Cockerill full of praise for Burns

Date published: November 21 2016

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Leicester boss Richard Cockerill paid tribute to Freddie Burns after the fly-half orchestrated a convincing win over Harlequins at Welford Road.

Tigers moved back into the Premiership top four with a 25-6 success, with Burns scoring 20 points on the day.

And Cockerill explained after the game that Burns has been knuckling down with the Leicester coaching staff to improve his decision-making – and it appeared to pay off in the second half.

“He was good all round,” Cockerill told the Premiership's official website.

“He is working hard with Geordan (Murphy) and Aaron (Mauger) about understanding when to run and when to kick and is improving all the time. We were playing within ourselves and we needed to up the ante a bit. The first half was a bit flat. We did not execute our set piece well. There were two of three opportunities from scrums and line outs when we did not deliver the ball. 

"In the second half we took the game to them and controlled Quins well and they did not look like posing a threat. The forwards were better. We carried the ball better. There was more urgency and if we can get that every week we will be in the mix because we have some good players.”

Cockerill also revealed that centre Manu Tuilagi is approaching a return, with the England international warming up with the rest of the team before the game.

Cockerill added: “We are hoping within the next couple of weeks he will be in the 23. It would be nice would not it? You saw him before the game, he looks sharp. I am just waiting for the medics to say he is good to go.”

Harlequins trailed 9-6 at the break, with Nick Evans slotting two penalties, but they failed to score thereafter, with Burns and an Owen Williams try securing a comfortable success.

And director of rugby John Kingston admitted that his side had been too indisciplined to hope for a win on the road.

He said: “It was disappointing. We lost our composure and discipline. They scored only one try but we gave away too many penalties and you can’t do that in this environment. We have to dust ourselves down because we have a couple of big games coming up. We will prepare right for Bath. We have a good home record this season and we have to take that into Sunday.”

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