Tuesday 17 September 2019

Murphy says Leicester at 'lowest ebb' in decades

Murphy joined Leicester as a player in 1997 and is now interim head coach during one of the bleakest periods in the Tigers’ history. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
Murphy joined Leicester as a player in 1997 and is now interim head coach during one of the bleakest periods in the Tigers’ history. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Geordan Murphy admitted Leicester have sunk to their lowest point during his two decades at Welford Road after a 34-11 rout by Racing 92.

An eighth successive defeat confirmed the club's worst sequence of results since 1975 and all but ended their hopes of qualifying for the knock-out phase of the Champions Cup.

On the domestic front, they sit eighth in the Premiership and are only three points above bottom-placed Newcastle.

Murphy joined Leicester as a player in 1997 and is now interim head coach during one of the bleakest periods in the Tigers' history.

"From my experience, it is the lowest ebb in the time that I have been here - so 20-odd years. It's really tough," said the former Ireland international.

"We are on a horrific run, confidence is low and Harlequins will come here next Saturday and really sense blood in the water. We need to learn our lessons.

"The players are working hard in training and working hard on the field, but we are making silly errors.

"The system was really good, but we gave Racing a foothold in our 22 in the first half and missed some tackles.

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"They score under the posts and then, from the kick-off, Finn Russell waltzes through untouched. We are aware of how elusive he is, but they go the length of the field and score and it is 14-3. We then go to a line-out and as easy as under-14 rugby, they cut us open again.

"We are stretched, player-wise, and are right to the limit with injures - players are broken - but I don't see anyone not trying."

George Ford admitted Leicester have been left behind by their rivals, both in England and in European competition.

"If you look at the top teams in Europe, and in England, they have taken their game to the next level," the England fly-half said. "We need to have a serious look at what we can do to catch them up."

Racing are in full command of Pool Four after opening a five-point gap between themselves and second-placed Ulster, who dispatched the Scarlets 30-15 on Friday night.

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