Cockerill’s praise for Newcastle

Date published: March 9 2015

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill gave credit to Newcastle after his side were made to work for a 16-12 victory on Sunday.

A late try from replacement Tommy Bell was the difference for the Tigers up at Kingston Park, with Cockerill understandably pleased to come away with four points.

"We found a way to win although we played poorly," said Cockerill.

"They scored a good driving line-out try in the first half, then we defended really well but eventually we turned the ball over again and Sinoti scored a great try.

"Newcastle played really well. They have a brand of rugby which suits them on that pitch and fair play to them, we played as well as they let us, but we found a way to win even with the disruption of losing Tom Croft with what looks like a dislocated shoulder.

"That we managed to find a way to win having been on the back foot for large parts of the game is credit to the boys and a lot of credit also goes to Newcastle – they played really well."

Newcastle head coach Dean Richards was understandbly deflated but had enough perspective to see where the Falcons could have won the contest, having outscored their visitors by two tries to one.

"The boys put their heart and soul in it and they do every weekend there is a buzz about things, but when we have a chance to put our foot on the throats of the opposition we have got to make that happen," said Richards.

"Little things like in the first half when they had a guy injured and were down to 14 men we should have put it in the corner and gone for the try instead of just playing it and kicking the ball out for half time.

"That's the difference between the way we are playing the game and how we want to play and killing the game off and killing off the opposition.

"It's all about our understanding of the game and game management. We had so much possession, so much territory and enough line breaks to kill them off and we didn't so that's our fault.

"We scored three tries to one last week and two tries to one this week and lost both games and that's the seventh game in 13 this year that we have scored more tries than the opposition – that's a hell of a stat when you score more tries and lose seven games – it's frustrating to say the least."