Sharks warned of Tigers backlash

Fri, 27 Dec 2013 14:39
Large ed slater

They say you should beware a wounded animal, and Ed Slater insists that is definitely the case for Sale Sharks this weekend as Leicester Tigers bid to bounce back in style.

They say you should beware a wounded animal, and Ed Slater insists that is definitely the case for Sale Sharks this weekend as Leicester Tigers bid to bounce back in style.

Leicester fans had the unfamiliar experience of seeing in Christmas with their team outside of the top four, Richard Cockerill's troops currently sitting sixth.

The Tigers didn't so much as miss the chance of changing all that last time out than they had it ruthlessly ripped away from them by a marauding Saracens machine.

Sarries ran in six tries at Allianz Park to dish out a 49-10 beating to Leicester, the Tigers' heaviest ever Premiership defeat.

But while admitting Leicester were second best in the capital, Slater is adamant they can put the defeat firmly behind them at the first time of asking as they host Sale at Welford Road on Saturday.

"The result was disappointing and the game got away from us after the try at half-time," Slater said.

"Now the guys are looking for a big reaction this weekend, the team always prides itself on effort and performance and that was lacking, you naturally want to respond.

"We have got to give credit to Saracens for the performance, they are ruthless at the moment and we were always struggling to get back into the game.

"We went into the game with expectations of coming out with something and to lose like that is a bit of a blow.

"We said what we needed to say after the game and that we can't dwell on it too much.

"We need to put on a performance against Sale and make amends, if you like, and we've got players to come back into the side to give us a boost."

Leicester find themselves in the unfamiliar position of sixth heading into Saturday's clash, two points off Harlequins who occupy the final play-off spot.

But Slater insists no one at Welford Road is pushing the panic button just yet, with plenty more rugby to be played this season - even using arch-rivals Northampton Saints for solace.

"We've still got a return game so that's something we are looking towards that to prove ourselves again," he added.

"Northampton showed that last season when they beat Saracens at their place in an unexpected result so we can do the same.

"They finished on top last year and won the semi-final, so it's not all done in the season - it comes down to the play-offs and we've reached the last nine finals, so knowing it comes down to those important games we won't get stuck on one defeat."

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Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 13 10 0 3 50
Saracens 13 9 0 4 45
Wasps 13 8 0 5 39
Gloucester 13 8 0 5 38
Bath 13 7 0 6 37
Newcastle Falcons 13 8 0 5 36
Sale Sharks 13 6 0 7 33
Leicester Tigers 13 7 0 6 32
Harlequins 13 6 0 7 32
Northampton Saints 13 5 0 8 26
Worcester Warriors 13 3 0 10 19
London Irish 13 1 0 12 10