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Reaction: McKellar on Gloucester defeat

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Leicester Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar has reacted to his side’s 27-25 defeat against Gloucester in round 13 of the Gallagher Premiership.

A late Stephen Varney try made the difference on a disappointing night for Tigers.

McKellar said: “Gloucester did a lot of good things. We started well but didn’t get anything off the back of it and suddenly it’s 3 – 8. “

“We showed a lot of courage to go back to our strength, we mauled incredibly well and got ourselves back in front.

“They won a lot of ball on the ground tonight, a lot of loose ball off the kick and we didn’t defend as well as we needed to.

“Collision wise, I just thought we were off the pace a little bit, even in and around the breakdown. We didn’t turn over an enormous amount of ball, we’re just watching it live; there’s a constant message from the box around our speed, around clean out.

“Defensively, we allowed them to offload, and they won loose ball on the ground you know, it’s an effort thing to be desperate, to want to win that.

“All of a sudden it’s an unstructured situation and players like (Zach) Mercer thrive off of that and they got field position and took their opportunities.”

One silver lining was the return and performance of scrumhalf Jack van Poortvliet.

McKellar said: “He (van Poortvliet) looks in incredible shape out of rehab, the coaches and staff have done a tremendous job, Will Cusack and James Neil, to get him in the condition that’s in. “

“To come back, and we talk about coming back and performing not just playing, he certainly performed well tonight so that was a real positive.