Geordan Murphy admitted the Leicester Tigers team “looked a bit rusty” but was delighted to get a 24-12 win over Cardiff Blues in the third round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday.
Only Gareth Owen and Harry Wells retained their starting places from the European Champions Cup tie with Racing as Tigers shared gametime around the squad, but tries from Will Evans, Jordan Olowofela and Luke Hamilton wrapped up the win and retained their record of never losing to a Welsh side at Welford Road in the competition.
“It’s great to get the win, obviously,” said coach Murphy. “The endeavour was good, though I thought we looked like a side that had not spent a huge amount of time together.
“I thought we probably lacked intensity at times in the second half. We lost a bit of territory and were on the back foot. The defence was good but it was disappointing to concede a couple of tries.
“The first half was good, we scored a couple of good tries and we were pretty composed. We just seemed to have another gear we didn’t kick into.
“We can sharpen up across the board. We gave away a few cheap penalties, we turned over ball too many times as well, so there is plenty to work on. A few guys looked a bit rusty, but we also did some good things too and we’ll review it on Monday.”
Tigers are now level on points with Pool 4 leaders Newcastle Falcons with one round remaining. Falcons host Gloucester next weekend while Tigers go to Wasps on Sunday (1.00pm kick-off).
“It was good for a lot of guys to get some field time who had not played in a while,” said Murphy. “Some of them will feature again next week and there will probably be a few changes to freshen bodies up for the week after when we go back to the Premiership.”