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Rugby News

Win was most important thing says O'Connor

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Matt O’Connor identified a renewed intensity and physicality as foundations for a first win of the season against Gloucester on Saturday.

Tigers led 21-0 in the first half after tries from Ben Youngs (2) and Nick Malouf before closing out a 24-10 result in the Round 3 fixture and a first win of the Aviva Premiership season.

“If you lose your first two at home that makes it really tough early on,” said head coach O’Connor.

“So we knew the importance of it and the stakes. The win was the most important thing.

“We were very accurate and the intensity was phenomenal for the first 25 minutes, that’s what we needed. We thought we got bullied at Saints last week, we weren’t physical enough or accurate enough there, and we wanted to put that right.”

After Gloucester claimed the opening score of the second half, O’Connor admitted some disappointment that Tigers could not add a fourth try to secure a bonus-point win after such a strong start.

“It was quite tense in the second half,” added O’Connor. “We knew they would come hard at us and they came back into the game quite well.

“We’re a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get the five points because there was an opportunity for us today. Ben Youngs looked very sharp for his tries and it’s a great finish from Nick Malouf.

“The resilience was good from the group too and it’s good to get the win.”

Tigers return to action next Saturday with a trip to The Twickenham Stoop to face Harlequins

before a home game against Aviva Premiership defending champions Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, September 30 (3.00pm kick-off). Tickets are available now.