Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

England duo give Leeds belief

Leeds head coach Neil Back says the belief of England squad members Steve Thompson and Hendre Fourie was a key element in his side's 27-19 win over London Irish at Headingley.

Back believes being part of a Grand-Slam chasing side at Test level has given the duo an energy that rubbed off on their club-mates.

"Belief is a massive part of the jigsaw," he said. "Last week we had tremendous hurt and what Hendre and Steve bought from the England environment was belief and that winning mentality."

He added: "That is infectious and it infected the players and made a difference.

"Hopefully those players can be involved with England and the pursuit of the Grand Slam and hopefully as a squad we can continue the belief."

While Back was "over the moon" with his side's efforts, London Irish boss Toby Booth struggled to contain his anger at a defeat that seriously dents their play-off ambitions.

Booth said: "I am angry for once. I am furious. To be in a position of such control in a contest and relinquish it, I think is criminal.

"When we were on the plan we looked very good. But there are certain elements where things get away from you. Their try before half-time was a key moment and we didn't re-establish control well enough after the break.

"We had opportunities to regain control and didn't take them and you could see the momentum shift and all of a sudden penalties aren't going your way and it becomes difficult to stop that.

"I spoke about desperation this week. Leeds are in a desperate situation and desperate people can do desperate things. And they showed that."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph