Dan McKellar: Leicester Tigers ‘weren’t in must-win territory’ however derby victory was wanted

Boss Dan McKellar mentioned Leicester Tigers weren’t “in must-win territory” for his or her East Midlands derby, however admitted victory in opposition to Northampton was wanted after a sluggish begin to the season.

Leicester overcame Northampton for his or her first dwelling Premiership win of the season on Saturday.

They’d began the day second from backside and 10 factors adrift of Saints, after only one win in 5 matches.

“We simply needed to grind out a win,” McKellar informed BBC Radio Leicester.

“It’s worthwhile to win. And when one from 5, we weren’t pleased with that.

“I do not suppose it was in must-win territory, nevertheless it’s Tigers versus Saints in a derby recreation at Mattioli Woods Welford Highway, you do not need to lose them no matter the place you might be within the desk,” he added.

World Cup-winning South Africa fly-half Handre Pollard booted 16 factors, whereas Francois van Wyk and Hanro Liebenberg grabbed essential second-half tries as Tigers ended Saints’ three-game successful run.

Victory got here per week after Pollard joined a half-a-dozen Tigers team-mates in returning to membership duties after the World Cup – with Pollard’s Springboks team-mate Jasper Wiese, and England’s Ben Youngs, Ollie Chessum and Freddie Steward all beginning, whereas Dan Cole got here off the bench.

‘Chip away’
Requested if the derby victory, with a bolstered aspect of World Cup gamers, felt like a platform for Tigers to construct on, McKellar mentioned: “It definitely does.

“We go to Gloucester subsequent week and it is one other essential recreation, one other emotional recreation for each golf equipment with the Ed Slater Cup.

“I do know the gamers will definitely rise up for that on each groups. You simply should chip away and get your wins off the again of excellent preparation over the course of the week.”

McKellar spoke extremely of the affect of Tigers’ “world class” half-backs Youngs and Pollard, and the “highly effective” impression Cole made off the bench within the second half, however with exhausting World Cup campaigns simply behind them the Australian has the Tigers’ ambitions and his stars’ wellbeing to juggle.

Take heed to the Tigers Rugby Present on BBC Radio Leicester
In what’s a shortened Premiership marketing campaign in comparison with earlier years – on account of three top-flight golf equipment going bust previously 12 months, decreasing the competitors to a 10-team league – Tigers discover themselves eighth within the desk with a 3rd of the season already performed.

“They’d per week off instantly post-World Cup, so we’ll see,” McKellar informed BBC Sport.

“In case your squad is wholesome, then you may have the power to rotate and never disrupt an excessive amount of. That can come. It is a lengthy season – the finals are in the course of June, so we will not anticipate the identical guys to roll out week after week.

“We’re in place the place we’re constructing cohesion throughout the group.

“We’re not going to make mass adjustments from one week to the following, that’s for certain.

“In sure positions, the place now we have unbelievable depth and high quality, we’ll look to make these change. At 10 now we have bought Jamie Shillcock, Charlie Atkinson, Kieran Wilkinson, now we have actual depth in that place, so we’ll give Polly [Pollard] a spell on the proper time.”

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