Cockerill slams sloppy Tigers
October 14, 2012
Toulouse's Christopher Tolofua sits on Leicester's Ben Youngs © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill admitted his side contributed to their own downfall in the wake of their opening Heineken Cup defeat to Toulouse on Sunday.
The Premiership side led their French Top 14 rivals 9-6 late in the first half before gifting possession to Toulouse who struck with what proved to be the only try of the game through 18-year-old centre Gael Fickou.
"I'm very disappointed with what happened before half-time. To cough up the ball for a soft try like that was disappointing," said Cockerill, who was also alarmed by the decision of scrum-half Ben Youngs to take a quick tap penalty rather than three easy points early in the second half.
"We were still very much in the game at half-time at 11-9, but if you get a penalty in front of the posts you should take it," he said. "You don't want those guys who are making those errors to do that. It was a huge moment at 14-9 when Ben Youngs took a quick tap penalty.
"We turned over the ball, gave away a penalty and everything began to get harder for us. Once they get in front they are a hard team to claw back. Naive at times is probably the right description of us. We also conceded seven penalty shots at goal and even though some of the decisions were a bit harsh, they were also down to ill-discipline.
"We lost our composure and once they get on top they are a hard side to contain. I'm bitterly disappointed with the bits of the game we could and should have controlled. With the quality we had on the field we needed to handle things a bit better. But there were still lots of things we did out there that were good.
"In the end we came up short, but they are a damn good side. We need to play the ball in the right areas and make the right decisions at the right time. We can't afford to turn the ball over and we have to take the points when they present themselves. There were things we should have done and didn't, and that cost us."
Cockerill's side now have to re-group this week before playing host to the Ospreys at Welford Road. The RaboDirect PRO12 champions currently top Pool Two after securing a home bonus-point win against Benetton Treviso.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker