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Burke hails Leicester's character

Backs coach Paul Burke praised the never-say-die attitude of his players after Aviva Premiership champions Leicester came back from the dead to grab a draw at the end of a titanic battle at home to Northampton.

Leicester trailed 19-9 with six minutes left, but England fly-half Toby Flood kicked a penalty and then converted a fabulous try from flanker Ed Slater to salvage two points.

Leicester even had a chance to win the game but messed up a scrum, an area they had dominated, near the Saints line.

Burke said: "Our accuracy for the first 60 minutes was poor. But the attitude of the players to get themselves back into the game, play in the right areas and squeeze them at the set pieces, was the key to our resurgence in the last 10 or 15 minutes.

"That was the plan for most of the game but unfortunately we did not put it into practice.

"But credit must be given to the players for that back end of the game, and I felt we could still have won when we got a scrum five metres out.

"With the way our scrummage was going I was disappointed to see the ball come out of the back.

"We had opportunities but our error count was too high. It's an area we have to look at because our error count in the last three of four games has been too high."

Leicester's last-ditch try means they stay in third place, on the same points as second placed Northampton. It also stopped Northampton claiming their first win at Welford Road since February 2007 and extended their Leicester's unbeaten run against their great rivals to nine games.

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder felt Northampton should have 'killed' Leicester off when they led 19-9. They had been the better side and scored a try through England prop Alex Corbisiero and fly-half Stephen Myler had kicked four penalties and a conversion, while Flood had replied with three penalties for Leicester.

Mallinder said: "I thought our attacking game was good. We created a lot of opportunities and scored a good try.

"When we were 10 points up we had an opportunity to kill the game but could not get anything out of it.

"And what you don't want to do is let Leicester get back on track and get their tails up at home. The crowd got behind them and we had a couple of decisions go against us in that last 15 minutes.

"It was there to win, but we have proved in the first five games that we have got a good side and are playing good rugby. We are playing as a team and we put Leicester under a lot of pressure."


From Belfast Telegraph