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Rugby News

Pack performance essential to away win

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Matt O’Connor says an impressive effort from the forward pack played a key part in Sunday’s win at Newcastle Falcons which took Leicester Tigers into the top three in the Aviva Premiership table.

Telusa Veainu, Ben Youngs and Jonny May scored the tries in a 30-13 triumph which gave Tigers a hat-trick of away wins in the league for the first time since March 2014, but the strength of the forward pack more than played its part.

“It was a very professional performance,” said head coach O’Connor.

“I thought the performance in the first half into the wind was probably the difference in the end. We took our chances early on, got the scoreboard pressure and, with the wind at our backs in the second half, it was going to take its toll on the Newcastle boys.

“The forwards were probably the best we’ve been so far. They were very good in the lineout and the scrum, it was nice to have that confidence in the set-piece today.

“And George Ford managed the game very well on the back of that good work from the forwards.”

The win took Tigers into third place in the table after seven rounds, with the defence of the Anglo-Welsh Cup due to begin with a home game against Gloucester this Saturday.

“We’re into the top four and the onus is on us to stay there,” O’Connor said.

“We’re pleased to get three consecutive away wins in the league, but we had opportunities in the first half to be further in front and a couple in the second half that we didn’t take, and in the end we’ve left a bonus point on the field.”

Tigers against Gloucester in the first round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup is a 3.00pm kick-off at Welford Road on Saturday.

The next action in the Aviva Premiership features back-to-back home games against Sale Sharks (Sunday, November 19, 3.00pm) and Worcester Warriors (Saturday November 25, 3.00pm).

Tickets for all home games in the first half of the season are available now. Book in person at Welford Road, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2)(open 9.00am-5.00pm Monday-Saturday) or book online any time.