Skipper Geordan Murphy hails Leicester Tigers' spirit in grinding out crucial win
Leicester Tigers skipper Geordan Murphy paid tribute to his side's never-ending spirit and determination as they bagged a dramatic Heineken Cup win in Italy.
Tigers hammered away at the Treviso line in the closing stages as they sought a go-ahead try in energy-sapping conditions of the soaked Stadio di Monigo.
That persistence finally paid off with just 160 seconds of the game remaining when referee Alain Rolland awarded a penalty-try to the visitors after Treviso had repeatedly infringed in the scrum.
George Ford's conversion pushed Tigers back in front by a point at 14-13 and they hung on for victory.
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"It was not pretty but we showed an abundance of spirit, a great work-rate and an ability to dig in," said Irishman Murphy, who made a huge impact after going on as a second-half replacement.
"Treviso's defence was amazing and they slowed the ball down at the breakdown.
"They were right on the edge of legality and they made it difficult for us. It was a tough game.
"When we saw the rain falling that morning, we thought that would play into their hands. We thought it would be trench warfare and that's what it was.
"The ball was so wet and it was so heavy underfoot that we were inaccurate at stages. It was difficult to get the timing right. You could get stuck in the mud if you weren't moving and, if you were, you tended to get ahead of the ball.
"Handling was very difficult in conditions like that. It probably was not a good spectacle. It was an old-fashioned game of rugby on a waterlogged pitch.
"But now we have two difficult games to go and, hopefully, in a few months' time, people will just remember the four points which is what we came here to get."
Tigers may have needed a late try to win it, but they went ahead in the 14th minute with their try of the season which began underneath their own posts.
Murphy said the end-to-end move was something reminiscent of the Barbarians in their 1970s pomp.
"It was up there with some of the best tries we have scored over the years," said the 34-year-old.
"Right from the go, it had a bit of Barbarians from 1973 in it, with Ben Youngs near his own posts deciding to tap-and-go.
"When he set off, (director of rugby) Richard Cockerill was probably in the stands shouting at him to kick it into row Z.
"But he sprinted past three players, passed to Ant Allen, who got stuck in quicksand but off-loaded to Mat Tait.
"Someone made a great tackle on him but he managed to offload back to Ant and he passed to Adam Thompstone, who raced it in. It was great stuff.
"I enjoyed getting on after the break. I managed to get up to speed quickly and I enjoyed rolling up my sleeves, helping out and getting stuck in."