It has not been a smooth season for Leicester Tigers so far, and Freddie Burns says the Anglo-Welsh Cup has taken on extra importance as they look ahead to Sunday’s final.
The Tigers reached the first showpiece event of the season with an impressive 32-10 victory away at Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens.
Leicester struggled earlier this year, but they have slowly regained their best form and look dangerous down the stretch as the campaign reaches the business end.
That was evidenced at Allianz Park – where tries from George Worth, Luke Hamilton, Ellis Genge and Burns saw them stun Mark McCall’s side.
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) March 12, 2017
And now fly-half Burns, who also kicked 12 points, wants them kick on and produce another excellent display when they face Exeter Chiefs at the Stoop this weekend.
“We saw it as a huge opportunity. This competition has been good for us throughout a tough year and it is good to put some demons to bed,” he said.
“We have won nothing yet but we will enjoy it and we are off to a big final next week now.”
Leicester attacked from the off at Saracens, and led immediately as Burns sent a long kick up in the air and Worth leapt highest to dot down.
The fly-half was deadly in open play and off the tee as he smacked a penalty through the posts, before Henry Taylor scored for Sarries.
But the Tigers found a second wind and scored two decisive tries either side of the break as Hamilton extended their lead before half time after good work from Harry Thacker, before Genge forced his way over shortly after.
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) March 13, 2017
And Burns rounded it off as he intercepted a loose Sarries pass to score a late fourth.
“The boys up front deserve massive credit. It was nice to dot down but it was a full team performance and the platform the pack gave me was outstanding so massive credit has got to go to them,” he said.
“As a ten it is important you are on the front foot and they put me there so it was an enjoyable game.
“It is important we go on now, we don’t rest here we push on and hopefully have some silverware on Sunday.”
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Most metres made this weekend:
Lachlan Turner (Exeter Chiefs) – 127
Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers) – 117
Stu Townsend (Exeter Chiefs) – 98
Mike Ellery (Saracens) – 90
Most tackles made:
Dave Ward (Harlequins) – 20
Julian Salvi (Exeter Chiefs) – 18
Stan South (Harlequins), Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers) – 15
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs) – 6
Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers), Mathew Luamanu (Harlequins), Alofa Alofa (Harlequins) – 5