Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick praised his players after their thrilling 29-28 Champions Cup victory over Connacht.
Three tries in the second half helped the Premiership leaders overcome an 18-point deficit, with Hosea Saumaki crossing over in the closing minutes to secure a place in the last-16.
Borthwick hailed his players’ efforts, noting their great character as a key factor in their stunning triumph.
“Delighted, obviously, with the win and really pleased with the players,” admitted Borthwick, whose side bounced back from losing for the first time this season to Wasps last Sunday.
“We might not have scored at the end but either way, I would have been proud and I would have thanked the players for their efforts.
“I thought we started the game well and finished the game well. The period in the middle, Connacht controlled. I thought Connacht were superb through that period.
“They put us under immense pressure and we conceded too many penalties, but the reason we conceded the penalties was because of the pressure Connacht put on us.
“From our point of view, this will be a great experience for us. I think coming and playing rugby here is unique. A special mention to the Connacht supporters.
“It’s a shame it wasn’t able to be a full, packed house (due to Covid-19 restrictions). The supporters were incredible. Passionate and respectful.
“We don’t want to be 18 points down, but the character of the players and spirit is incredible. There’s lots for us to improve upon, but to have that spirit is a real asset for us.
“We want to be proud of our performance and we want to make our supporters proud of our performance and I think our supporters back home will be proud of our team tonight.”