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Leicester Tigers

Dan McKellar left rueing ill-discipline in defeat to Northampton Saints

Leicester Tigers head coach Dan McKellar has said Tigers discipline issues cost his side, as they fell to a 40-17 defeat to arch rivals Northampton Saints. 

The Tigers had made a proper game of it early on, and led 10-6 at half-time; however a red card to Solomone Kata swung the game towards the Saints.

Speaking to the media after the game, McKellar said: “Discipline hurt us. A penalty try and a yellow card, we were down to 14, and then obviously Solomone with the red card. We were against a team that’s attacking with the confidence and the momentum that they have at the moment, it’s tough to defend and we ran out of legs.”

Kata’s red card wasn’t the only one handed out to the Tigers. Jasper Wiese and Jamie Shillcock were handed yellow cards, which allowed Northampton to score.

Reflecting on the three cards, McKellar said: “[The red card] was [a turning point], we had two other yellow cards before that as well. It’s against a team that’s attacking with the confidence that they’re playing with at the moment it’s it’s hard to defend at 14 and at the end we ran out of legs.”

When Leicester did have 15 on the field, they created plenty of chances. They led 11-6 at the break, but could of added more to their tally, and this was something McKellar was particularly keen to highlight.

“We put them under pressure for a long period of time in the first half. I thought we executed our plan well; but discipline and execution in the attacking 22 killed us. At this level you’ve got to be able to do that against a quality team.”

Dan McKellar not focusing on play-off race

Credit-IMAGO

This defeat is Leicester’s fourth from their last five games in all competitions, and they now languish in seventh. This run of form could prove fatal to their play-off hopes, but Dan McKellar isn’t focusing too much on that at the moment.

“I’m not even really worried about the play-offs on this one, I’m worried about the performance. We get home next week with three games at least to go. We’ll just focus on Bristol now.”

He added: “It’s a derby game. This game means a lot to everyone, both clubs. We were well beaten today.

Leicester now turn their attention to a home game against Bristol Bears next weekend. An away game against Sale Sharks follows, before ending their season with a home game against Exeter Chiefs.