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Cockerill praise for Ford

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill praised the performance of George Ford after the teenage fly-half stepped up to replace England's Toby Flood in the 42-15 Aviva Premiership defeat of Newcastle.

With Flood on RBS 6 Nations duty with England, Ford was again given the chance to show his potential and kicked 12 of the Tigers' points as well as creating plenty of headaches for dad and Falcons defence coach Mike Ford.

"George Ford ran the show well at fly-half, Billy Twelvetrees was strong in the centres and it is pleasing that we can play that well with so many back-line players missing," said Cockerill.

"It was a very dangerous game for us, but I was delighted with the all-round performance.

"Newcastle kick the ball well and their defence has been very, very good, so to play as slickly as we did was a real boost.

"We dominated the breakdown, our set-piece was really good and the whole performance was very pleasing.

"You have to take the result in context of the ambition of the opposition. Newcastle race to the line and make the breakdown quite hard, and I was delighted with how we coped with that."

Thomas Waldrom crossed for two tries, while Horacio Agulla, Julian Salvi, Billy Twelvetrees and Niall Morris all added to the tally.

Newcastle responded with second-half scores from Jon Golding and Richard Mayhew but never looked likely to pick up a losing bonus point to aid their battle against the drop.

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