Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Leicester cruise against Worcester but Richard Cockerill wants more from defence

Richard Cockerill admitted Leicester's defensive problems were 'not fixed' despite their comfortable 34-13 Aviva Premiership home win over Worcester.

The Tigers parted company with Scott Hansen this week as the defence coach, who came from New Zealand with head coach Aaron Mauger last season, paid the price for his side conceding 30 points or more in three of their opening five games.

Leicester conceded just one try against an average Worcester side and scored four for a bonus point win which keeps them in fourth place after the first phase of Premiership matches.

Cockerill, Leicester's director of rugby, said: "The players needed to front up and they did that.

"But I thought that, at times, we still struggled defensively. With respect to Worcester, against better sides we would have been punished. It's certainly not all fixed.

"We need to keep working hard and improve. I am always a big believer that if players want to tackle they will, if they don't they won't. We were better today."

Cockerill said Leicester parted company with Hansen because "the one thing you can't do is do nothing".

He said: "Unfortunately, we have not defended as well as we should have. We have been a bit too easy to play against."

Cockerill said he and Mauger would handle defensive duties for the time being, adding: "We have got four pretty experienced coaches. It's about standing in a line and tackling a bloke with a ball!"

Leicester, who led 20-0 at half time, scored four tries through Tom Brady - playing his second game since signing from Sale - Telusa Veainu, Logovi'i Mulipola and Graham Kitchener, with Jaba Bregvadze replying for the Warriors.

Cockerill was happier with the performance after last week's shock defeat at Sale.

He said: "It's job done. Worcester are not a poor side, they have given other sides a lot of trouble.

"We rested a couple of guys, we have got a few missing, but you take the five points. It wasn't spectacular but it was a good win."

Flanker Mike Williams, a recent call-up to the England squad, withdrew after getting a bang on the arm he broke last year during the warm-up.

Cockerill said he did not know whether it would keep him out of Leicester's European Champions Cup clash at Glasgow next weekend, adding: "He has some nerve issues. We will have it scanned and see where he's at. Hopefully it's just a bit of nerve irritation."

Worcester have not won in 14 visits to Leicester going back to 1895 and never looked like breaking that sorry record.

They are struggling near the bottom with just nine points and head coach Carl Hogg said they paid the price for allowing Leicester's back three to run back at them

He said: "We fed their very dangerous back three. And they profited from it.

"We wanted to come here and express ourselves, we didn't want to get into an arm wrestle.

" So we came with the ambition to play but we did not get the high field position in the first half, and we struggled with ball in hand."


From Belfast Telegraph