Understandably disappointed in defeat, Steve Borthwick praised his Leicester Tigers team for their “steel” in chasing reward from the trip to Harlequins on Saturday.
With an early try from Cyle Brink and then first senior scores for academy graduates Jack Van Poortvliet and George Martin, Tigers pushed themselves back into a position to chase one final score which could have brought two match points in the final phases of the game before referee Andrew Woodthorpe blew up on a 37-24 defeat in Round 9 of the Gallagher Premiership season.
“Clearly we’re disappointed with this result,” said head coach Borthwick. “And at the end we were inches away from taking two points out of the game.
“Credit to Harlequins for the way they played, they were clinical and took their chances.
“Their try before half-time changed the score from 23-17 to 30-17 and we then conceded right at the start of the second half. But the players were still chasing a score at the end of the game.
“Credit the players. People have said that Tigers were a team that fell away, but this team has a bit of steel inside it, it is a team that fights.
“We are disappointed but I look at the positives of some of the bits we are changing and look at some of the progress we are making.”
After scoring three tries and conceding four, the head coach said work would continue on turning chances into points with a more clinical edge in attack while also tightening defence.
“We had plenty of chances and, when you come away from home and score three tries, you want to take something out of the game,” Borthwick added.
“Look at how clinical Quins were in taking their opportunities. We need to ensure when we get those opportunities that we nail them.
“And we have to ensure we don’t give the opposition that many opportunities to score. We conceded two tries too easily, the defence has to be better and not concede those points.
“Are we happy with the performance? No, we want to win, our supporters want to win. But we are working on that. We are a team that is fighting hard to improve and working to get results.”
Tigers are back in action when Wasps are the visitors to Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday. Kick-off is at 3.00pm and there is live coverage on BT Sport 2.