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  • Leota, Paterson, Thomas,
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Aviva Premiership: Richard Cockerill hails Toby Flood; Steve Diamond lambasts referee

Last updated: 3rd May 2014  

 Steve Diamond

Steve Diamond: Unimpressed by referee JP Doyle

richard cockerill leicester tigers

Richard Cockerill: Delighted with the performance of Toby Flood

We're going to have to go away unless something horrible happens to Saints and we've got to get it right next week as well. We want to still win this and we still think that we can win it and that we're good enough.

Richard Cockerill
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Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill paid tribute to outgoing Toby Flood after the defending champions secured their place in the Aviva Premiership playoffs with a 42-22 win at Sale.

Tigers were in fine form and crossed for five straight tries, two of which came from Toulouse-bound Flood.

Sharks then hit back with three successive late tries before David Mele scored from the final play of the match to cap off a resounding victory, but Cockerill believes the Tigers still have work to do.

Cockerill was quick to praise Flood, who came on as a replacement for the injured Anthony Allen in the 29th minute.

"He was great for us at 12," Cockerill said. "I was really happy with him.

"He did some good things out there for us and his attitude was great.

"Over the last few weeks it's been a bit of a difficult time for him but I thought that he showed how good his attitude was today and we were really pleased with him."

Fighting chance

Cockerill was also delighted that his side managed to secure a top-four finish for the 10th successive season, but admitted he does not wish the season to end there.

"It's nice that we've got to this point but we want to win it," he added. "I know everyone's sitting back and saying we're in a semi-final and that's okay considering the problems we've had - but that's not what we're about.

"We're going to have to go away unless something horrible happens to Saints and we've got to get it right next week as well. We want to still win this and we still think that we can win it and that we're good enough.

"We are still the champions at this point and we haven't been as good as we could have been at some points this year - but we've given ourselves a fighting chance."

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond slammed the performance of JP Doyle, the referee, but did not use that as an excuse for the defeat.

Outrageous

"I was disappointed with the ref and some of his decisions in the scrum," he claimed. "In the first half he was outrageous.

"I don't like to blame the referees because sometimes they get it right or get it wrong and he isn't the reason we've lost - but there were two decisions in the first half where he was horrendously wrong."

Diamond, who was shortlisted for the Premiership Director of the Year award earlier in the week, admitted Leicester were the better side at the end of the day and said there can be no complaints on Sale's behalf.

"I thought that we were beaten by the better side overall," he added. "In the first half they deserved to be in front. They scored two good tries, they worked our line speed out and chipped over it so there are no complaints really.

"I thought we had a disastrous start to the second half and we then came back in the last 20 minutes, so we're disappointed.

"Overall, we probably climbed the mountain a few weeks ago against Northampton, Bath and Exeter and it's very difficult to motivate yourself after that."

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Aviva Premiership Table

Aviva Premiership Table - July 9 2014
Pos Team P Pts
10 Sale Sharks 0 0
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 5th September
Aviva Premiership
19:45Northampton vs Gloucester
Saturday 6th September
14:00Sale vs Bath
14:00Saracens vs Wasps
15:00Leicester vs Newcastle
16:30London Irish vs Harlequins
Sunday 7th September
14:00London Welsh vs Exeter
Friday 12th September
19:45Harlequins vs Saracens
Saturday 13th September
15:00Gloucester vs Sale
15:00Bath vs London Welsh
15:15Exeter vs Leicester
Sunday 14th September
14:00Wasps vs Northampton
15:00Newcastle vs London Irish
Friday 19th September
19:45Gloucester vs Exeter
Saturday 20th September
14:00Sale vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Wasps
15:00London Irish vs Saracens
15:15Bath vs Leicester
Sunday 21st September
14:00Newcastle vs Northampton
Friday 26th September
19:45London Welsh vs Gloucester
Saturday 27th September
15:00Leicester vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Sale
15:15Northampton vs Bath
Sunday 28th September
14:00Wasps vs Newcastle
14:00Exeter vs Harlequins
Friday 3rd October
19:45Bath vs Saracens

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