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  • Penalty, Tuqiri (2), Murphy,
    Penalty goals: Flood (2),
    Conversions: Flood (4),
34 - 8

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  • van Gisbergen,
    Penalty goals: Cipriani,

Cockerill 'proud' of performance

But Leicester boss plays down talk of Cole call-up

Last updated: 9th January 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Cockerill 'proud' of performance

Cockerill: Proud

The scrum has been the foundation of our recent victories and young Dan Cole has played his part

Richard Cockerill
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Richard Cockerill said his Leicester side did him "proud" in beating Wasps 34-8 to go top of the Guinness Premiership.

Having trailed 8-3 in the first half following Mark van Gisbergen's second-minute try, the Tigers could have gone even further behind had Danny Cipriani not missed a penalty.

Leicester nevertheless went in front at the break as Johne Murphy's 40th-minute try was converted by Toby Flood.

Cockerill's side then dominated the second half, with two tries from Lote Tuqiri - the ex-Australia wing's first and second for the club - and a penalty try, plus a total of 14 points from Flood's boot, securing victory at Welford Road.

Leicester's scrum was again dominant, with tighthead prop Dan Cole turning in a man-of-the-match display, although Cockerill played down talk of an England Six Nations call up for the 22-year-old.

"I am so proud because we've beaten a very fine team after working so hard all week to get the game on," said Cockerill.

"On average we do 15-20 scrums a week, but I've played in France and we have some Argentine guys here so our scrummaging experience is good.

"The scrum has been the foundation of our recent victories and young Dan Cole has played his part.

"He is a local lad who wants to play for his local club and I don't want him getting bogged down in talk of England.

"Dan is only 22 and has lots to learn. But he is playing well, and it's up to the England coaches.

"Graham Rowntree is a very good coach and you have to leave that up to them."

Thrilled

Tuqiri said he was thrilled to break his try-scoring duck, but was quick to acknowledge the work of the forwards.

"Playing behind a pack like ours is sensational, and it was tremendous to get the tries after being here for seven weeks," he said.

"This is one great club and I'm already having a good time, even with this weather."

Meanwhile, Wasps rugby director Tony Hanks said that Cipriani's penalty miss was a crucial blot on an otherwise creditable display in the number 10 jersey.

"I was pleased with Danny Cipriani's performance at fly-half," said Hanks.

"He is back to good form, and while it was a bit ambitious not taking that penalty in the first half when we led 8-3, that is now the reason we go home empty handed."

Hanks also admitted his side needed to improve in the scrum.

"We didn't take a couple of penalties when we should, then we lost Tim Payne to the bin and that set us back.

"Scrums are hugely important, and you have to be on your mettle there. We'll go away and work very hard on that area.

"We've got a few injuries and a few guys to come back, but we also need to get working on our scrummage in the coming weeks.

"You learn and improve by playing, not just working on the scrum machine."

Hanks added: "Simon Shaw suffered a hyper-expansion of the knee so we took him off as a precaution."

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