Rob Hawkins says Leicester Tigers must show more discipline
Hooker Rob Hawkins says Leicester Tigers need to "learn in a hurry" as they look to improve their discipline ahead of Saturday night's crucial Aviva Premiership meeting with big rivals Saracens.
Tigers fell foul of referee Wayne Barnes' whistle in a big way during the 25-21 defeat by Harlequins at The Stoop last weekend, losing the penalty count 15-6.
Tigers were frustrated by Barnes' interpretation of the laws in London, and Hawkins said that many players were "biting their lip" in the immediate aftermath.
Such one-sided penalty counts hamper Tigers in close games and make it very hard for them to win. And with games against Saracens usually having very few points in them, Hawkins insists there can be no repeat.
"The boys were bitterly disappointed after losing at Harlequins because it was a game that we could have won," said the 29-year-old.
"Discipline let us down again and the penalty count was against us. The boys needed to bite their tongues because we were getting frustrated out there.
"But the facts are that we gave away too many penalties and that cost us. We are all to blame for that and we have to learn pretty quickly.
"We need to highlight the bits we need to improve on ahead of Saracens."
Hawkins put in one of his best performances in a Leicester shirt at The Stoop and was involved in a rock- solid line-out which gave the visitors every chance of winning the contest.
And, with Tom Youngs away with England as they resume their search for a Six Nations Grand Slam at home to France, Hawkins is likely to keep his shirt on Saturday.
"Personally. I was happy with the line-out at Quins but we have to push on," he said. "Saracens is a must-win home game.
"There will be some guys leaving us and going back to the England camp but it won't be difficult slotting in with the players who will replace them.
"Guys like George Ford and Matt Smith, for example, are not new faces.
"They have played lots of rugby this season and it isn't unusual to be training with them."