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Cockerill: Toulon deserved win

Director of rugby Richard Cockerill admitted his side were physically dominated as Toulon took total control of Champions Cup Pool 3 with a 23-8 win at the Stade Mayol.

Leicester were never in the game and rarely looked like repeating their heroics of last week as the French Top 14 leaders raced out to a 13-0 lead in the opening 14 minutes.

From that point on, the likes of Chris Masoe and Steffon Armitage got control of the breakdown and Tigers were always on the back foot as referee George Clancy penalised them time and time again for holding on.

The hosts were clinical in attack with Ali Williams and Mathieu Bastareaud tries adding to 13 points from the boot of Leigh Halfpenny.

Leicester, meanwhile, wasted their best opportunities amidst a raft of knock-ons and poor decisions.

Cockerill said he was disappointed that he side had got nowhere near their performance in the first match in this double-header.

"We were inaccurate and if you give a side as good as Toulon that many chances, you will get punished," he said. "They played very well and we didn't play as well as we would like. We came second best and they deserved to win.

"The motivation was different for them this week because they were at home.

"In games like this, you have to take your chances and we had a chance in the second half when Mat Tait went clean through and if we had scored there it would have been a different game.

"They played well, they are a big team and we struggled to break them down. We knew that. That's the difference between the squads that have been put together. No complaints, they were the better team.

"Different interpretations at the breakdown are key. George Clancy referees it differently and they were very good at the breakdown. We have to manage the referee better.

"They were very good with Steffon Armitage and Chris Masoe. They were hard at it and they were better than us at the breakdown and the contact point.

"It was as simple as the fact that we were inaccurate and you have to be accurate on the big stage. Owen Williams had a tough day at the office but he is a young guy learning his trade. He will be better for it. Physically we were beaten today by a big strong team.

"Second place is still a realistic position for us. Whether we can get enough points out of our two games though, we will have to see.

"That game at the Scarlets where we were very poor will come back to haunt us because coming here and losing is no disgrace."


From Belfast Telegraph