Plenty more to come from Tigers: Cockerill

Date published: October 26 2015

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Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill insists there is still plenty more to come from his side, after Laurence Pearce's crucial second-half try secured the Tigers a 22-19 victory over Harlequins at Welford Road on Sunday.

After the arrival of head coach Aaron Mauger Leicester are looking to play a new brand of attacking rugby this season, but it was old-fashioned Tiger grunt that got them through this contest.

Jack Clifford's score sent Harlequins into the interval 13-12 ahead, with Leicester's Tommy Bell impressive from the tee.

But after he and Nick Evans exchanged a couple more penalties, Pearce drove over after an immense catch-and-drive to make it two victories from two for Leicester in the Aviva Premiership Rugby.

And with his back-line still not quite firing on all cylinders, Cockerill admits his side were let off the hook – with Quins opting to go for a victory in the dying moments rather than kicking a penalty to level the scores.

"It was a pretty average performance from us, but there was at least a lot of heart there to get us through at the end," he said.

"Quins could, and probably should, have taken the draw there at the end, but we managed to get ourselves out of it when they kicked into the corner.

"I'm a pragmatist so I would always say to kick the penalty and take the three points home, but fair play to them they had some success with the drive in the game so they went for win or bust.

"We are still trying to play more rugby, but we exited our half poorly and put ourselves under pressure, and Quins are a good side too.

"We're still trying to develop and grow so there's always going to be some teething problems on the way, and I thought we had a little bit of that today.

"But we'll get back out on the training field on Tuesday with everyone and we will work even harder to iron out the bumps in our game."

Meanwhile Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea could not hide his frustration that his side threw away their lead in the closing stages.

The visitors enjoyed a ten-minute spell of 93% possession after the introduction of England internationals Joe Marler, Nick Easter and Danny Care from the bench, and O'Shea knows his side need to be more clinical.

"We're disappointed with our own discipline which allowed them into the game," said O'Shea.

"Welford is always a tough place to come, but we were in control of that game for a while.

"It was a tough start and we worked our way through that and seemed to have a stranglehold, but then we allowed them penalties to get themselves the field position.

"That's the league. You get ready for battle again next week and while this is a tough place to come as I said, we are bitterly disappointed with ourselves.

"I don't want to get into whether or not we should have kicked for a draw or not – hindsight is a great thing.

"It's a 22-game season, and those points could have been huge, but we should have got the score anyway and won the game.

"We have to look at what we did. We came here believing that we could get a result and we didn't play to the levels that we know we can, but credit to an outstanding Tigers side."

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