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Battle of nerve ends with honours even

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Richard Cockerill was pleased that Leicester Tigers "held their nerve" in Sunday's Aviva Premiership draw against Saracens.

In testing conditions in non-stop rain respective kickers Owen Williams and Charlie Hodgson kicked all the points in a 21-21 draw, with Tigers fly-half Williams’ seventh penalty levelling scores right on the full-time whistle.
Tigers were never ahead in the game but were never more than six points in arrears against a Saracens side beaten just once in the opening six rounds of the Premiership season.
“Saracens squeeze you and get their points, so it was important today that we kept our nerve,” said director of rugby Cockerill.
“There wasn’t a lot of rugby played – you can’t chase a game in those weather conditions. There was a lot of kicking and chasing, a lot of commitment from both sides, and it was very tight. A draw is probably a fair result.
“But for us to never be in front and to get back into the game and not let them squeeze the life out of us was pleasing.”
Hodgson missed one from eight attempts, with Williams missing twice before landing the all-important kick with the clock down to zero at the end of the 80 minutes.
“I never had any issues with Owen’s nerve at the end,” said Cockerill.
“He missed an easy one in the first half but you’d back him to kick that last one. He doesn’t worry about it, he’s not flaky, and I’m grateful he kept his nerve and did what he had to do.
“On a day like that, it’s about field position and Charlie Hodgson gave a bit of a masterclass in controlling that and kicking in those conditions. That is how you learn, playing against those guys.
“I thought the attitude of the squad was great. Brad Thorn had a great attitude as captain, everybody’s attitude was good against a side who are very hard to beat.
“Harry Thacker did really well, Tommy Bell came on for his Premiership debut for us and did well, Fraser Balmain came off the bench and made an impact and that’s another stage in his development.”
Tigers go to London Welsh in Round 8 next Sunday and then host Wasps on Saturday, November 29 (3pm). Tickets are available now. Call in at Welford Road, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or click here to book online.