Corry sounds the battle cry

Leicester Tigers captain Martin Corry believes his Treble-chasing Tigers must prove they can perform on the big occasion – starting with Sunday’s EDF Energy Cup final at Twickenham.

Victory over the Ospreys would complete the first part of an ambitious hat-trick, with the club also challenging for Heineken Cup and Guinness Premiership title honours.

They found themselves in a similar position last season, but made respective Anglo-Welsh semi-final and Heineken Cup last-eight exits before Sale ended their Premiership hopes in a one-sided Twickenham final.

Leicester now head back to English rugby headquarters, heralding the start of a punishing schedule that will see them play four games in 14 days.

The Tigers have not landed major silverware since they retained the Heineken Cup by defeating Munster in Cardiff five years ago.

Corry said: “The desperation to win trophies is just the same as it always was.

“To be involved in big occasions with the guys you work hard with throughout the year makes it a little bit more special than playing internationals in some ways.

“The club is the springboard for everything else, and that is where you spend most of your time.

“The vast majority of the squad have had a role to play in this competition [EDF Energy Cup] this season, and it would be lovely to have something to show for all the effort the whole club has put into this.

“We know we didn’t perform on the big occasions last season, and we have to prove that we can.”

Leicester beat the Ospreys twice in Heineken Cup combat last term, but both games could easily have gone the Welsh team’s way, and they will arrive at Twickenham quietly confident that mercurial half-back pair Justin Marshall and James Hook can inspire a successful raid across the Severn Bridge.

Corry added: “I think their coach said afterwards that he thought Ospreys were better for 140 of the 160 minutes we played each other last season, and maybe he had a point, but the crucial thing is the result.

“We go into this game knowing what we are up against. We have played against these guys regularly and have watched videos of them – there is respect and rivalry between us.”

The Ospreys have sold almost 8,000 tickets and around 80 supporters’ coaches will head to south-west London from all parts of Wales.

And Ospreys head coach Lyn Jones believes his players have an opportunity to “put the record straight” when they renew their rivalry with Leicester.

Jones said: “We have to realise and get the mindset that it is not a nice day out at Twickers. It is about going to a green field and registering a victory.

“It is about being powerful and applying ourselves to the game and being influential when we get there.

“We must not allow Leicester to talk themselves up against us and fall for those old tricks. We are a lot wiser and we are keeping our words to ourselves. We will turn our words into actions.

“We played against them twice last year, and certainly Leicester have shown us how to win games of rugby and that there are other ways to play. They have the ability to be able to adapt to any game situation.

“I would like to think that we have an opportunity to put the record straight for what went on last year. For 87 minutes [at home] we were by far the better side, and then Leicester scored a cracking try from 100 yards to break our hearts.

“We have got a lot of players who have been through a lot of experiences, and they are learning.

“But, to get where we want to be, we have to gain the confidence and the understanding of what it takes to get on the big stage and make those one per cents count.”


365 Digital

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