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Rugby News

The players want to get even better - Borthwick

Harry Potter scored two of the tries in victory over the Falcons on Saturday
Harry Potter scored two of the tries in victory over the Falcons on Saturday

Steve Borthwick says it is a good sign that the Leicester Tigers players think they can play even better after qualifying for a European quarter-final with victory over Newcastle Falcons on Saturday.

Tigers added to wins over Brive, Bayonne and Connacht with a 39-15 verdict against the Falcons in the Challenge Cup to earn a semi-final place against Ulster at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

After a five-try performance settled a second meeting with Newcastle in the space of two weeks, head coach Borthwick said: “In the changing room after the game, the players spoke and were really pleased with the win, but there’s some dissatisfaction there because they know there are things we can do better.

“When you have a group of players who give their all and are as committed as they are, and they win and think they can be better, it’s not a bad place, it’s pretty positive. It’s a great group of players there who want to do the work.”

Tigers were 15-8 in front at half-time and it remained tight on the scoreboard until the final quarter when Harry Potter scored his second try of the afternoon, to go with two penalty tries and a score from Matias Moroni, with Falcons picking up four yellow cards during the 80 minutes.

“Newcastle are a tough, hard-working team, credit to them for the way they fought and they out-fought us in the middle third of the game,” said Borthwick.

“We had to fight to get back out in front.

“In any game you have to find an advantage and today we were able to do that in the scrum. There were elements of finding space in the back-field and on the edge of the field as well.

“We’ll gave a good look at it and work at it and continue to strive to take our game forward.

“You see the effort of the players and how hard-working they are and how much it means to them to do well for this team.”

Tigers have Gallagher Premiership fixtures against Bath away and Northampton Saints at home before the meeting with Ulster in Europe on the weekend of April 30-May 2.