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Rugby News

We will all learn a lot, says Murphy

Geordan Murphy says the performance in defeat at Gloucester on Sunday will provide important lessons for a young Leicester Tigers team.

Both teams made wholesale changes following midweek fixtures, with Tigers picking a young squad led by 20-year-old Thom Smith in Round 17 of the Gallagher Premiership season.

After Gloucester raced into a 36-6 lead with six tries before half-time, Tigers launched a spirited fightback which cut the gap to just six points approaching the final quarter of an hour.

In the end, though, it was the Cherry and Whites who took the honours, edging away again to win 46-30.

“We selected a younger team to find out lessons about some young men,” said director of rugby Murphy.

“We were very disappointed with the first half. We caused some stresses for ourselves, let them play and we were staring down the barrel for a while.

“But the coaching group did a really good job adjusting at half-time, and the second half was a different story. There were some really pleasing performances.

“When you concede and concede again, you feel the game is slipping away and it’s difficult to see how you get into it. So it was pleasing to see the development from half-time and the belief coming back into the group and a good performance in the second half.”

With the introduction of George Ford and Ben Youngs from the bench, the comeback featured scores from fellow replacement Jordan Taufua, wing Harry Potter and young second-row Cameron Henderson.

“To have a massive turn at half-time is something we can learn from pretty quickly, which is important when games come so thick and fast in this period,” Murphy added.

“There were some big performances from some young men. We find out a lot about our players from games like today.

“The boys showed a huge amount of fight and character in the second half and to stay in it until 65 minutes from where we were.

“We got a couple of scores, we got within six points from that huge lead and it was in the balance. But then Gloucester get a penalty 20 metres out from their own line and they killed the game from there.

“There have been some huge lessons in every game and that’s important. We want to win, our fans want us to win, but people have been hugely supportive and the ability for us to find out something about young players is important. It will be great for us in the long run.”