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Cockerill keen on continued improvement

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Richard Cockerill says Leicester Tigers have shown improvement week-on-week in the Kings of the North but warned there is still plenty of work to do ahead of the new Aviva Premiership season.Tigers followed up a 36-19 victory over Newcastle Falcons last Saturday with a 30-28 verdict in the return fixture at Kingston Park on Friday evening, with tries from Harry Thacker, Seremaia Bai, Riccardo Brugnara and Freddie Burns. But they were made to hang on as Falcons were denied a score in the last move of the match when Tigers wing Adam Thompstone got back to hold up centre Chris Harris over the tryline.   “In the first 25 minutes we executed really well and got a good lead,” said director of rugby Cockerill as Tigers made it two wins from three games in the Kings of the North after defeat at Sale Sharks in the opening week.   “But then they got the chargedown and the penalty try just on half-time which made it a bit of an arm-wrestle and they could have won it right at the end.   “Newcastle played well, as they did at Welford Road last week, and they came back into the game. In the end we were probably a little fortunate to get away with the win.   “But it was a good exercise for both teams. Both sides played some really good stuff.  Our execution was better than last week and we’re starting to see how we’re going to play.   “It’s always nice to get a win but also it gives us an opportunity to look back and improve on different areas and we need to cut out the individual errors because you can’t get away with them when it really counts. We’ll just keep working and look to improve again.”   Cockerill believes there is a lot to take out of the first three weeks of Kings of the North fixtures, with the home game against Sale Sharks to come in the finale on October 10 to come after next week’s pre-season match against Loughborough University at Welford Road.   “Our shapes and understanding are coming together, but we’ve got to start the season strongly,” he added.   “We’ve got more game-time into the boys, Tom Croft got another 70 minutes under his belt, we had a couple of the younger players get some more time and learn some more lessons too. We did some good things. Now the aim is to build on that in the next couple of weeks as we head into the league season.”   Tickets for all home games in 2015/16, including fixtures against Loughborough University (October 3, 4pm) and Sale Sharks (October 10, 3pm), are available now from the Tigers ticket office at Welford Road. Call in, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or click here to book online. Both of these fixtures are included in Tigers season tickets.