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Rugby News

Toomua rues late Saracens burst

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Matt Toomua has stressed Leicester Tigers can still take some positives from their defeat to Saracens.

“I thought our physicality was great,” he said. “The start of the game was brutal on both sides of the ball.

“I’m glad I’ve got a high number jersey because I wouldn’t have wanted to be carrying into those brick walls from both teams.”

Tigers led 10-5 at half time thanks to a Jonah Holmes try plus conversion and penalty goal from Toomua’s boot, but the game turned on the hour mark after the defending Gallagher Premiership champions scored two crucial penalties, and a try through replacement hooker Tom Woolstencroft.

A late brace of tries secured Saracens a winning bonus point in the final minute of the game.

Toomua added: “The game was on a knife edge for 65 minutes, but you look back on it and I think they played the conditions better.

“We probably needed to get points straight after half time and I take a lot of the blame for that.

“We had a shot for goal, obviously missed that, and that meant we took the foot off the throat a little bit.

“That’s disappointing, but I don’t think the score line suggests the contest by any means.”

The Australian back, who started at fly-half for the first time this season, asserted there were positive elements to build upon before looking ahead to Round 14 of the Gallagher Premiership away to Worcester Warriors this Sunday, February 24.

“Parts of our defence were really good,” he said. “Their tries were mainly pressure related rather than defensive errors, so while we were there for 65 minutes there’s plenty more work to be done.

“It’s so congested around the middle of the table. Without putting labels on it to try and raise anxiety, we have got to win. It’s a game that’s part of a four-game block and we need to come away with some points.

“There’s a bit of an onus on a lot of us older guys to try and drag the team along there, so we need to do well.”

Tigers will travel to Sixways on Sunday before a home game against Wasps (Saturday, March 2, 3.00pm) and trip to Sale (Friday, March 8, 7.45pm).