'The leaders got together. It was pretty clear what we had to do'
Leicester captain Tom Youngs reflected on a job well done after the Tigers reached a first European final for 12 years.
The Gallagher Premiership club fought back from an 11-point interval deficit against European Challenge Cup semi-final opponents Ulster at Mattioli Woods Welford Road to win 33-24 after scoring 27 second-half points.
Youngs said: “It is very pleasing. Ulster are a quality side and they came at us big-time.
“We had lost some close games recently, but we really tried to learn from those, and it helped us go on and win this game.
“We lost the collisions in the first half, but we addressed that at half-time and dug out a good win. We are not a team that goes away, and we got a foothold in the game.
“We will worry about the final when it comes around to it. We just want to get better and better each week.”
Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick added: “We were very poor in the first half and completely outplayed.
“There were a couple of glimpses in the first half and a couple of things we had to change tactically, and the boys did a very good job (in the second half).”
Leicester’s England fly-half George Ford kicked 18 points from a drop-goal, three penalties and three conversions, while Tigers’ England prop Ellis Genge, South African number eight Jasper Wiese and wing Guy Porter scored tries.
Ulster claimed touchdowns from skipper Iain Henderson, fly-half Billy Burns and number eight Nick Timoney, plus a Michael Lowry conversion and two conversions and a penalty by scrum-half John Cooney, but Leicester prevailed and booked a first European final appearance since being beaten by Heineken Cup opponents Leinster in 2009.
“It is a good achievement,” Ford told BT Sport, after impressing in front of British and Irish Lions assistant coaches Gregor Townsend and Steve Tandy.
“All we have done now is give ourselves an opportunity to win a trophy. I am really proud of the boys to stick at it and come back like we did in the second half.
“The pleasing thing is we got a reaction (in the second half). Maybe in the last couple of years we wouldn’t have got that.
“The leaders got together. It was pretty clear what we had to do. It was more the physicality and collision side we needed to fix.
“All players and coaches are in this game to win together. It is going to mean a lot to us to have an opportunity to win the trophy. We want to go and finish this off now.”
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