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Preview: Leicester Tigers v Saracens

Preview: Leicester Tigers v Saracens

Leicester Tigers lock Dom Barrow is adamant his side can still cement a top-four finish in Aviva Premiership Rugby as they look to turn recent form on its head against Saracens.

Last weekend they lost their away clash with Wasps in Coventry and tumbled from third into fourth position in the table.

And with table-topping Saracens the visitors to Welford Road this weekend, Barrow has underlined the importance of returning to winning ways as the battle for a play-off spot intensifies.   

“It was a tough battle at Wasps,” said Barrow. “They have some good players and we are fully aware of that.

“We are disappointed but we have a big game at home to Saracens next and they keep on coming after that.

“There is no doubt that we can still achieve what we want to achieve this season. It's a kick in the teeth but we are a tight-knit group and we will bounce back.

“There is a lot of doom and gloom about but we had two bonus-point wins in the last two games before Wasps, and we achieved that by playing good rugby.

"At Wasps, we were not as accurate as we have been.

“When we play well, good teams struggle to defend against us. We will be honest with ourselves and look at our shortcomings and where we can improve. There is so much talent in this group and we will get there.”

Leicester’s solitary defeat at home in any tournament in the last 12 months was 10-3 to Sale in February, but their only victory over Saracens in their last eight encounters in all competitions was 31-27 in 2014.

Meanwhile Sarries have perhaps surprisingly picked up two more league points on their travels this season than they have at home.

Their only defeat in the last four rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby was at home to Northampton in Round 15, and last weekend they won in New Jersey against London Irish.

An unwanted statistic for Mark McCall’s men though is Saracens have won just once at Welford Road since September 2011, and he insists there is plenty to improve on ahead of the visit to Leicester.  

“We faced a team scrapping for their lives at the bottom of the table and we were pretty ordinary in the first half, in fact we were awful,” he said. “We were lucky to be only 13-7 behind.

“But we showed a lot of character and togetherness. They’re good qualities to show and to win the second half by 20-3; it’s a massive, massive four points for us.

“We just know there’s a point’s tally you need to get in order to get into the top four. We’re getting closer to it, but we’re not quite there yet.”

(Welford Road, 3.15pm)
Referee: JP Doyle (108th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff & Robin Goodliffe. TMO: David Sainsbury.

Live on BT Sport

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