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Geordan Murphy hails 'world class' Ford as Leicester Tigers end Premiership losing streak

Leicester interim head coach Geordan Murphy praised George Ford after kicking the Tigers to a 19-15 win at home to Sale on Sunday.

George Ford in action for the Leicester Tigers.
George Ford in action for the Leicester Tigers.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

ENGLAND FLY-HALF George Ford was hailed as “world-class” by Leicester boss Geordan Murphy after kicking the Tigers to a 19-15 win at home to Sale on Sunday.

Victory came after two successive home Premiership defeats by Wasps and Worcester suggested that Leicester’s Welford Road ground was not the fortress it had been when the Midlands side were one of English rugby union’s pre-eminent clubs.

Ford has sometimes been a wayward goal-kicker for England but Sunday saw the No 10 land all five of his shots at goal in a 14-point haul, with Leicester’s other score coming via a first-half try from centre Kyle Eastmond.

“George’s kicking statistics last season were in the 80s (percent),” Leicester interim head coach Murphy said.

Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks - Gallagher Premiership - Welford Road Leicester Tigers' George Ford during the Gallagher Premiership match with Sale Sharks. Source: Mike Egerton

“For me, he’s an 80 percent-plus kicker and he is world class. He has been brilliant in the group.”

The former Leicester and Ireland full-back added: “He’s been doing a huge amount on and off the field, and you would expect as much from your international number 10. He is very important for us.”

Sale took an early lead through a fine try rounded off by wing Marland Yarde, while hooker Rob Webber and substitute Curtis Langdon also crossed during the final quarter.

But, importantly, scrum-half Will Cliff missed all three of his kicks at goal to leave basement club Sale looking for their first Premiership away win since March.

One consolation for Sale is that South Africa scrum-half Faf de Klerk is set to rejoin the club following next weekend’s game against Newcastle after starring for the Springboks in the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship.

Wasps v Leicester Tigers - Gallagher Premiership - Ricoh Arena Source: PA Wire/PA Images

“After the Newcastle game, Faf comes back to us pretty much full-time,” said Sale supremo Steve Diamond.

“We didn’t see the benefit of bringing him back in the break weeks (in the Rugby Championship), so he is playing the six games there and he will come back to us.”

He added: “We did enough to get a little bit closer in the game today. A couple of decisions didn’t go our way, which happens, but the positive is that we were difficult to beat, which we haven’t been in a couple of games this season.

“It’s little steps, but we got a bonus point against Leicester away, and it is a big game against Newcastle next weekend.”

© – AFP 2018

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