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Leaking players to England effecting Leicester's 'consistency'

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Northampton director of rugby Phil Dowson praised his squad for adapting to having so many players absent following their 19-18 victory over East Midlands rivals Leicester.


Saints were without five players on international duty with England, the injured Courtney Lawes and suspended Fraser Dingwall and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto for the match at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

They had also previously not won an away game in the Gallagher Premiership this season, but Dowson’s patched-up side showed a great deal of resilience in coming from behind to move up to third in the table.

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Dowson said: “The more successful the club are generally, the more players they lose in the international window, plus injuries plus discipline issues from last week.

“The key is having guys in the squad who have a clear understanding of the game plan and what you want to do and also have a clear understanding of what their role is within that.

“I thought the guys that stepped in this week have been absolutely outstanding to make sure the training level, to make sure our application to the plan and to make sure that performance that goes out on the pitch is outstanding.

“We’ve not been good away from home. In this league, where it’s really competitive, you’re not going to blow sides away, so what you need to do is be really full-on in what you’re doing defensively.



“Then you don’t have to really force anything and, when a bit of space opens up, you have to trust your quality.”

Leicester struck after eight minutes through Harry Potter’s try, but three penalties from George Furbank reduced their lead to 10-9 at half-time.

After Furbank’s fourth penalty, Potter’s second try restored the Tigers’ advantage, but Ollie Sleightholme’s superbly-taken score after 50 minutes ultimately decided a tight contest.


Leicester head coach Richard Wigglesworth said: “We made too many errors and let them into the game off the back of that.

“To be consistent, you need to have a consistent team and we haven’t had that. We had some guys back today who will be better for the game time, but had a lot taken away from us this week.


“We’ve now got a block with the same group, so we’ll make sure that we work on that consistency.

“Maybe (the players were trying to force it late on), it happens when you’re behind in a full-blooded game.

“We flew out of the blocks and we didn’t quite get the rewards on the back, so it made the game close and they took their opportunities.

“The lads have got a week off, so we’ll try to get a few battered bodies feeling a bit better. We’ll pick them up a week on Monday.”


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