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Crane: Dogged wins will prove vital for Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers have not crossed the whitewash in 303 minutes of Aviva Premiership Rugby but back-rower Jordan Crane is happy to win ugly.

The Tigers have only scored one league try in 2015, when Tom Youngs crossed over against Bath on January 4, having instead to rely on the boot of Freddie Burns to see them through recent clashes.

Despite that, the Tigers have won three of their last four Premiership games and Crane insists the team are not troubled by their dry spell.

“It’s not something that’s weighing on our minds,” said the 28-year-old.

“In the last two weeks the weather conditions have been pretty horrendous so not many teams would be trying to play too expansively.

“If we get a bit of dry weather hopefully we can push it on but we’re more pleased about how we’re getting the results. We are having to grind them out in poor conditions where the game could easily go either way.

“We are showing that character and toughness to get the results, which could be massive come the end of the season.”

The Tigers battled past London Irish to a 12-6 victory in poor conditions at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday, thanks to nine points from fly-half Burns.

Crane was captain in that game, his 200th for the club, and marked the occasion by completing the most tackles and the second most carries in the league across the weekend.

“I just played my normal game and just happened to have a lot of people running at me,” he continued. “It was a game for carrying the ball and making your tackles and that’s just the sort of day it was.

“It was a great honour to captain the guys and to earn my 200th appearance and it is great for myself, considering the list of guys who have gone before me to earn that.”

That win moves Leicester into the Aviva Premiership Rugby top half and Crane believes they can keep closing in on the leaders – with the help of Northampton Saints-bound flanker Jamie Gibson.

“We are all professional players, we all move for different reasons but it’s obviously disappointing to lose Gibbo, especially to Northampton who are our biggest rivals,” added Crane.

“We’ve already told him that we’re going to bait him up next year but as far as this season is concerned he is one of us and he will help us push on and hopefully get some silverware.”

Tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby final are on sale. Click here to snap one up: premiershiprugby.com/final

 

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