Mauger proud of players after loss

Date published: January 9 2017

Leicester head coach Aaron Mauger praised his side’s character despite their defeat to Wasps at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday.

Wasps climbed to the top of the Premiership table with their 22-16 win which was mainly achieved through a strong first-half performance where they raced to a 19-0 lead.

Leicester took a losing bonus point away from the game, leaving them in fifth place as the Premiership takes a break for the next few weeks.

“I don’t think you can ever question the character of our guys,” Mauger said after the game, referring to his side’s second-half performance.

“We talked about playing for each other before we got on the bus. We also saw a lot of opportunities and our focus was on them at half-time.

“If we could have held the ball for longer periods in their 22, we could have broken them down (in the first half) and you saw that in the second half, when we held it for longer periods and put them under pressure.

“I was really proud of the way the guys responded in the second half. I was pleased with the last 65 minutes. We could have executed better but there was no lack of effort. There have been positive signs in the last two weeks when we have played the top two sides,” he continued.

“We have shown in both weeks that we aren’t that far off them. We might have stumbled along in some games but we have shown we are not that far off the sides at the top.

“We park the Premiership now and play some European football, so it doesn’t get any easier. But we are excited by the challenges ahead. It is a welcome opportunity to show how good we can be.”

Tigers fly-half Owen Williams will have a scan in the next couple of days to determine the extent of an elbow injury he picked up 10 minutes into the second half.