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Defence secures a point at Irish

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Though disappointed in defeat at London Irish, Richard Cockerill praised the Leicester Tigers defence for ensuring the team did not return from the Madejski Stadium empty-handed.

“We were bit disappointed in the dressing room because we are better than that,” said the Tigers head coach after an 18-12 defeat which took Irish to the top of the Guinness Premiership table for 24 hours.

“We gave away too many penalties and we were not accurate enough in possession. Some of the set-piece in the first half was poor and we’ll deal with it in training.

“We expect better, but we showed good fighting spirit away from home against a good side. 

“At half-time we said we needed to take the game to them a bit more and put them under a bit of pressure, but we didn’t do enough of that.

“We defended well and our defence got us the point really. I would have been disappointed if Ryan Lamb had kicked that penalty at the end and denied us a bonus point.”

Fly-half Lamb scored all of the hosts’ points, kicking them into a 9-3 lead by half-time and adding three more penalties in the second half. Jeremy Staunton kicked three for Tigers, with replacement Ben Youngs adding another.

“They are a dangerous side but they did not score a try, so you have to take some pride in our defence,” added Cockerill.

“When you have got so much experience missing sometimes you miss that calm head to help you out.

“But we take the point knowing we are going to have some very good people coming back into the mix and we will only get better. The players are working really hard and have done very well.”

Tigers were dealt a blow with prop Julian White suffering a hamstring injury in the opening minutes of the game.

“He was competing for the ball, he slipped and it looks like he has torn his hamstring,” said Cockerill. “He will have to have a scan and we’ll assess it then.”