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Heineken Cup final: Leicester 9-25 Wasps
Twickenham, 19 May, 2007

Leicester's Shane Jennings (left) and Ben Kay (right)
Leicester were outmuscled by Wasps in the Heineken Cup final
Leicester coach Pat Howard admitted his Treble-chasing side were rattled in the face of a fired-up Wasps side in the Heineken Cup defeat at Twickenham.

"Wasps deserved their victory. We weren't allowed to play and consequently we lost," said Howard, who is returning home to Australia.

"It was always possible. They're a very physical side and it was a physical battle. We lost our composure a bit.

"There were two well-taken tries but we had chances and didn't take them."

I'll be down for an hour or so then I'm going to celebrate our two wins

Leicester coach Pat Howard

Leicester were favourites to add to their Premiership crown and EDF Energy Cup title from earlier this season but were sunk by opportunistic tries, both from the front of line-outs, by Eoin Reddan and Raphael Ibanez.

But Howard said he was "immensely proud" of his team despite missing out on an unprecedented Treble.

"The Treble can be done but there's lots of things that have to go right," he said.

"Wasps had a plan to get in front of us at the line-out. They did it very well and it worked for them twice - we tried to do it and Ben Kay dropped it over the line.

"I was reasonably annoyed about the second try. Why did it happen? It's a common play at Wasps and we had prepared for it.

"But there was the pressure of the big day and the players have a lot to remember amid the fatigue of battle.

Leicester coach Pat Howard
Howard was overseeing his last game in charge of Leicester

"It's been pretty special this year, but we've let ourselves down today. I'll be down for an hour or so then I'm going to celebrate our two wins."

Howard, who is returning to Australia to run his family's pharmacy business after two years in charge at Welford Road, added: "I know it's the right decison - it's time to go but I love the club and I love the players involved."

Tigers' captain Martin Corry insisted he was proud of Leicester's season despite the disappointment of losing to their arch-rivals, who also beat them in the Guinness Premiership final at Twickenham two years ago.

"The first half hour was the key," said Corry. "Hats off to them, they were better than us. We set ourselves high standards but we didn't have a good day today.

"Fatigue was not a factor. We're not looking for excuses. It's a long season but Pat has rotated the squad really well.

"He took a lot of crap for that early in the season but he never wavered and he's built a fantastic squad for us to compete in all three competitions.

"But when I look back I'm hugely proud - of wearing the shirt and of everyone representing the side, from the top man down to the bottom.

"In the second half we gave everything - I saw that in the lads' eyes. As a captain and coach that's all you can ask for."

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