Cockerill aware of task ahead

Published: Saturday 17th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill is aware the Tigers may still miss out on the European Champions Cup quarter-finals despite their bonus point victory at home to the Scarlets.

The two-time champions’ 40-23 win over the Welsh region put them on 13 points in Pool Three and kept alive their slim hopes of picking up one of the three best runners-up spots.

With Toulon almost certain to top the group, Leicester will need maximum points in their final game away to Ulster next weekend to stand a chance of making the last eight.

However, Cockerill said: “Ravenhill is a difficult place to go.

“We are going to need five points to qualify and even that may not be enough.

“To go to Ravenhill and win is one thing. That would be an achievement. To go there and score four tries and get five points is a big ask, but we will see.

“If we have to go there with that mindset and have a crack at it we will see what we have to do.”

Leicester scored six tries against an injury-ravaged Scarlets, four coming in the second half when they turned a narrow 14-11 lead into a runaway victory.

Their tries came from replacement Tom Youngs (two), Miles Benjamin, Jordan Crane, Adam Thompstone and Sam Harrison. Scarlets replied through Harry Robinson (two) and Rob Evans.

Leicester’s line-out and drive proved a potent weapon, with three of their tries coming from that area on a night when Scarlets injury problems proved a big hurdle for them.

Cockerill said: “We are happy with the win, it was a relatively good performance. We were clinical when we needed to be.

“We got what we wanted and it gives us a fighting chance for next week.”

Scarlets are now out of the competition and head coach Wayne Pivac said: “It was a bridge too far for us.

“They were clinical. The penalties we gave away in our half they kicked to the corner and punished us. They are very good in that area of the game.

“They made a couple of substitutions in the front row and it was a struggle from that point on.

“The boys wanted to move the ball around and when we got good possession in the first half we made good inroads, got a good try and it was game on.

“But they scored those tries after half-time and put us under pressure.”

Pivac refused to use the loss of several Wales internationals and six front rowers as an excuse.

He said: “The sort of players we were missing make a difference, but the guys we had out there was what we had to work with and I thought they put up a brave effort.”

Published: Saturday 17th January 2015 by The News Editor

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