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Page last updated at 20:18 GMT, Saturday, 16 May 2009 21:18 UK

Improve or forget double - Murphy

Leicester captain Geordan Murphy celebrates with his man-of-the-match award
Geordan Murphy was named man of the match after another solid game

Captain Geordan Murphy has warned his Leicester side they must up their game "tenfold" or forget about adding the Heineken Cup to their Premiership win.

The Tigers beat London Irish 10-9 to claim the title at Twickenham and face Leinster in Saturday's European final.

"We are really happy with the win but we have really got to clean up our game for next week," Murphy said.

"We are going to have to raise it tenfold because Leinster will wipe us off the field if we play like that."

Tigers' head coach Richard Cockerill, who took over in mid-season following the departure of Heyneke Meyer on compassionate grounds, admitted he would take his side to task on Monday following a brief period of celebration.

On Monday morning we'll sit and watch the video and have a few harsh words

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill

"Our performance was poor. We didn't play well but stuck to our task," he said.

"Over the balance of the year we deserve to be champions. I'm pleased with the win because the pressure was on.

"So we'll enjoy tonight. We'll have a couple of beers and enjoy the moment because it's important the guys do that.

"But on Monday morning we'll sit and watch the video and have a few harsh words because the performance wasn't good enough.

"If we play like that we won't beat Leinster. They're probably a better side than Irish with more world-class players."

Leicester were once again indebted to number eight Jordan Crane, the hero of their Heineken semi-final shoot-out win over Cardiff Blues a fortnight ago when he stepped up to land the clinching kick.

Crane, who was sin-binned at the end of the first half, made up for his misdemeanour by stretching over for the only try of the game just after the hour to put the Tigers in front for the first time.

"It was nice to get over the line for a little try," he said later. "I just reached out and luckily I got there.

"I thought it was not going to be our day but we came through in the end and the way we have backed up over the last three weeks has been awesome. Hopefully we can keep it going for one more week."

606: DEBATE
Dr Webb

London Irish director of rugby Toby Booth felt Leicester's big-game experience - they were competing in their fifth successive Premiership final - proved decisive.

"You don't want to come second and for long spells we were the superior side but you have to capitalise on what you create," Booth said.

"We paid the price for that and lost by the narrowest of margins. Leicester are street-wise because they've been there or thereabouts for a while."

London Irish fly-half Mike Catt was left to rue what might have been in possibly his final game of professional rugby.

The 37-year-old World Cup winner has yet to decide whether to retire or continue in his player-coach role next year.

We are going in the right direction but we can't keep saying that. We have got to win a trophy

Exiles captain Bob Casey

"We had opportunities but didn't take them and that's what finals are all about," he said.

"They took their chances and cut us apart really. It's a tough one to take, emotions are running high.

"We've got a great bunch of guys and we'll have a good summer and fire up again next year. This team are young enough and have enough talent to bounce back."

Catt admitted that in hindsight, after Irish had missed three penalties via Delon Armitage (two) and Peter Hewat, they should have kicked for goal instead of opting for scrums when awarded three successive penalties inside the Leicester 22 at the end of the first half.

But Booth refused to blame captain Bob Casey for those decisions.

"You have to back yourselves," Booth added. "We had the dominant scrum by some considerable margin, we had missed a few kicks and we had the momentum. But sometimes your ambition trips you up."

Casey added: "We are absolutely gutted, but there is still an immense amount of pride in what London Irish are doing.

"We are going in the right direction but we can't keep saying that. We have got to win a trophy."



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see also
Leicester 10-9 London Irish
16 May 09 |  English
As it happened - Leicester v London Irish
16 May 09 |  Rugby Union


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