Genge rails against ‘plucky losers’ tag for Leicester



Daily Telegraph

Sport Rugby Union

Leicester captain Ellis Genge angrily hit out at suggestions that his team were “plucky losers” after they crashed out of the European Champions Cup at Welford Road. The Gallagher Premiership leaders were up against a Leinster team boasting 13 first-choice Ireland internationals, but the England prop bridled at the notion that it was a quarter-final Leicester were always going to struggle to win. “Look mate, I am not trying to be a p---k here but I don’t want you saying that,” Genge said when asked about the relative strengths of the two teams. “We came out there and we fought as hard as we could. They have 13 internationals but don’t put us in that bracket of ‘we gave it a good crack.’ We could have won that game. I think you know that as well. If anyone is going to say that to me, please don’t, because it is going to wind me right up. “Our boys fought all game so I am not going to come here for someone to say we gave it a good crack and we’re plucky losers. I am not having a pop but I am just saying please don’t say that to me.” Leinster amassed a 20-0 interval lead, and while Tigers fought back in the second half through tries by Chris Ashton and Nic Dolly, it proved an insurmountable deficit. And Genge, who is leaving at the end of the season to rejoin Bristol Bears, was also irked when it was put to him that his current side face a huge rebuilding job and had been given a reality check. “Pack it in. Don’t start that. I’m gutted because of the difference from the first half to the second half. From 20-0 down to win the second half 14-3 shows where we should have been at. “They are a brilliant side and if you play like that in the first half against a team like that then you are going to get punished. It’s hard to win from 20-0 down. We did not stop fighting. We did what we did all year for 40 minutes, I just wish we had done it for 80 minutes.” Leinster now face Toulouse in a semi-final between the two most successful sides in Europe, and director of rugby Leo Cullen insists there is scope for his tournament favourites to improve. “There was a bit of a risk because some of our guys haven’t played for the last couple of weeks,” Cullen said. “In the second half they [Leicester] threw the kitchen sink at us. But we’ve got through to the next round and hopefully we’ll be in better shape going into next weekend.”