Steve Borthwick: Leicester Tigers boss wants improvement from his side despite first win of the season over Newcastle

Dylan Coetzee

Leicester Tigers boss Steve Borthwick claims there is a lot for his side to work on despite claiming their first win of the season when they triumphed over Newcastle 36-21 on Saturday.

Gargantuan wing Nemani Nadolo led the charge for Tigers, bagging a brace of tries and powering the defending champions to victory.

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Borthwick’s men claimed a bonus point thanks to tries from James Cronin, Chris Ashton and Olly Cracknell. However, the director of rugby says his team needs to improve but saw some positives from new partnerships.

“There’s plenty of things we have to do better, that’s always the way,” Borthwick said.

“I think what you’ve seen is a lot of team changes from last week to this week and you’re seeing some new partnerships develop.

“I think we saw progress in some areas, it’s another six players playing their first game of the season, another debutant, so I think gradually you can see the cohesion starting to improve. But there is still a lot to improve in that area.

“As ever, when you try and develop that there’s going to be mistakes but I thought in large parts there was progress today.

“There’s always things we’ve got to work on and in the coming weeks you’re going to see more players come in to the team.

“Ultimately, we played against a very dangerous team today and got away with a bonus-point win.”

Tough loss

Newcastle head coach Dave Walder said there were positives in his side’s performance but was disappointed to have not claimed a win on the day, particularly after letting a 14-12 lead slip as Tigers scored two tries in as many minutes before the break.

“I think there’s a lot of positivity around the players in terms of what we’re trying to do – they’re as disappointed as I am that we haven’t got a result,” Walder said.

“We played the champions from two years ago last week and the champions from the season just gone this week and they’re playing drastically different styles of rugby which presents challenges.

“I was chatting about how we’re going to run the half-time, next minute we’re 26-14 down having given them two soft tries with two switch-offs.”

READ MORE: Alex Sanderson: 14-man Sale showed great character in bonus-point win over Bath