After suffering their heaviest loss in the history of the Premiership, there were few positives to take away from the Wednesday night Leicester hammering at Wasps – the side coached by Steve Borthwick slumped to a 54-7 defeat at the Ricoh, which leaves them rooted to eleventh place in the Gallagher Premiership.
The world of social media has made unpleasant viewing for anyone involved with Leicester in the aftermath, with fingers pointed at where the club is going wrong at the moment. No one can necessarily agree on what the main reason behind this decline at Welford Road is, but Wednesday was a new low point for many.
Some supporters are seeing the bigger picture in this situation, though, realising it will take time for the Tigers’ resurrection.
Given the Premiership’s currently unique schedule since its return from the coronavirus break, there have been a number of lopsided score lines with teams fielding XVs of differing strengths. That was undeniably the case with Leicester at the Ricoh following the XV named by Borthwick – and results like that come with the territory.
Moreover, without the lingering threat of relegation due to the Saracens salary cap punishment, there is perhaps less to play for at the bottom of the table this season.
"That is not something to be proud of today"
– Cub skipper leaves it all out there ?https://t.co/ffU9vS6U8P
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 10, 2020
While that is the case across the Premiership, the Tigers were handed the bitter blow weeks before the season restarted when a cohort of high-profile players – including Manu Tuilagi – left the club after contract breakdowns. Borthwick had only recently taken the Leicester helm and was very much on the back foot.
It seems some supporters are bearing that in mind and are treating the conclusion of this season as a pre-season for 2020/21. No one, however, seems to be under any illusions about how much time this will take for Borthwick and director of rugby Geordan Murphy to turn things around, given how long the club’s decay has been.
Having said that, while there are those that know Borthwick must be afforded time, there are those in equal measure who are despondent, particularly given the Tigers’ proud history. A response is expected this Sunday when they host their East Midlands rivals Northampton Saints at Welford Road.
Sometimes you have to hit the bottom to start the process of getting back to the top. Great club, Ellis is leader, Steve Borthwick is a great coach.. it may take some time but tigers will be back..You can bet on that.
— Tom Neal (@TomNeal92875117) September 9, 2020
It is hard to watch. But we all raved about the Borthwick appointment. And no one could have foreseen the Covid impact/squad turnover/empty stadiums. Only fair to give the team time to get going.
— Gregor Brown (@GregorBrownGB) September 9, 2020
You need to give Borthwick time to get that Tigers brutal grind you down pack back.
— JC & Yogi (@ImmerJc) September 9, 2020
How can anyone seriously be too disappointed with everything that’s going on at the moment? Every team weve played so far has played their first team whilst were played every man in our squad in a new coaching team. Wait until next season
— Joe Yeomanson (@Joeyeo92) September 9, 2020
I’m cool with this season being a trial and extended preseason. However if this is the results next season I think relegation is what is needed to sort the club out. I think top eight is a minimum to show progression next season or its crunch time.
— William Morriss (@William71233971) September 9, 2020
Played against a much more drilled team. Definitely exposed some of our weaknesses and showed how much we need to grow to compete higher up. Wasn’t our strongest team by far which I think showed. Annoyed with ref allowing steps towards lineouts and long waits for scrums…
— Jonathan Malin (@Jonnyrjackson) September 9, 2020
It takes time to turn an oil tanker around in rough seas, especially when some of the crew should’ve been put on extended shore leave months ago. The immediate on field strategy needs to be to ensure that one other club is worse than us next season and build from there.
— Mark Fletcher (@MarkFletch117) September 9, 2020
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