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Tigers take 'smack on the nose' from home defeat

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Aaron Mauger says Leicester Tigers were unable to find the dynamism that has served them so well in recent weeks during home defeat by Exeter Chiefs on Friday.

After successive wins over Gloucester, Bristol and Harlequins, Tigers reached the final league match of the Six Nations period with high hopes of pushing into the top four places in the Aviva Premiership table.
But second-placed Exeter left with the five points in a 34-15 victory at Welford Road.
Head coach Mauger said: “It’s extremely disappointing. We didn’t allow ourselves a chance to play. The set-piece was not strong enough to allow us to be dynamic off that, where we have been good in the last few weeks. Chiefs were very good in the wrestle and we weren’t good enough to break them open.
“We had confidence about how we want to play in this block of games but got a bit of a smack on the nose tonight.
“At key moments in the first half we let ourselves down. The chargedown try was a lack of concentration and lack of protection for Owen at 10, and it was an easy seven points for them which allowed them to get a bit of momentum. Then when Geoff Parling went to the bin we couldn’t capitalise on that and they went up to the other end of the field and scored with 14 men.
“Exeter used their strengths well, they got on top of our pack and got into the right parts of the field. We were just not good enough at negating their strengths.”
Chiefs led 27-8 at half-time despite an early try from Tigers prop Michele Rizzo and, although the home side gained some momentum around a second-half score from Maxime Mermoz, there was no way back.
“They took opportunities away from us, especially up front,” said Mauger. “Exeter are a very good side, there’s plenty of substance to them, as you saw in the first 15 minutes when we were hammering on their 22. We weren’t smart enough there, but it probably shows how good they are.”
Tigers now go into the Anglo-Welsh Cup, with a semi-final away to Saracens on Saturday, ahead of the final five rounds of league action.
“There are five games to go and a lot of competition for the top four spots,” said Mauger. “All those teams have tough games as well. We look forward to the Anglo-Welsh Cup and come back and have to be better again.”
Scrum-half Sam Harrison had to be helped off the pitch during the second half and is having the extent of a knee injury assessed.