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Cockerill relieved to claim win

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill conceded his side were fortunate to come out on top in a 'poor game of rugby' at home to Wasps.

Leicester's 18-16 win, which was secured thanks to a perfect kicking display from fly-half Owen Williams, keeps them in fifth place in the Aviva Premiership and moved them level on 25 points with Saracens, who lost to Exeter.

However, Cockerill said that Williams' kicking - which saw the 22-year-old Welshman convert all six of his attempts including the match-winning penalty two minutes from the end - and the four-point victory haul were the only positives he could take away from game .

The Tigers director of rugby said: "I'm bitterly disappointed we played so poorly.

"It was a game we could have lost and were lucky to win. I'll take the four points and that, and Owen's kicking, were about as positive as the day was.

"We know Owen has the balls to kick important kicks, we saw that against Saracens and again today.

"!t was a pretty poor game, from both teams, not a lot of rugby was played.

"There was ill-discipline from both sides. We turned the ball over, we did not control field position, we defended poorly, and our line speed was poor.

"We had senior players making poor decisions and we paid for it. We will move on but going into next week we need to be a lot, lot better than we were today."

Wasps earned a bonus point at a ground where their last Premiership win was in 2008, but they left knowing they missed a golden opportunity to win.

Although Leicester were boosted by the return of internationals like hooker Tom Young, prop Marcos Ayerza and centre Vereniki Goneva, they were well below par.

England flanker Tom Croft, fit again after a knee injury, had been picked on the bench but withdrew because his wife is expecting a baby.

Wasps scored the only try of the game, Alapati Leiua going over just after half-time, but despite that and 11 points from the boot of fly-half Andy Goode, they came up just short.

Dai Young, Wasps' director of rugby, said their lack of discipline had been costly, not least at the end when captain Chris Bell gave away the decisive penalty.

He said: "We are disappointed. You don't get many opportunities to win here and we had an opportunity today.

"I am not saying we were the better team but the game could have gone either way. It was very tight.

"We had our noses in front and we gave away three silly penalties that cost us in the end.

"That's the disappointing factor. On the positive side we had a response from the players after last week's performance at Exeter which was unacceptable and led to questions being asked internally.

"The players gave everything. It's the sort of standard we have to maintain."


From Belfast Telegraph