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Rugby News

Round 14 Reaction: Richard Wigglesworth

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Richard Wigglesworth admitted his side could - and should - have been much better in their final outing of 2022, away to Sale Sharks on Friday night.

Speaking after the 40-5 defeat in Round 14 of the Gallagher Premiership, the Interim Leicester Tigers Head Coach was complimentary of the opposition but focused more on what needed addressing on his side.

"They are up near the top of the table for a reason, they're a very good team and were much better than us tonight," he said.

"It was frustrating, for a number of reasons and most out of our control, but there was plenty of things in our control tonight that we need to be handling much, much better and know that we can.

Tigers dominated possession and territory in the opening quarter but were unable to capitalise and came away from Sale's line on successive occasions without points, which he said showed positive signs of aggression but needed a better conversion rate.

"We started well, were aggressive and went to score points," said Wigglesworth.

"But, we didn't score them and that's the simple, early analysis of it.

"We didn't take the opportunities we created and, when they created theirs, they took them. Credit to Sale, they did that much better than us tonight.

Tigers were forced into three different backline reshuffles throughout the match, with a handful of players injured and unable to play on, which the Leicester boss said was a challenge but wouldn't be something used as an excuse. 

"We lost a few tonight and there are some walking wounded in the changing room at the moment," admitted Wigglesworth.

"There were guys playing in positions they've not only never played in but never imagined playing in, I am sure. However, with that, we saw a lot of effort and commitment to each other to just go out and do what was required for the team.

"It's about four or five who were unable to return or go on, which also meant longer minutes for some who we didn't plan on having out there for 80 minutes, but we'll get them all assessed and attack next week head on. There's no time to sit and mope about it."

A growing injury-list and three weekends on the road are just two of the challenges ahead of Wigglesworth, which he said were learning experiences for him in the role, but the focus now remains on the next match and nothing more.

"We have had a lot of challenges, I've had a few things thrown at me that I didn't expect in the first few weeks, but it isn't about that right now," he said.

"I will learn a lot in the next few weeks, we all will, but it's not what we worry about or focus on. We have the next game in mind, that is all.

"I'll go away, the coaches will go away and come back in with the squad on Monday and look at what needs doing better, then prepare for Newcastle Falcons away.

"As I say, there's no time to dwell on it. We move on to the next game, next challenge."