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'His performances this last month or two have been outstanding. Off the field he has been immense'

By PA
Ellis Genge (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Leicester boss Steve Borthwick paid England prop Ellis Genge a glowing tribute following his dominant display in Tigers’ 35-29 Gallagher Premiership victory over Harlequins.

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Tigers forward Genge, an unlucky omission from the British and Irish Lions’ South Africa tour squad, scored two tries as Tigers warmed up for next week’s European Challenge Cup final against Montpellier by claiming a bonus-point win at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

He was also yellow-carded, with Leicester briefly down to 13 men during the first half, but Genge’s blistering performance epitomised a physical and purposeful Tigers display.

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“His performances this last month or two have been outstanding,” Leicester head coach Borthwick said.

“Off the field he has been immense, raising the standards, the energy. The work he does is excellent.

“A lot will be said about his tries, but his defence is where he has really improved of late.”

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Quins’ defeat, their first Premiership reversal in four games, dealt their play-off hopes a setback.

They still hold the fourth and final play-off spot, but Northampton could reduce the gap if they beat Newcastle on Monday.

Borthwick added: “That second 40 minutes wasn’t so strong. There were some real positives within the game, and there are also some clear things we have got to work upon.

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“Each week, I talk to the players about taking steps forward, and in some areas today we did that. We will enjoy this win, and then Monday we will be back on the training field.

“Montpellier are an outstanding team. They have had a great run of results, they have a squad full of superstars with the massive budget they have, so we know it is going to be a great challenge.”

With Genge leading from the front, Tigers surged clear by half-time through his double, plus touchdowns by centre Matt Scott and hooker Tom Youngs.

Fly-half George Ford kicked two penalties and three conversions, while Quins gained a penalty try and wings Nathan Earle (2) and Joe Marchant also scored, along with centre Luke Northmore.

Marcus Smith added a conversion, but missed three, and while Quins finished with two bonus points, a late Zack Henry penalty sealed Leicester’s victory despite a strong finish from the visitors.

England head coach Eddie Jones looked on as Ford and Smith went head to head prior to Twickenham Tests against the USA and Canada in July, when Jones will be without a sizeable Lions contingent.

Asked for his assessment of that contest, Quins attack coach Nick Evans said: “I thought Fordy did really well, especially in that first half, dictating the game brilliantly.

“When we gave Marcus the sort of ball he likes, he looked really dangerous and he got us around the park.

“Today was another opportunity to take another step forward.”

Quins have three regular-season games left – against Bath, play-off rivals Sale Sharks and Newcastle – and it will still require a huge effort for Northampton to deny them a semi-final berth, despite their loss in the east midlands.

“We are disappointed with the result, but when we reflect, we could look at it as a very important two (bonus) points,” Evans added.

“We stormed home and we looked like maybe nicking it again, but we just gave ourselves too much to do.”

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'His performances this last month or two have been outstanding. Off the field he has been immense'

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