Premiership: Steve Borthwick full of praise for record-breaker Chris Ashton

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick sang the praises of former England flyer Chris Ashton after he set a new Premiership try-scoring record in his team’s win over Bristol Bears on Saturday.

The 35-year-old was in excellent form as he scored a first-half hat-trick at Welford Road to reach 95 tries in England’s top-flight and, in doing so, he moved past Tom Varndell, who previously held the record with 92 scores.

Dominant win

Leicester continued to dominate in the second half and eventually scored eight tries to seal a convincing 56-26 victory – a result which secured them a home Premiership semi-final.

“We all know what a quality player he is,” said Borthwick. “What’s struck me most is that I played alongside him many years ago and you can’t tell very much difference.

“I’ve aged a lot and the way he goes about his daily business is pretty much the same – he’s competitive, he trains as hard as anybody, and that was always the way.

“I’ll always remember walking into the gym, and I thought I was pretty early into the gym when I was a player, and he’s already wrapping up a boxing session.

“That always stuck with me and that’s what I see in him now; he wants to be better, he wants to improve.”

Borthwick was delighted with his team’s overall display.

“We’re really pleased with the result, pleased with the way the team started the game and found a way to pressure the opposition, but there’s plenty to improve on, particularly in the second half,” he added.

Apart from Ashton’s hat-trick, Ben Youngs also crossed the whitewash for Leicester in the first half while Jack Bates and Toby Fricker scored Bristol‘s tries during that period.

After half-time, Matias Moroni, Freddie Steward, Jasper Wiese and Harry Potter dotted down for the Tigers after the break with Harry Thacker and Chris Vui securing a try-scoring bonus point for the Bears.

Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam believes his side deserved more from the match.

“The score doesn’t reflect the effort a lot of our boys put in,” he said.

“Unfortunately, what it reflected was the silly, stupid turnovers that we gave – that’s sort of the story of our season, that someone makes a mistake and then the boys have to work hard to cover it up.

“Even right to the very end the boys are hanging in there and we probably put ourselves under pressure, but when you turn over against a team that’s in form, a team that’s having their day, it makes it hard.

“I’m proud of the effort, but certainly there were some poor mistakes from some individuals.

“Leicester are the gold standard at the moment. This is their time. They’re doing well, and fair play to them.

“Everyone has their day and we will get our day back.”

READ MORE: Premiership: Chris Boyd delighted with Northampton’s resilience after win over Harlequins

The article Premiership: Steve Borthwick full of praise for record-breaker Chris Ashton appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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