Leicester's last-minute hero Burns in 'disbelief' after winning Premiership title

By Sports Desk June 18, 2022

Leicester Tigers' match-winner Freddie Burns expressed his disbelief after achieving a life-long ambition by lifting the Premiership title on Saturday.

Hanro Liebenberg and Jasper Wiese scored the only tries of the final at Twickenham, but Owen Farrell kept Saracens in the game with three penalties, while Elliot Daly added another with his boot.

The last of Farrell's penalties came with four minutes remaining to level at 12-12, but late drama settled the contest in Leicester's favour as Burns stepped up with a last-minute drop goal to snatch the Tigers' first Premiership title in nine years.

The 32-year-old was only on the pitch due to a first-half injury to George Ford, who was forced off with a reoccurrence of an ankle issue in his final Leicester game before he joins Sale Sharks.

That injury will be of concern to England coach Eddie Jones ahead of his side's tour of Australia next month, but at least for Leicester, Ford's injury was not in vain.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5Live after the victory, an emotional Burns reflected on a victory that he dedicated to his family.

"I can't tell you much, I'm in disbelief right now," he said. "The fight this team has showed all year. That's my job to kick it but we were up against it and we pulled ourselves up from the depths again.

"I'm in shock. I'm over the moon. It's everything. I said when I was five years old that I had two ambitions and that was to play for my country and to win the Premiership and with a year in Japan I thought it has gone.

"It just means the world. It chokes me up just thinking about it. Not many people know but your family ride the ups and downs with you. It means as much to them as it does to me."

Saracens captain Farrell credited the Tigers for punishing his side's mistakes.

"It was a game of not making too many mistakes. They were not playing anything in their half and I think it frustrated us," he told BT Sport.

"They’ve played well all season and carried that into today. They stuck to the gameplan and when we made mistakes they punished us.

"There weren't too many cracks in that game, when mistakes were made they punished us."

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