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All credit to the players for fightback - Cockerill

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Richard Cockerill paid tribute to the staying power of the Leicester Tigers players as they fought back from a 13-point deficit to beat Bath Rugby 24-22 at Welford Road on Sunday.

Bath, who started the weekend as Guinness Premiership leaders, scored three tries on the way to a 22-9 lead which they maintained until midway through the second half, only for Tigers to claim the points with the help of two tries from flanker Tom Croft.

Tigers moved up to fourth place in the league table, and forwards coach Cockerill said: “We saved our best rugby until we are almost dead and buried, but you have got to give the players credit for sticking in there.

“We did not play how we would have liked for 60 minutes but we clung in there and the players kept playing.

“You have got to give the guys credit, Martin Corry and the senior players led it well, and they gave the supporters something to cheer with that grandstand finish.”

Cockerill is leading the coaching team in the absence of head coach Heyneke Meyer, who has returned to South Africa on compassionate leave due to a serious family illness.

“Heyneke planned the week and he has been in contact with me,” Cockerill said. “Now I will ring him with some good news.

“The win is massive for us, it keeps us in there. If we had lost today that would have put a big gap between the top four and the rest, but now we are in the mix with the rest.”

Tigers are at Northampton Saints on Saturday before their next home game, against Benetton Treviso in the Heineken Cup at Welford Road on Saturday, January 17 (3pm kick-off). Tickets are on sale now and, as a special new year treat from Tigers, you can bring the kids for a quid. Contact the Tigers ticket office for details. Call 08701 28 34 30.