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Rugby News

Round 4 Reaction: Steve Borthwick

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Steve Borthwick shares his thoughts on the 51-18 away defeat to Saracens in Round 4 of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season.

Speaking at full-time, the Leicester Tigers Head Coach admitted his side hurt themselves on both sides of the ball in London.

“It’s very disappointing and the changing room is full of very disappointed players,” said Borthwick.

“They took their chances today, they took them brilliantly.

“From our perspective, we need to ensure we’re not giving the opposition that many opportunities.

“Too many times today they got themselves over the try line too easily.”

Discussing the clinical display of hosts, Saracens, Borthwick said allowing a side of such quality so many chances will only hurt you.

“I’m not surprised by the ability of Saracens, no, we know how good a side they are and how experienced they are together,” he said.

“They are packed with world class players, powerful players and - if you allow a side of their calibre the amount of quick ball we did, they are going to execute the opportunities.”

Looking more closely at the performance of his own squad, Borthwick said that pressure - or lack thereof - and penalties were costly.

“We didn’t apply enough scoreboard pressure today,” added Borthwick.

“If we aren’t converting chances we are creating, then you aren’t going to exert pressure back on to the opposition.

“On top of that, we lost our way with the penalty count in the second-half and things compounded, contributing to the final score.”

Borthwick’s side included two new debutants, taking this season’s total to 16 in five games for the club, and the Head Coach is aware of the need for improved cohesion in his squad.

“There is plenty to look at from today but it won’t be different to any other review, win or lose, in terms of the way we will look at everything we can improve on,” Borthwick said.

“We had two more players make their debut today, a handful more make their first start of the season and there are still a few to come back.

“It looked like a side today with a lot of guys playing together for the first time, a lot of new combinations which are still learning about one another.

“This is a new-look group, which is working hard on improving the cohesion and we will continue to do that as we welcome back more and more guys.”

Leicester Tigers host Sale Sharks at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in Round 5 of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership on Saturday, October 8.