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Rugby News

Reaction | Macqueen proud of squad-wide effort

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Leicester Tigers Head of Women's Rugby Vicky Macqueen reacts to the Women's Championship fixture against Harrogate Ladies at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Vicky Macqueen pinpointed effort and commitment as the key factors in her side recording an 87-0 victory over Harrogate Ladies on Saturday afternoon at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Speaking after the victory, which continues her side’s unbeaten run in the league, Macqueen said: “We put in a great performance and I am thrilled with it; the effort, the commitment of the players to get 87 points.”

“But, as you do, we look at where we can improve and we left a lot of points out there tonight as well … knowing there is more to come is exciting.

“We had a little dip, at the back end of the first half, but we talked about it at half-time and the girls addressed it and reacted well in the second which is most pleasing.”

While the Leicester ladies scored 15 tries, the Head of Women’s Rugby was quick to praise the defensive effort and pressure from her players which forced error upon error from Harrogate to secure crucial territory.

“We had a big week on defence and as coaches are really pleased that transferred into the match today,” replied Macqueen.

“We wanted to see line speed, we wanted to be competitive at the breakdown and I think we ended up with six or seven turnovers, so are very happy with that.”

After leading 36-0 at the break, with six first-half tries, Macqueen’s team ran in a further nine in the second-half of which was helped along by the contribution of the finishers in the matchday squad.

“It’s a whole squad mentality in this group and the finishers are crucial to that,” said the Tigers Women’s boss.

“We wanted them to come on today and make a difference, which is what they did, and add the value we talked about all week.”

Ten of the tries came from outside backs, including four from wing Zoe Evans and a hat-trick to outside centre Katie Childs.

Macqueen, when discussing the 50 points from those on the flanks of the backline, attributed a focus on core skills from 1-15 in helping promote ball movement.

“Core skills is a big focus, no matter the number on your back,” she said.

“Every girl is working hard to improve their passing, handling and ball movement which we are seeing big improvements in each week through that hard work.”

More than 1,500 fans turned out at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, which hosted a historical first appearance of the club’s Pukka Swifts girls squad pre-match on the pitch, and the person charged with leading the women’s programme couldn’t be happier with the growing numbers of support.

“That is what we are ultimately about, growing the game,” said Macqueen.

“To see people here today that we know travel to watch the men’s side usually for away games, it means so much that they are in the stands and supporting this programme.

“The support has been sensational at Mattioli Woods Welford Road each time we’ve played and even away, we’ve had fans travel long distances to be there for us.

“Hopefully it continues to grow and we can put that marker down as Leicester Tigers Women’s and grow the women’s game, grow the game in general.”