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Defence earns cup victory for Tigers

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Richard Cockerill says the Leicester Tigers defence was key to victory at London Irish in the opening round of the LV= Cup on Saturday.

Tries from Miles Benjamin and Robert Barbieri, plus seven points from full-back Tommy Bell, gave Tigers a valuable away win at the Madejski Stadium, but they were put under massive pressure from the home side at times.
“It was a competitive game, both teams went at it and it could have gone either way,” said the Tigers director of rugby. 

“But probably our defence won it in the end. All the young lads manned up really well and the senior lads did too.
“We scored a really good first try and then forced the error for the second try, which came from pressure in defence.”
Tigers gave debuts to Bell, Oli Bryant, Jake Farnworth and Charlie Beckett, plus on-loan Paul Grant, in the starting line-up and handed first appearances to Ed Milne, Jack Roberts and Charlie Thacker from the replacements.
“I thought all the lads did themselves justice across the board,” said Cockerill.
“Some young players who have never played at this level came into the side and did it justice, which is a great credit to them all.
“It was a youthful team with a sprinkling of experience and that works really well. Now those young lads know what it is about. It was really positive to see them come through that and learn some lessons.
“I’m delighted with the performance and win make it all the sweeter. Young players developing and winning at the same time is a really good combination.
“Richard Blaze and Geordan Murphy ran the team this week with Phil Blake. They have done all the organisation and the game-plan as part of their development. I’m delighted for them. They got the best out of this group of players and did that really well.”
Tigers host Sale Sharks in the second round of matches this Sunday (3.15pm). Tickets are available now from the Tigers ticket office. Call in at Welford Road or phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2). The office is open 8.30am-5pm weekdays, until 8pm Wednesdays, 9am-5pm Saturday and from 9am this Sunday.
Or click here to book online any time.