Cockerill still believes in his team

Date published: December 15 2016

Leicester still have a chance to qualify for the play-offs of the Champions Cup, says Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill.

Cockerill’s belief come despite his team’s humbling 38-0 defeat to Munster last week, their second loss in three games which sees them third in pool 1.

The Tigers have an opportunity to make up for that “unacceptable” drubbing when they face Munster again in the return game on Saturday.

“You need to be an idiot to think there is way of escaping the performance,” Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester.

“It is hard to deny that we played poorly. If you watch the clips there isn’t much to defend is there? And that starts with me and trickles down. It wasn’t good enough, and it’s not acceptable.

“But the pool’s not dead. I don’t care what anybody says. We will fight to the death and we can still qualify if we get it right.”

Tigers lost to Glasgow in their opening fixture and last weekend’s loss means Munster stay top of Pool 1 with 10 points, despite having played a game less than Glasgow and Leicester.

Leicester are now six points behind the leaders with just one win from three matches and Racing 92 are bottom with two losses from two.

Cockerill said if his side wanted any chance of qualifying for the next round, they needed to improve in all aspects of the game and “play what we practice”.

“If we do that we know we are a good enough side to win,” he added. “I’m a realist. I am not going to say ‘there were positives out of that’ because there weren’t many were there?

“They will come and smell blood. They have pretty much got a fully fit team; they are playing well and are physically good. Why wouldn’t they want to come to Welford Road and stick it to us? Racing have had a shocking result at the weekend and will be going to Glasgow to put that right. We have had a shocking result and have to put that right.”