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Cockerill unhappy with 'naive' Tigers

Director of rugby Richard Cockerill was disappointed with the performance and thinking of his Leicester side after they fell to a 23-9 defeat to Toulouse in Pool Two of the Heineken Cup.

The Tigers had been 9-6 ahead moments before the interval when they conceded the only try of the match to Gael Fickou. Luke McAlister's boot then allowed Toulouse to pull away in the second half, prompting Cockerill to question some of the decisions his players made on the pitch.

"I'm very disappointed with what happened before half-time. To cough up the ball for a soft try like that was disappointing," said Cockerill. "Naive at times is probably the right description of us."

The Leicester boss was particularly incensed by the decision of scrum-half Ben Youngs to take a quick tap penalty rather than three easy points early in the second half.

"We were still very much in the game at half-time at 11-9, but if you get a penalty in front of the posts you should take it," he said. "You don't want those guys who are making those errors to do that. It was a huge moment at 14-9 when Ben Youngs took a quick tap penalty.

"We turned over the ball, gave away a penalty and everything began to get harder for us. Once they get in front they are a hard team to claw back.

"We also conceded seven penalty shots at goal and even though some of the decisions were a bit harsh, they were also down to ill-discipline.

"We lost our composure and once they get on top they are a hard side to contain. I'm bitterly disappointed with the bits of the game we could and should have controlled.

"With the quality we had on the field we needed to handle things a bit better. But there were still lots of things we did out there that were good. In the end we came up short, but they are a damn good side.

"We need to play the ball in the right areas and make the right decisions at the right time. We can't afford to turn the ball over and we have to take the points when they present themselves. There were things we should have done and didn't, and that cost us."


From Belfast Telegraph