Leicester is now a contender for the Premiership title again, following their victory against Harlequins at the Stoop.
Dan McKellar, the director of rugby for Leicester, stated that his team is now firmly in contention for the Premiership title after a hard-fought victory against Harlequins at a packed Stoop stadium.
Following significant losses to La Rochelle and Leinster, the Tigers were in desperate need of a lift. Their four-point gain on Friday keeps them in the running for a playoff spot when the Premiership resumes after the upcoming Six Nations break.
Leicester lost by a score of 3-2 in terms of tries and were fortunate that Quins’ fly-half, Jarrod Evans, missed an easily scoreable conversion of Tyrone Green’s late try. McKellar believed his team earned that stroke of luck and acknowledged that a loss would have been devastating and discouraging.
He mentioned that due to facing the top two teams in Europe, it was challenging to have a short break and then come here. The match was incredibly significant and we are now fully in contention for the Premiership.
I felt let down that the outcome of the game was determined by the last kick, as we should have secured our victory much earlier since we played exceptionally well tonight. It would have been devastating and demoralizing if we had been defeated, but we deserved some luck after not getting any last week against Leinster. This will give us a boost of confidence, as our kicking game was exceptional and our defensive pressure was notable.
Jasper Wiese and Mike Brown were responsible for scoring Leicester’s tries, while Handré Pollard successfully kicked two penalties and two conversions. Harlequins’ Nick David, Jack Walker, and Green also managed to score tries, with Evans converting two of them. However, the team struggled due to the absence of their experienced midfield players Alex Dombrandt, Danny Care, and Marcus Smith, leading to a lack of coherence during the game.
The assistant coach for Quins, Danny Wilson, continued to commend Wales player Evans even though he missed a crucial shot. Wilson stated, “Despite his long absence due to injury, he was thrust into the game. He sustained a knock to his knee early on and experienced pain in his kicking foot as a result. However, he continued to find gaps in the opposing team’s defense, so we kept him on the field. He showed courage by taking the final kick.”
“Tonight, we made numerous mistakes due to our use of various combinations, leading to a lack of cohesion. Our opponents had more expertise in critical areas and dominated the aerial battle, often reclaiming the ball when they kicked it. While we commend our effort and determination to come back in the game, it is currently frustrating and disheartening.”