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Rugby News

Cole picks apart Sale defeat

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Leicester Tigers front-rower Dan Cole says the playing squad are ultimately responsible for the poor discipline shown against Sale Sharks.

The visitors were penalised 17 times by referee Ian Tempest on Friday evening, and lost both captain Cole and Noel Reid to the sin bin during the Round 11 tie.

And the Tigers tighthead held his hands up to the ill-discipline in his post-match chat with reporters at the AJ Bell Stadium.

“That’s ultimately on us,” Cole said. “Any time the penalty count is as one-sided as that – which is our doing – you’re not putting yourself in a position to be particularly successful.

“We’ve got to be better at not allowing things to snowball.”

And, while the game took place in grim conditions in the North-West, the 98-cap international asserted there could be no excuses for the team’s performance.

He continued: “There was a wind blowing straight down the field which was against us in the second half, and it was a fairly heavy field. But that’s the same for both teams.

“We have to do a better job as a team to get momentum, because once you lose that – whether it’s ball-carrying, scrum or maul – it’s very difficult to get that back.”

“We can either just talk about it, or turn up on Monday morning and put things right.”

The men in green, white and red will have a chance to do exactly that in front of a home crowd this weekend, when Worcester Warriors are the visitors to Welford Road (Saturday, February 29, 3.00pm).

“The crowd have been brilliant [for us],” Cole added. “You look at that Wasps game … they’re a passionate crowd, and that feeds into how we play.

“The players get a boost from the crowd and the crowd get a boost from the players.

“Welford Road is obviously a very important place for us to play. We need to continue our good form there, especially on the back of a game like this.”

“We need to make sure we put things right.”