Ellis Genge believes the Leicester Tigers squad fell short at the “big moments” in the European Challenge Cup Final, resulting in a one-point loss to Montpellier at Twickenham on Friday night.
Speaking after the final whistle, the straight-shooting Tigers forward said: “You can reflect all you want but you can’t change it, can you?”
“It’s finals rugby, it doesn’t matter when it’s over. Ultimately, the big moments came and we fell short.”
When pressed on what he believed was the deciding factor between the two sides, the front-rower pinpointed discipline as what cost the Leicester club a chance to lift the trophy.
“We gave away a few penalties which hurst us and we need to be better in that area,” said Genge.
“It’s disappointing because in recent weeks we have improved that a lot, so we should have been better in that area tonight.
“We could and should have closed that game out.”
While blunt his assessment of his side’s performance, Genge was quick to praise his team-mates and their improvement under the guidance of Steve Borthwick.
“Look at where we’ve come from as a team and the work ethic instilled in this team by Steve [Borthwick], we have to be proud of that,” he said.
“We’re grafters, that’s what we’re about under Steve.”
“It’s a first final for the club since 2017 and the first European final in eight years … we’re making positive steps forward but, all of us, we’re gutted we didn’t win this.”
A fan-favourite at club and international level, Genge wasequally pleased to see the “familiar faces” of Tigers supporters back in the stands as the Leicester faithful were to see the ‘Baby Rhino’ in action on the pitch.
“It was brilliant, it was amazing … was great to see so many familiar faces again,” Genge said.
“I can’t wait to see stadiums sold out again soon.”