Planet Rugby

Cockerill hails Tigers' performance

23rd March 2014 17:51

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All smiles: Richard Cockerill

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill praised his side after their emphatic 45-15 win over Exeter at Welford Road on Sunday.

The Tigers were dominant from the outset and scored five tries through Manu Tuilagi, Logovi'i Mulipola, Vereniki Goneva, Adam Thompstone and replacement scrum-half David Mele who dotted down twice.

It was Leicester's best performance in a while and Cockerill couldn't hide his delight after the match.

"We caught Exeter at the right time," he said.

"We thought if we got it right physically after the couple of weeks they have had, physically and emotionally, we could dominate the gain-line, and we did.

"That was probably as well as we have played ball in hand for a long time."

The win means the Tigers are 10 points behind second-placed Northampton, who they face next weekend, and Cockerill believes his side can still overtake the Saints on the table.

"If we get over the line next week it makes it interesting," he said.

"Two weeks ago I would have said the top two would have been the top two at the end. We will see."

Exeter boss Rob Baxter admitted the loss was a wake-up call for his charges after last weekend's LV= Cup triumph over Northampton.

They scored two tries through Jack Yeandle and Ian Whitten but were well beaten," said Baxter

"It was the cold bath we needed," he said.

"That shocked us back to reality. We were just off and if you are a bit off against a good Leicester side you will pay the price.

"That's what happened. We got knocked out of our stride early on and it took us a while to recover. We did but we could not sustain it for long enough. I am hoping it was the shock we need."

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