Cockerill hails tireless Tigers
October 17, 2010
Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs boots the ball clear during the game at Welford Road © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill was full of praise for his side's stamina after Sunday afternoon's 46-10 rout of Heineken Cup Pool 5 rivals the Scarlets at Welford Road.
The hosts only led by three points at the break after a half in which Morgan Stoddart touched down for the Scarlets only for the Tigers to reply almost immediately through Martin Castrogiovanni.
However, Leicester ran riot after the interval, with Ben Youngs, Thomas Waldrom, Croft (twice) and Matt Smith all crossing as Cockerill's troops made it a maximum ten points from their opening two European games of the season.
"I felt we needed more points out of the first half at half-time they were very much in the game," the Tigers boss said. "They took their try well and we'd have liked to have scored a couple more of our own but we didn't take our opportunities.
"But we kept the intensity and composure and those five tries in the second half included some quality bits of rugby. Ben Youngs was sharp, Toby Flood was really good and for Thomas Waldrom that was probably the best he's played in terms of his physicality and ball carrying."
Cockerill was particularly pleased that his players had managed to restrict a Scarlets side which had overrun Perpignan in Llanelli last weekend to just one try.
"Defence was our theme this week, we didn't work on much else as we have been scoring plenty of tries but conceding soft tries," he said. "I am delighted we only conceded one try and, even when the game was won, in defence we were right up there and it's a good sign for us."
Cockerill's Scarlets counterpart Nigel Davies cut an understandably forlorn figure after game, with the region's coach left lamenting his side's inability to compete at the breakdown.
"We were too inaccurate, they seemed to have all the ball and were very effective at the breakdown, that was a key area and we lost a lot of ball there," he said.
"At half-time it was only 13-10 and we hadn't had much of the game. It was a case of trying to keep hold of the ball but the pressure and intensity they brought did not allow us to do that. You have to get the basics right if you want to come to a place like Leicester and win. We have got to be more composed. They were ruthless and it was big, big lesson for us."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September