Leicester Tigers 33-31 London Irish: Steve Borthwick full of praise for battling the Irishman | Rugby Union News

Leicester Tigers are fifth in the Premiership; while the London Irish picked up two bonus points to move within two points of the Bristol Bears at the bottom of the table

Last update: 27/11/22 22:29

Leicester Tigers’ Jasper Wiese (right) scores his side’s fifth try of the game

Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick has paid tribute to London Irish’s efforts after the Gallagher Premiership bottom side pushed the Tigers to fight to the finish to a 33-31 win at Mattioli Woods Welford Road .

Leicester looked firmly in control as they earned a bonus point before half-time, but a fiery comeback from their opponents saw the hosts cling to death for a win that saw them move up to fifth in the picture.

Leicester tries came from Julian Montoya, Richard Wigglesworth, Harry Potter, Tommy Refell and Jasper Wiese, while Freddie Burns added four conversions.

Api Ratuniyarawa, Matt Rogerson, Ollie Hassell-Collins and Tom Pearson scored tries for the Irishman, Paddy Jackson converted two and there was also a penalty try.

Leicester Tigers' Harry Potter (right) scores his team's third try of the game

Leicester Tigers’ Harry Potter (right) scores his team’s third try of the game

Borthwick said: “All credit goes to the London Irish for seizing their opportunities as they were brilliant with their athleticism and drive.

“They’re expert at the back of the lineup with their striking and are one of the best teams on the breakdown.

“We gave them too many chances by making too many mistakes conceding penalties and returning the ball regularly.

“However, I was happy with our resilience as we found a way to close the game. It’s been a strange season as we haven’t played here for 50 days but we’ve had some great wins at Saints and Quins.

Leicester Tigers' Hanro Liebenberg tackled during the Gallagher Premiership match at Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium

Leicester Tigers’ Hanro Liebenberg tackled during the Gallagher Premiership match at Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium

“We’ll have a few more players next week, so hopefully our squad will slowly get stronger.”

Despite losing for the seventh time in eight league games, Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney was encouraged by his side’s resilience to come back and score two valuable points.

“We gave up too many points in that first half and had to come back from a big hole,” he said.

“We’re not far from winning games because we’ve had six away games out of our eight matches and it’s only at Sale that we haven’t played. We’ve had five points in our four last away games.

“So we’re knocking on the door, but we have to put on a full 80-minute performance and then the results will come.

“We made too many mistakes early on but after that it was nip and tuck and we were unlucky not to come away with more than two points.

“There were some tough fringe calls in the game, but I’m more concerned about our bad start, but we showed once again that we never give up, which you can’t coach.

“I would love to get a 3-0 win and although we will never celebrate a defeat, we got two practical points today.”

Sky Sports

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