Ellis Genge has laid it on the line to the Leicester squad following their record Gallagher Premiership defeat at Wasps, the first-time Tigers skipper accepting their effort in the 54-7 Ricoh Arena hammering wasn’t good enough. The England loosehead has had an interesting few months at the club, going from shelving plans to start a new players’ union to signing a contract extension and then captaining the side in his 74th appearance.
Despite the multiple changes during the lockdown layoff, Leicester’s performances have continued to disappoint and but for Saracens’ automatic relegation for their salary cap regulation breaches, the famed East Midlands club would be in the relegation spot and fearing the drop to the Championship in the next few weeks.
Just five of 19 matches have been won in the league this season and they next welcome local rivals Northampton to Welford Road on Sunday in an effort to improve a post-lockdown run where they have lost five of their six matches and conceded 201 points.
It has not been the start the new Steve Borthwick era at Leicester was looking for and Genge claimed the poor run won’t be ignored. Speaking to LLTV prior to leaving the Ricoh following their latest defeat, he said: “Obviously, you’re going to say sorry to the fans. It’s not good enough, we know that. It’s never good enough to play like that ever in any circumstance, irrespective of what squad you have got out.
“We’re not alien to it – we know exactly what is expected of us. We expect to come here and win. We probably looked the better outfit for the first ten. It was about sustaining that and keeping going and we didn’t do that.”
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A blunt and brutal assessment of the unacceptable loss from Ellis Genge on ????… pic.twitter.com/QKlY09GYIb
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) September 9, 2020
Asked if there was a plan, he bit: “Of course there was. The idea was to f**kin’ win. Like, I said, we looked good for the first ten and no one can argue with that. We put so much pressure and so much heat, they didn’t know what to do. Slowly but surely the tries kept trickling in, then the floodgates opened. That’s what happens when you go within yourself and you don’t stick to the game plan and you come off-script. We just didn’t play well for 60 of those minutes – we just started to surrender.”
The 47-point, eight-tries to-one losing margin wasn’t what Genge was expecting in his first go as skipper, especially as Leicester had taken an early 7-0 lead. “What a club to be a captain of, to lead those boys out. Honestly, I was buzzing all week.
“We have got a baby due today, so it was always a tough role to be put into if you were thinking about those two things, but I was completely focused on the game and we came out firing. So proud of the boys for that first ten and then the wheels came off, didn’t they? That’s just never good enough any day of the week.
“We have got a brilliant coaching team, some very senior players. I don’t think they have ever experienced a loss like that. I haven’t. Certainly in a Leicester shirt, we have been in some dark places over the past few years and that was definitely one of the darker ones.
“That is not something to be proud of today. Even with the first ten minutes, it’s not something to be proud of in any aspect of the word. I said to the boys let’s put the shirt in a better place and I don’t think any of us did that.
“We won’t shy away from it. It definitely will be addressed and we’re looking to fix it. People at home, obviously sometimes it looks like the boys don’t want to be here, that no-one is trying, but I can assure you the work that goes in behind the scenes is relentless. We are training better than ever before. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen on the night. That was a prime example.
“You can’t expect anything,” he added about the harsh lessons learned. “Nothing is given to you in this world, anything ever. If you turn up like that and expect your job to be done for you you’re going to get rolled like we did. Just made them look so good and it was easy for them.
“Boys will learn a lot from that, myself included, especially in the captaincy side of things. You run out of things to say. What can you say when you’re 40 points down? You can’t just keep saying the same things and it’s not happening. Probably a learning experience for me in that respect but there is a lot of work to be done. We were going in the right direction and then, like I said, to take our eye off the ball, something like that happens.”
Tigers scraping the barrel at this dire rate https://t.co/jjtAueFP9z
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 9, 2020
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