Controlling territory on a fast Allianz Park pitch will be key to Leicester Tigers’ hopes against reigning Gallagher Premiership champions Saracens, according to scrum-half Ben White.
Tigers travel to north London on the back of a home triumph over Worcester Warriors, with White prominent in driving the team into the right areas of the field alongside fly-half Johnny McPhillips.
And the young pair resume their half-back partnership for Round 13 this Saturday as Geordan Murphy’s men chase a first away win since December.
“Last week against Worcester, we knew that winning the territory and controlling where we were playing was going to be important,” explained White.
“Saracens are probably one of the best teams at it. They kick the ball a lot, controlling the territory of a game, and you almost have to match them at that.
“You don’t want to play too much rugby in your own half because it plays into their hands.”
For the Staffordshire-born No9, kicking the ball comes with the – ahem – territory.
He added: “As a scrum-half, you kick the ball a lot. I think that is the way rugby is going.
“You watch England, or any team, and the scrum-half is kicking a lot. You have to be on the money, always making sure that you’re working to improve your core skills.”
A trip to Allianz Park will see White and Co come up against a Saracens team with eight wins from the first 12 rounds of the Premiership campaign.
And despite impressive home form of their own in 2020, the Leicester squad know they must start picking up points on the road.
“When we’re at home we have the massive advantage of the crowd at Welford Road and the energy that gives you,” White added.
“We’ve had some good wins on the road this year, just not in the Premiership.
“Taking the confidence from our win at the weekend and developing more in training will give us the best chance of getting a result at the weekend.
“Saracens are a great side. They’re still Premiership champions and you have to respect that, but we’re going down there to show what we can do and to try to compete with a team that – even though they are where they are in the table – would probably be top.
“You have to understand the challenge, but we’re going there with confidence. We want to take it to them and give them a good game.”