Cockerill admits mixed feelings after Exiles win
March 25, 2012
Irish coach Toby Booth reflects on his side's defeat
Leicester boss Richard Cockerill admitted to mixed feelings after his side's 41-32 victory over London Irish moved them up to third in the Aviva Premiership.
The Exiles almost snatched victory at the death thanks to the prodigious boot of Tom Homer, but Toby Flood's penalty and a breakaway try from Tom Croft sealed a topsy-turvy win for the visitors.
"We played some good stuff but some horrendous stuff," Cockerill said. "We soaked up early pressure and then I thought we were going to take control, but we were too inaccurate against a side who have the pace and power to punish you."
Leicester certainly had the dominant scrum and Flood's last-ditch penalty, which give him an impressive match tally of 26 points, came from Irish conceding a penalty at the set-piece.
"We were aware that their scrum had been weak all season," Cockerill said. "We came with a plan to dominate the set piece which we did, but apart from that we didn't play particularly well."
Ben Youngs may face a citing after being involved in an off-the-ball incident © Getty Images
Leicester did lose Ben Youngs with a minor shin injury midway through the second half, but the England scrum-half may have further problems as he could be cited for what appeared to be a deliberate kneeing of an opponent while he was on the floor.
Irish coach Toby Booth described Young's actions as "unnecessary" and Cockerill added, "It was in the heat of the battle. He was being held but it is a matter for the citing officer."
Irish were desperately unlucky not to have secured at least a share of the spoils after being the more creative side, with Homer especially unfortunate to be on the losing side.
"Homer is a special kid and it was a special performance," Exiles chief Brian Smith said. "As a neutral the game was an outstanding spectacle. After 78 minutes we had our noses in front and I thought it was going to be a Cinderella moment for us."
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