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Balmain backs Tigers to rediscover their cutting edge

Leicester Tigers have struggled for a cutting edge all season long but prop Fraser Balmain is confident his side are starting to hit their stride just when they need it most.

Richard Cockerill’s side need two bonus-point wins in the European Champions Cup over the next fortnight to maintain any realistic hopes of progressing from a Pool that includes defending champions Toulon.

That starts with the visit of Scarlets to Welford Road on Friday night but the Tigers have not been at their clinical best this season with only 21 tries in Aviva Premiership Rugby, the second lowest total of any team in the league.

Despite that low tally the Tigers have been in impressive form in recent weeks, barring their loss at Quins last time out, and Balmain is hoping he and his teammates can produce their best.

“We will just focus on the win against Scarlets rather than the bonus point,” he said.

“If that comes then great, we have got players that are capable of creating something from nothing.

“Attacking wise, we can make excuses about injuries but we are not that sort of team. It’s been a few reasons really.

“We have gone for three points sometimes and then if you look at the Quins game last weekend, we made plenty of line breaks. It’s a matter of finishing them off and being clinical.

“Scarlets are the sort of side that will capitalise on any silly errors, as that first game showed.

“We need to make sure we cut them out and hopefully we can get back to our best, we are a tight-knit team and we don’t want the Quins loss to knock our momentum.”

While injuries have been something of a curse for the Tigers this season, for tighthead Balmain they have also created a huge opportunity.

With both Dan Cole and Logovi’i Mulipola struggling with injury over the first half of the campaign the former Newcastle Falcon has appeared 16 times already.

And with 11 starts to his name, the 23-year-old was rewarded with a new two-year deal after Christmas, much to his delight.

“I have played much more than I thought I would this season which has been great,” he added.

“And to sign a new contract here is fantastic, I am excited about the future at the club.

“Logo (Mulipola) is a huge bloke to be fair, so it’s great to have him back in the team. I am good mates with him and Coley (Dan Cole) so that competition is a good thing for the squad.

“I will keep working hard, I would like to think that I have improved a lot this season so I hope that can continue.”

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