Tigers won't apologise for tactics

Sat, 05 Jan 2013 09:11
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Tigers boss Richard Cockerill refused to apologise for using his front row to earn a 19-14 victory over Worcester Warriors in the Premiership.

Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill refused to apologise for relying on his front row powerhouse to earn a hard-fought 19-14 victory over Worcester Warriors in the Premiership.

A superb first-half performance saw the Warriors lead 14-0 after just half an hour thanks to a try from David Lemi and three penalties from ex-Tigers flyhalf Andy Goode.

But Leicester grabbed a try on the stroke of half-time through Scott Hamilton and Goode was sin-binned for his use of the knee in the tackle.

After the break, Cockerill threw on England international prop Dan Cole and Argentine partner-in-crime Marcos Ayerza and it had the immediate desired impact, forcing a penalty try on 53 minutes from a scrum.

And when it looked as if Worcester, who still led 14-12, would see out the win, the Tigers pounced again at another scrum in the final minutes to secure a late victory.

And Cockerill was delighted by his side's prowess in the set-piece, as the Tigers moved to the top of the table.

"That's where we spend our money, we might not have the most expensive wingers but we spent our money on the front row and build backwards," he said.

"Those guys know how to scrummage and that's what won us the game in the end.

"We work really hard on that part of the game and it's good to see that aspect of the game play it's part.

"There are guys of all shapes and sizes in a rugby match and it's pleasing to see some power and some aggression in that part of the game.

"I think it's important to congratulate Worcester on how they played in the first half. I'd like to say that it was because we were not playing well or were inaccurate but they just out-played us.

"But at half-time we talked about the set-piece and how it would be crucial because of the conditions and we talked about how they might run out of steam at the end of the game and that's what happened."

There was an aspect of controversy to the decisive scrum as Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs appeared to fail to get the ball into the scrum at the first attempt, but Worcester coach Richard Hill had no complaints, citing the Tigers' dominance.

"I can't see anything wrong with it, they were clearly pushing forward and so they deserved to get the try," he said.

"It's more disappointing that we were in their 22 with just a couple of minutes to go and we let them back into it.

"But we can hold our heads high. The first half an hour is the best that I've seen us play all season.

"It was unfortunate because we had two penalties while Goodey was off the pitch that we missed and I've no doubt that we would have scored them if he was on but it's just one of those things."

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