Man-of-the-match Graham Kitchener proud of Leicester Tiger's effort
Man-of-the-match Graham Kitchener was proud of the way that Leicester Tigers fronted up and got the job done at a sold-out Welford Road against Northampton Saints.
The 23-year-old was at the centre of plenty of Tigers' good work in the scrum and line-out during a typically-physical no-holds-barred local derby.
On his eighth start of the season, the former Worcester Warrior is becoming a hugely valuable member of the side and says he already knows how much a sixth win on the bounce over the old enemy means to players and supporters.
"You only need to look at how many people were there to know how much it means to the crowd," he said.
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"It was an awesome occasion and atmospheres like that were one of the reasons that I joined Tigers for.
"It would be hard not to be motivated and feel the passion that the locals have.
"It was disappointing at Gloucester last week. We needed the four points (against Saints) and we delivered it.
"We are in a much healthier position now going into the LV= Cup and have proven that we can deal with players being away on international duty.
"We fronted up well and, even when they chucked it out wide, we got tight and made our tackles, which we didn't quite do at Gloucester.
"There were errors but it is the way you come back from those mistakes that count and we didn't let our heads go down, especially at half-time.
"We stole possession or nicked a line-out. We knew we hadn't played as well as we could at half-time but we came out firing and kept ourselves in the game."
Kitchener said Tigers knew exactly what to expect from a Saints side known for their fast phase play and reliance of big ball-carriers. And he thought they stood up to their challenge in impressive style.
"We knew what would happen and that they would come around the corner (of rucks) at us," he said.
"It was always going to be a forwards' dominated game and very tight.
"They come around the corner hard, so we needed to fan out and defend well. We did that and they didn't make too many line breaks.
"The try at the start of the second half settled some nerves but we didn't kick on from there. Getting back-to-back scores is what we always talk about and we didn't quite manage that."