Hanro Liebenberg credited the fight of his Leicester Tigers team-mates to come from behind and record an away win over London Irish.
Speaking pitch side at Brentford Community Stadium, the Tigers back-rower was also high in praise for the experienced Leicester playmakers who helped craft the side’s comeback.
“In a game like that, it is that territory battle which will decide the result and we stayed in the battle today,” he said.
“We have experienced heads managing the game for us in George [Ford]. Ben [Youngs] and Richard Wigglesworth and Freddie [Burns] to come on and finish, which is what they did today.”
Discussing the performance against a dangerous Irish outfit, the Tigers vice-captain added: “London Irish are a dangerous side, with quality in their squad, and we knew it was going to be a big defensive challenge today.”
“We stayed in the fight, which gave us an opportunity come back and win after going in down at half time.
“It’s a big credit to all the boys, we want to fight for one another and we will not give up.”
Quizzed on the opening weeks of the 21/22 campaign, at the start of which the 25-year-old was appointed vice-captain of the club, Liebenberg believes the performances are down to one thing: hard work.
“We put a lot of hard work in during the pre-season and work hard every week, which we are seeing translate,” Liebenberg said.
“But, we also know that we are still a team that has a lot of improvement in us and we must keep working hard.”
Looking ahead to next weekend’s outing against Worcester Warriors at Sixways, Liebenberg said the focus remained on preparing for the next challenge.
“Nothing changes for us, whatever the result or where we are on the table,” he said.
“It’s just about hard work for us, every day, and we will start again now - straight away - to prepare for Worcester Warriors away again next weekend.
“They will be tough, at home with their supporters in the stands, and we have to be better than we were today in the next round.”