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Reaction | McKellar on Ealing victory

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Leicester Tigers head coach, Dan McKellar has reacted to his side’s 29-21 victory over Ealing Trailfinders in the Premiership Cup Semi-final.

Matt Scott’s try in the closing moments booked Tigers place in the Cup final. Leicester facing Gloucester at Kingsholm on Friday 15 March.

McKellar admitted elements of Tigers’ performance weren’t up to the team’s standard but was did insist a tough-fought win over a quality Ealing side was pleasing.

“Our set-piece wasn’t where it needed to be today and for any Leicester Tigers team that’s disappointing, but I thought there were a lot of areas where we showed growth and against a really strong Ealing team, that’s pleasing, “McKellar said.

“Yes, they’re a Championship side but we were really clear from the start of the week that the opposition had a lot of experience, 1200-odd senior games and around 60 test caps so in terms of quality, it was Premiership opposition and we’re happy with the win.”

Phil Cokanasiga’s double was key in Leicester’s win and McKellar pointed out not only his performance, but the impact of the Cup competition in the development of young talent.

“It’s a great competition,” McKellar insisted.

“For younger players to play in these high-pressure games; it’s important for their development and Phil was one of those guys that took his opportunity well today.

“Finn-Theobald Thomas first start, Tim Hoyt coming on there and coming up with a couple big scrums, Sammy Edwards getting the interception; they’ve come on there and contributed well and they’ll take good confidence out of that.”

Tigers now looking forward to their first Cup final since 2017, a trip to Gloucester for the Final coming before the Slater Cup rematch the following Friday, 22 March.

“You don’t get the opportunity to win trophies too often across your career, we’ll head to Gloucester to play in front of 10-15 thousand people which will be an unreal atmosphere.”