Cockerill hails Tigers’ character

Date published: November 30 2015

It may not have been pretty but Leicester boss Richard Cockerill did not care one jot after his side claimed a hard-fought win over Bath at Welford Road on Sunday.

Telusa Veainu and Dan Cole scored the tries for Tigers – who have now won ten Premiership games in a row on their home ground – in filthy conditions in the East Midlands.

Anthony Watson had crossed to put the visitors into an early lead and when George Ford kicked two penalties early in the second half to level the scores – with Ed Slater in the bin for the Tigers – it looked bleak for the hosts.

But the Tigers rallied – as they so often do – to claim the win that lifts them back up to third in the table and leave Bath still searching for a first win at Welford Road since 2003.

And Cockerill admitted afterwards that his side had shown real character to grind out a hard-fought win.

"We showed guts to dig ourselves out of a hole, there were a lot of things that we did poorly," he said.

"But with a good old-fashioned bit of spirit we got ourselves to the finish line.

"Bath dominated for large parts, the set-piece was a complete mess for both sides and in poor conditions we managed to find a way to win which is encouraging.

"The boys rallied around, the attitude and the way that we galvanised together to keep Bath out who were dangerous and played well – they will be disappointed to be going home with nothing – but fair play to Leicester. The boys worked hard and deserved it."

For Bath, defeat means they stay eighth in the league table with only two wins from their first five games.

And after levelling the game up halfway through the second half, and with a man advantage due to Slater's yellow card, Mike Ford was disappointed not to win the game – let alone leave Welford Road empty-handed.

"We were good enough to win, I thought we did well in the first half and were playing some decent football," he said.

"We were behind in the scoreboard, the interception try was a turning point but we got back to 11-11 and had a lot of opportunities to go in front and we didn't take them.

"Fair play to Leicester, they do what they do and got us into an arm wrestle late on in the game. We gave away a few penalties.

"We are disappointed to come away with nothing, I thought we were good enough to win at times but we will go back and re-group now.

"We are massively disappointed with the loss but it's a long season and we have got plenty more games to go at."