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Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 31 Worcester Warriors 17

Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 31 Worcester Warriors 17

Leicester Tigers booked their place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals but head coach Aaron Mauger believes they can play much better.

In tricky conditions at Welford Road, the Tigers ran in four tries against Worcester Warriors in a 31-17 victory.

But in a game that was closer than the final score suggests, Mauger felt his team were flat after a succession of big games including last week’s Champions Cup semi-final loss to Racing 92.

Mauger said: "I'm pleased to get to the semis, it's a nice feeling. But the performance was a bit flat.

"It was probably a reflection of the last four weeks, four big, emotional games – Gloucester, the European quarter-final against Stade Francais, the derby against Northampton, and Racing.

"We could see during the week that the boys were mentally and emotionally flat and that transferred into the performance."

Vereniki Goneva, Opeti Fonua and Telusa Veainu all went over in the first half, as Tigers led 21-17 at the break.

And Will Evans’ second-half secure wrapped up all five points for the home side.

Worcester managed two tries of their own, through Bryce Heem and Andy Symons, but couldn’t find a way through in the second half.

And director of rugby Dean Ryan admitted there was some frustration at coming away with nothing from the game.

He said: “It was a great performance and we are disappointed we didn't win.

"We were always in the contest and we are frustrated we missed three or four chances.

“We are frustrated that it ended the way it did, a scrum reversal giving them the match and the bonus point.

"We were in the contest all the way through and looked sharp, dangerous and physical."
 
Leicester Tigers: Veainu, Thompstone, Betham, Tait (Smith 70), Goneva, Williams, Harrison (Youngs 43), Ayerza (Genge 52), Ghiraldini (Bateman 52), Balmain (Cole 52), Barrow, Kitchener, Slater (Croft 63), McCaffrey, Fonua (Evans 40)
 
Worcester Warriors: Pennell, Heem, Symons, Mills, Vuna, Heathcote (Lamb 70), Hougaard, Ruskin, Annett (Bregvadze 57), Schonert (Johnston 64), Cavubati, Barry (O’Callaghan 32), Dowson (Betty 40), Kirwan, Van Velze
 
Leicester Tigers
Tries: Goneva, Fonua, Veainu, Evans
Conversions: Williams 4
Penalties: Williams
 
Worcester Warriors
Tries: Heem, Symons
Conversions: Heathcote 2
Penalties: Mills
 
Referee: Greg Garner
Attendance: 21,682

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