Leicester Tigers fly-half George Ford has cited their second-half turnaround against Ulster Rugby in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-finals down to becoming more aggressive in their collisions.
Tigers recovered from 11 points down to claim a 33-24 victory at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, and Tissot Man of the Match Ford put their remarkable comeback down to an improvement to their physicality.
“Obviously Ulster were dominant in the first half, we were pretty passive,” he told LTTV. “The one thing we had to fix was our physicality in collisions, first and foremost at half time.
“A few things tactically but more often than not it was the collision that we had to be a bit more assertive with, but the pleasing thing is we fixed it and executed that [change].
“I think we were trying to grab the game a bit. We were forcing things, and I didn’t think we were getting the fundamentals and the basics right.
“I think second half we went back to our game plan, imposed that consistently on Ulster and I felt that we were all over them to be honest.”
The second half also saw Leicester cause Ulster problems with a series of successful kick-chases – an art Ford believes is the backbone to his side’s success.
The start of a sensational fightback! 😎@LeicesterTigers came out after half time on FIRE and it was Jasper Wiese who barged over to set them on the way to victory 💪#ChallengeCupRugby pic.twitter.com/VHKYofTJyc
— Challenge Cup (@ERChallengeCup) May 5, 2021
“It’s part of our game to create attacking opportunities, and we want to be really efficient and clinical getting out of our half, we want to put pressure on the opposition, force errors, force turnovers,” he explained.
“Sometimes you see the tries and you see the good play with ball in hand, but more often than not it will come from the pressure kicking and kick-chasing.”
Prop Ellis Genge scored second Leicester’s try of the game against Ulster, receiving the ball in space on the wing before powering over the line.
Ford hailed Genge’s contribution to the team, along with back-row forward Jasper Wiese, who made over 50 metres combined during the semi-final.
“Well, if he (Genge) gets the ball in space like that on the edge then he’s going to be difficult to stop. I’m not sure what he’s doing there,” he laughed.
“People like Ellis and Jasper, to play with them – what they do carry-wise, collision-wise, the momentum, the speed of ball they get us – it’s unbelievable.
“There’s not many people who I’ve played with that are like them two, so if he (Genge) wants to be there he can be there (on the wing).”