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Depleted Tigers delight Cockerill


Richard Cockerill

Richard Cockerill

Richard Cockerill

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill paid tribute to the depth of his squad as they strengthened their lead at the top of the Aviva Premiership with a hard-fought win at bottom club Leeds.

Brothers Manu and Alesana Tuilagi scored tries either side of half-time and Jeremy Staunton kicked five points as Leicester hung on to win 15-9 against Carnegie.

Adrian Jarvis kicked nine points as Leeds claimed what could be a vital bonus point in their battle to avoid the drop, but Cockerill - whose side were shorn of seven Six Nations internationals and another seven through injury - said: "With the guys missing - we had about 14 overall - it's a day to get the win and with the results yesterday it was really important."

He added: "Just because it was Leeds, those points are just as important.

"Not many other teams would have come here and been able to cope with that many absentees."

The game was played in driving rain that levelled the playing field for the division's bottom club and Cockerill said: "We looked at the weather, we hoped it wouldn't be raining, but unfortunately it was. We made a really good start and got good early points, but sometimes our attempts to play worked against us.

"We tried to play but with the weather conditions and the pitch deteriorating, it was hard.

"Leeds stuck to their task and really took it to us and with five minutes to go they were camped on our line.

"If they keep playing like that they'll cause teams problems. Sides will come here and struggle if they play like that."

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