'I'll have a good look at it. Guy will be very disappointed with it'
The Gallagher Premiership leaders will take a 19-point lead into next weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup last-16 second leg at Welford Road after running out 29-10 winners at the Stade Marcel-Michelin despite Guy Porter’s late dismissal.
And Borthwick put the result down to the character and togetherness of his squad.
“I thought for the main part of this game we were tactically really smart against a big team,” said Borthwick.
“I think the way we adapted to the red card and playing with 14 men for 20 minutes was great. I think ultimately the biggest thing is how hard they worked for each other.
“When you look at how Jack van Poortvliet sprinted back to chase an almost lost cause to make that tackle on their player who was straight through early in the second half. (It) was excellent.
“Tommy Reffell was also with him, and the rest of the side were there soon after. I think that showed the spirit in the team, and the heart of this team.”
All Clermont could muster was a single try from Cheikh Tiberghien, and five points from Morgan Parra’s boot.
Leicester were forced to play the final quarter of this game with 14 men after Porter was shown a red card for making contact with the head of Clermont number eight Fritz Lee.
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 10, 2022
Borthwick played down the incident, insisting Porter had no intention to harm Lee.
“I didn’t look at it closely because I was more interested in what we needed to do, and what changes I needed to make,” said Borthwick.
“I’ll have a good look at it. Guy will be very disappointed with it.
“He has a fantastic disciplinary record and is a real honest player. We don’t want any players getting hurt. That’s not why we play rugby. We just want to play good rugby.”
Borthwick has warned his side they will have to stay focused in the second leg to book their place in the last eight of the competition.
“I’m really looking forward to next week, but we have to ensure we are at our best because Clermont are a very good side,” said the former England captain.
“Welford Road can be a loud stadium. The supporters are going to bring a lot of heart and it will pour on to the pitch for our team.
“They do it every time. I’m looking forward to feeling that with the players, and hopefully finishing another game well.”
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