Newcastle Falcons 13-24 Leicester Tigers, Aviva Premiership, April 22
Cockerill satisfied with Leicester win
April 22, 2011
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Leicester boss Richard Cockerill admitted that his side had not been at their best in Friday's 24-13 victory over Newcastle Falcons but he was happy to have come away from Kingston Park with four points and a home draw in the Aviva Premiership play-offs.
An early try from Alesana Tuilagi helped Leicester into a 10-6 lead at the interval after a sloppy first-half showing but they improved significantly after the re-start and ultimately ran out easy winners thanks to further tries from Matt Smith and James Grindal.
"Our discipline was good today in contrast to last week (against Gloucester) and while we weren't as accurate as we'd like, it was a good win," Cockerill said. "A lot of sides come here and struggle and we have in the past. Four points is what we wanted and after a sticky patch in the second half that's what we got."
Cockerill had made the bold decision to rest a number of key players for the game against the Falcons, including England duo Toby Flood and Ben Youngs, and he was thrilled that his side had still managed to get the job done without their first-choice half-back pairing.
"We have put ourselves in position to win a semi-final and make it into the grand final and that's always been a target," he said. "We'd like to go up against London Irish and in the play-off semi-final with a fully-fit squad and the guys who came in for us today did a really good job. Giving Ben and Toby a rest will freshen them up for London Irish and the play-offs."
Falcons boss Alan Tait reacts to his side's latest loss
As for Newcastle, they had threatened to turn the game around when Tane Tu'ipulotu crossed towards the end of the third quarter but they ultimately ran out of steam and failed to even salvage a losing bonus point from the game. Consequently, they remain 11th in the standings, level on points with Leeds, who face Harlequins on Sunday. Falcons head coach Alan Tait admitted that his side are now in a very precarious position ahead of their final two games of the season.
"We have to keep going and target a win against Bath next week," he said. "It's all or nothing now in our final two games against Bath home and away. It's disappointing missing out on the losing bonus point but we have to get on with it. There are a lot of sore bodies in the changing room, but they have to get themselves back up for Bath - and I'm sure they will."
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