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Crucial win for Tigers in the semi-final race

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Leicester Tigers were made to wait for it but Richard Cockerill says the team were "smart enough" to stretch their winning run to six games at Newcastle on Sunday.A try from Tommy Bell with just five minutes remaining gave Tigers the lead for the first time in the afternoon – with Freddie Burns making the most of penalty advantage to use a decisive crosskick into the right-hand corner.   The 16-12 triumph completed a cleansweep of four wins from four games in the Six Nations period, following two successive LV= Cup victories, and moved Tigers into fifth place in the Aviva Premiership table on 51 points.   “We were smart enough to work it out in the end,” said director of rugby Cockerill.   “I’ve been here many times over the years as player and coach, and you can get turned over if you don’t get it right.   “In the end we got it and that is really positive. The win is huge for us.   “Newcastle played very well, they had us under pressure for large parts of the game and we had to battle to find a way to win.   “We’ll have to have a look at how we played and the accuracy because that was poor at times, but that was also down to how well Newcastle played and it’s a big win for us in the race for the top four.”   Tigers lost Niall Morris and Tom Croft to injury during the second half, with replacement Jack Roberts also going off in the closing stages, but retained their resolve as they recorded an 11th league win of the season.   “We played as well as they let us at times,” said Cockerill. “There was disruption during the game, losing Croft and Morris, then Roberts coming on and having to go off again, but we managed it quite well.   “It could have gone against us, but we came through.   “We had a four-game block and we are four from four. We are probably going to have to play considerably better in the remaining games and we understand that.   “We’ve got five games left to get into a semi-final if we can manage it.”   Tigers are on LV= Cup duty this Sunday with a semi-final against Exeter Chiefs at Welford Road. Kick-off is at 1pm and tickets are available now, prices from £15 adult, £5 junior. Book in person at the Tiger ticket office, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or click here to book online.