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Match Reaction: London Welsh 5 Leicester Tigers 26

Match Reaction: London Welsh 5 Leicester Tigers 26

London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell admitted losing to Leicester Tigers was an even worse feeling than the heavy defeat they endured at the hands of Wasps last weekend.

Despite again showing signs of improvement the Exiles remain rooted to the bottom of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with no wins so far this campaign, while Leicester jump up to fifth place.

Nick Scott gave the home side the lead against the run of play, but then it was all Leicester as Harry Thacker’s two tries turned the game on its head before Graham Kitchener and Robert Barbieri went over to give the visitors the bonus point.

And Burnell insisted it was a worse defeat due to the number of basic errors his side made in a largely scrappy encounter.
 
“There was definitely progress,” he said. “We set the standard and it was 0-0 after 20 minutes and at 39 minutes it was 5-5.

“But again we’re coming away disappointed, maybe even more disappointed than we were last week.

“Last week we were beaten hands down by a very, very strong Wasps team. But today we got into the right areas but made silly mistakes.

“Before the game we spoke about it, and again at half-time, but it’s just about maintaining that pressure.

“So now it feels the complete opposite to last week. Now we are livid, whereas last week we were hands up fair and squarely beaten.

“Like everything else the game plan is about trial and error for us. If you play a possession game and you get results then you stick with that, but it’s not worked for us so we are trying to play with the ball in front of us.

“You can go through plan A, plan B, plan C and so on, but you can never go into a game with one plan as sometimes you have to change that mindset.

“But today we certainly stuck with our plan that we wanted.”

Meanwhile 20-year-old Thacker – who was named man of the match – was thrilled to be getting opportunities to play for 80 minutes.

The young hooker scored two tries on only his second Aviva Premiership Rugby start in the absence of Leonardo Ghiraldini, who is on international duty with Italy.

He said: “I’m just enjoying getting the chance to play. Last week and this week, getting 80 minutes in games under my belt is amazing and I’m loving playing.

“They made us work hard for it, and we knew that they would. They’ve got some great individuals in their team and really they have nothing to lose.

“We needed the five points in all honesty and we’re just pleased we came here and got it.

“We fell into the trap a little bit of trying to chase the game from the start and trying to get five points from the start of the game.

“In the end we just had to calm down and wear them out and the points came.”
 
London Welsh: Jewell, Stegmann, Reynolds, May (Awcock 66), Scott, Ross (Robinson 66), Lewis (Rowley 72), Reeves (Tevett 51), Vella (Morris 49), Vea (Cooper 72), Corker (Schofield 51), Down, Browne, McCaffrey, Fonua (Pienaar 66).
 
Leicester Tigers: Bell, Scully, Smith (Tait 57), Allen, Thompstone, Burns (Williams 61), Mele (Tressider 71), Rizzo (Bristow 69), Thacker, Cole (Balmain 64), Thorn (Pearce 64), Kitchener, Gibson, Salvi (Barbieri 44, Farnworth 72), Crane (Salvi 54).
 
Scorers
 
London Welsh
Tries: Scott
 
Leicester Tigers
Tries: Thacker 2, Kitchener, Barbieri
Conversions: Bell 3
 
Referee: Dean Richards (74th Premiership game).

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