Leicester Tigers head coach Dan McKellar spoke to media following Tigers victory over Northampton Saints in the East Midlands Derby.
Tigers managed to stem the flow of Saints’ superb attack, something McKellar said wasn’t limited to the brilliant performance by openside flanker Tommy Reffell.
“In games like this against a good team like Northampton, you can’t defend for 20, 30 phases so to have a player like Tommy with that ability to force turnover is valuable but I thought it started with our exits, our kicking game and I thought Youngs and Pollard were outstanding.”
“Then off the back of our kicking game, I thought our chase our pressure in the air put us in good areas of the field, gave us opportunity to scrum and maul where again, I thought we were excellent tonight.”
McKellar stopped short of calling the round six clash a ‘must-win’, but admitted the result against Saints was paramount.
“One from five and we weren’t happy about that so yes, we needed a result today but it’s an East Midlands Derby at Mattioli Woods Welford Road. You don’t want to lose regardless of where you are in the table.”
McKellar also spoke about his first experience of the Derby, and the feeling in the group throughout the week.
“As I said to the players before the game, I’ve said a lot about this game over the past week, how important it is to so many different people, Matt Smith and Brett Deacon in our coaching staff and what it means to them, what it means to Ben Youngs and that feeling flows down to the whole group."