“I expect it to be a physical encounter,” says Cockerill. “They’re desperate for a win and we desperately need a win as well. They’re a very big, physical team with a coach with a huge reputation. They’ve actually played some really good stuff this year and, at times, they’ve had a bit of bad luck. They’ve got a huge pack of forwards and they play to that strength so it’ll be good to see how our boys deal with that.”
After starting the season with three successive wins, Tigers have fallen short in their last two outings but Cockerill is confident they can bounce back at Welford Road on Saturday afternoon.
“We’ve had conversations with the players about certain things and hopefully we’ll get those right for the weekend. We had a good start to the game against Saracens. We actually played some good stuff but we made some simple, basic errors and they capitalised on those. They scored two easy tries from our turnovers and that killed us really. Having looked at the stats, it’s not surprising we didn’t win the game, but these things happen. I’m no faulting their effort because their effort is absolutely first class but at times we make the wrong decision and they’ve cost us on the last two weekends.
“We go into the match against Worcester at the weekend knowing that it’s a must-win game for us. If we come out of this period with four wins from six games, then that will have been a good return for us, although I wanted six from six. If that was as good a performance as we could have put in at the weekend, then I wouldn’t be so disappointed, but we’re a better team than we’ve shown over the last two weeks and that’s frustrating for everybody. We’re moving towards Europe and the EDF Energy Cup now so it’s important that we finish the league campaign on a good note so that when we come back, we can be pushing on to get in the top two in the Premiership.”
Tickets for the game against Worcester (kick-off 3pm) are available from the Tigers ticket office, via this website or by calling 08701 28 34 30.