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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 May, 2005, 18:22 GMT 19:22 UK
Johnson praises Wasps performance
Martin Johnson shows his frustration during Leicester's defeat to Wasps
Retiring Leicester skipper Martin Johnson admitted his side were second best in the Premiership final against Wasps at Twickenham.

"Their defence was very strong and they were the better team by quite a way," said Johnson after their 39-14 defeat.

"Too many times we went backwards with the ball, made mistakes and gave penalties away.

"It is a nasty feeling. We didn't do ourselves justice. It is really galling in the last game of the season."

Johnson was making his final appearance of an illustrious career that has seen him collect every honour for club and country.

But as he admitted, "a comprehensive defeat" was not how he would have wished to bow out.

As hard as we have tried, we have not been good enough this season
Tigers coach John Wells
"After a hard year, to finish like that is very disappointing for us and our fans," he added.

"A career is about winning and losing and we didn't deserve to win. Wasps deserved it by a long way and that's the disappointing thing."

Leicester coach John Wells, who is leaving Welford Road this summer for the Rugby Football Union academy, also had no complaints about the result.

"The guys who played are not sentimental types and what happened wasn't because of Martin and Neil playing their last game for Leicester," he said.

"Wasps played better than we did. They did the things they do well very well, better than they had done against us all season.

"They didn't give us space and they didn't allow us any forward momentum in the scrummage.

"We've let the club down and we've let the supporters down - not through a lack of effort but because we played a side that was better than us on the day.

"We are all disappointed, but this is professional sport and there has to be winners and losers."

Leicester must now mull over their third straight trophy-less season and Wells admits there has to be some soul searching at the club.

"As hard as we have tried, we have not been good enough this season," he said.

"This club is going to have to look at itself and see why we have not delivered in the big games."

Interview: Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio

Interview: Wasps coach Warren Gatland

Interview: Leicester captain Martin Johnson

Leicester 14-39 Wasps
14 May 05 |  English


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