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Rugby News

Reid draws strength from Friday frustration

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Fly-half Noel Reid insists the Leicester Tigers squad must not forget the lessons of last week’s loss at Sale.

And he told LeicesterTigers.com how frustration in last Friday’s game has driven the squad into putting in a strong performance at home against Worcester Warriors this Saturday (February 29, 3.00pm).

“We talked about it as a group of players on Monday, and we definitely have to take the learnings from that game,” Reid said, when asked about the reaction to Round 11 of this season’s Gallagher Premiership season.

“We can’t just put it in a box and forget about it. We can’t afford to make those mistakes again.

“While you might want to draw a line in the sand after that sort of game, you do have to look at what went wrong, create some work-ons and use it as a positive.”

Reid resumes at fly-half for Saturday’s match-up with the Warriors after being forced into the centres following an early injury to Jaco Taute during the first half of the defeat at Sale.

The backline shuffle also handed Johnny McPhillips a Premiership debut and he could be poised for a first appearance at Welford Road in Round 12.

“I’ve played [at 13] a little bit so it wasn’t too alien to me, but it was unfortunate for Jaco to go down,” Reid continued. “He’d started the game really well, so he was a big loss, but it was good to get Johnny Mac his first Prem game and a bit of experience there for him as well.

“It was a tough game, but the more players we can bring through to make this squad as competitive as possible is a bonus, so there’s a flip-side to it too.”

Noel Reid Oval Park
Noel Reid resumes at fly-half for Saturday's Round 12 fixture with Worcester.

While the games keep getting bigger for Geordan Murphy’s men – with Premiership trips to Saracens and league leaders Exeter to come in March before a home quarter-final in the European Challenge Cup – Reid asserted the team only have eyes for this weekend.

“Where we are at the moment, it’s definitely a week-by-week focus,” he said. “We can’t really look ahead too far to anything.

“We just need to focus on the next game, look at ourselves, and build towards a big performance each week.

“All we’re thinking about is Worcester this weekend and putting in an 80-minute performance that our supporters can be proud of.

“Worcester have obviously beaten us the last couple of times we’ve played them, so they’ll definitely have a bit of confidence in playing us. They’re in a bit of form and they’re probably one of the teams in the league that like to throw the ball about the most, so defensively we’re going to have to be strong.

“But we’re at home and we want to use our attacking game as well, so we’re expecting a good battle.”

Match tickets for Saturday’s ‘battle’ with the Warriors are still available from the Tigers ticket office, from £20 for adults and £8 for junior supporters. Secure your place at Welford Road on 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or using the links below.