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Saracens are the 'best team in the league'

By PA
Ben Earl /PA

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Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick admits his side have little time to celebrate moving 16 points clear at the top of the Gallagher Premiership as they next face the “best team in the league”.

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The Tigers extended their advantage at the summit with a 35-23 bonus-point win over Gloucester at Mattioli Woods Welford Road thanks to tries from Jack van Poortvliet, Jasper Wiese, Hanro Liebenberg and Guy Porter.

Borthwick said his side needed to be near their best to overcome battling Gloucester, but knows they will need to be in similar form when they travel to second-placed Saracens next week.

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He said: “Gloucester are a really good team, who really stretched us in that period before half-time so it was a tough old game.

“I thought we were in control when we took a 14-6 lead but Gloucester are a smart side and were able to come back and put us under pressure.

“In the first half it was two good teams trying to work each other out so we needed to be close to near our best to get the win.

“Next week we are playing the best team in the league, who will be coming off a bye week, so we will need to have recovered our minds by Monday to focus on that task.”

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Gloucester were firmly in contention after fighting back to lead 16-14 at the interval but for most of the second half it was one-way traffic as Leicester upped their game.

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Cherry and Whites head coach George Skivington, whose side crossed through Ollie Thorley and Harry Elrington, believes his players will learn some “serious lessons” as impressive Leicester maintained their unbeaten home record.

He said: “It’s very disappointing and the boys are gutted in the dressing room but it shows how clinical you have to be if you are going to be one of the top teams.

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“We’ll have to analyse this and learn some serious lessons from it.

“In the first half it was a real dogfight and it was pleasing to be in the lead at half-time as Leicester had thrown everything at it and we responded well.

“We didn’t get to fire any shots from our driving maul and we didn’t deliver what we wanted in the second half as we gave away too many penalties from ill-discipline.

“You can’t make excuses if you lose a player but the yellow card for Alex Craig really killed us as Leicester were able to squeeze the life out of us.

“In the first half we were able to rebound from any mistakes we made but we weren’t able to do that in the second.”

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