Hamilton demands more from Tigers
September 7, 2010
Scott Hamilton has fired a warning to Leicester © Getty Images
Leicester wing Scott Hamilton has demanded an improvement from the Tigers after they got their Aviva Premiership campaign underway with a disappointing defeat to local rivals Northampton.
The former Crusaders flyer scored twice at Franklin's Gardens but has pinpointed a lack of discipline as a major factor in their 27-19 loss. Saints fly-half Stephen Myler endured a miserable afternoon with the boot - sparing the reigning champions a heavier reversal.
The Tigers face Premiership new boys Exeter at Welford Road on Saturday and Hamilton is keen to get stuck in after seeing the Chiefs upset Gloucester at Sandy Park in the opening round.
"We turned it over far too much and gave away so many penalties. If Stephen Myler was on song, we would have been all over the shop," he told The Leicester Mercury. "We are a long way off where we should be. We have to rectify that this weekend for the visit of Exeter, and it is a good thing that we are at home."
Hamilton was also quick to point out Leicester's failure to adapt to the new freedom afforded by revised interpretations in the tackle area.
"Making risky off-loads and turning the ball over was our biggest problem of pre-season and something that we have talked about," he said."There is more space and the ball is there quicker with the new law interpretations, and off-loads are more prevalent.
"The problem is that the defenders are getting hands in between the ball carrier and the support players and breaking down the move. The onus is not just on the ball carriers, it's about the support players getting there quick enough. Guys have to be careful because that pop pass may lead to another player getting tackled straight away or, worse-case scenario, they get knocked down or knock on.
"It's about support players making the right calls to the ball carrier. There were times when Thomas Waldrom made a break and was on the deck, looking to pop it up, but we were not getting enough guys through to support him in time. That's a free off-load gone begging. If we can get in the right positions at times like that, we are going to score tries. But it is going to cost you tries too if you don't get it right. We have to be a bit smarter in what we do."
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup