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Rugby News

Tigers keep composure to overturn early setback

Kobus van Wyk takes on the Irish defence in Friday's win in Gallagher Premiership action
Kobus van Wyk takes on the Irish defence in Friday's win in Gallagher Premiership action

Steve Borthwick says he was impressed by the composure of his Leicester Tigers side in steering through some rough waters to record a victory over an in-form London Irish.

Tries from Kobus van Wyk, Ollie Chessum and Kini Murimurivalu put Tigers on the way to a 33-32 win at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Friday.

But Borthwick’s team had to recover from a seven-point deficit within the opening minute of the game before pulling away for the victory for an even 6-6 win-loss record after 12 rounds of the Gallagher Premiership season.

“I’m pleased the boys found a way after a very difficult start,” sad head coach Borthwick.

“We were below our standards in the opening 20 minutes and London Irish played really well there. They put us under a lot of pressure, but we showed a steely attitude to fight back into it.

“I’m pleased the players were resilient and composed after that difficult start and they found a way to win it.

“There was a great team attitude across the board, with experienced players missing, and we learned a lot about ourselves.”

In reply to Paddy Jackson’s converted try almost from the kick-off, Tigers fought back with a well-worked score for win Van Wyk as the teams reached half-time level at 13-13.

A first Tigers try from second-half replacement Chessum put the home side in front for the first time and the Murimurivalu score stretched the lead to 33-18 before the Exiles rescued two points from the game with two tries in the dying moments of the contest.

“We are a team coming together and there are lessons in that,” Borthwick added. “There was disappointment that we gave them opportunities to get back into the game and get the scores at the end. But, as always, we’ll look at what we did well and try to do them even better, and look at the areas to improve on.

“We’re working very hard to develop our game. This is a work in progress and I think we can see evidence of some improvement.”

Tigers hit the road for the next two rounds of Gallagher Premiership action with trips to Gloucester and Exeter Chiefs before hosting Newcastle Falcons in Round 15 at the end of the month.