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Rugby News

Tigers deliver on gameplan in win at Sarries

Jonah Holmes runs in the bonus-point try in the win over Saracens on Sunday
Jonah Holmes runs in the bonus-point try in the win over Saracens on Sunday

Matt O’Connor says the strength of the Leicester Tigers performance on Sunday was driven by respect for opponents Saracens and their achievements in recent seasons.

Tigers recorded a first-ever league win at Allianz Park, claiming a bonus-point 28-20 triumph thanks to tries from Manu Tuilagi, Greg Bateman, Telusa Veainu and Jonah Holmes.

“The preparation during the week was exceptional,” said Tigers head coach O’Connor. “We know how good Sarries are and how efficient they are. I think our respect of Saracens drove the performance. That’s why we had to come here and be accurate, and I think the boys delivered.

“We delivered that exceptionally well in the first half, Sam Harrison and Matt Toomua controlled it well from half-back and the forwards aimed-up for them and carried the ball brilliantly.

“We got in behind them and when we did that we were clinical enough to execute and score those tries. We worked hard and didn’t make errors, we didn’t feed them opportunities to get into the game.

“It was probably our best performance of the season. We were very good against Exeter at home and Castres at home, but to come down here and get the win for the first time in the league was a huge effort.

“They had a couple of injuries in the first half and a load of blokes away so we’ll keep it in perspective. But the result and the five points are important and keep us in the mix. Now we go to Worcester and we can’t take out foot off the pedal.”

Tigers lost Gareth Owen (shoulder) and Mike Williams, who fell heavily in claiming a restart shortly before half-time, to injury during the opening period but O’Connor hopes neither is too serious with Worcester Warriors waiting in Round 17 next Sunday.