Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Disappointing end to winning run

Figure image
Richard Cockerill says Leicester Tigers "lost the physical contest" in suffering a first defeat of the season at Exeter on Saturday.After wins over London Irish, Harlequins and Wasps in the opening three rounds of the Aviva Premiership season, Tigers went to Sandy Park looking for a seventh successive win over the Chiefs but returned empty-handed after a 19-6 defeat.   “The score was relatively close, it was 13-6 until the last few minutes and we could have perhaps dug in for a point, but we weren’t as good as we needed to be and paid the penalty,” said Tigers director of rugby Cockerill.   “We were in the fight for a long time but we lost the physical contest. Exeter are a good team, they played well, they deserved the win.”   Cockerill, though, could take some positives out of the day as Dom Barrow started his first game since his recovery from a knee injury suffered last season, Jordan Crane made his first start of the season after issues with a knee injury during the summer and Ben Youngs returned to club colours after recovering from an ankle injury picked up during the World Cup.   “We decided to rotate some of the squad and rest some players who needed a rest,” said Cockerill. “But there are a few boys there who have not had much game-time and they will be better for it. It’s a long season and, by and large, the squad has done a very good job.   “Dom Barrow has played only 15 minutes in the last eight months, Jordan has not played much rugby for a while, we got Ben back on the field and we saw Telusa Veainu at full-back for the first time.   “It is Round 4, we’ve had three wins but the table is irrelevant at this point and there is a lot of rugby to come, there will be internationals calls, injuries, all of that to deal with. You have to trust your squad.”   Tigers return to action on Friday evening with a home game against French champions Stade Francais in the opening match of this season’s European Rugby Champions Cup. Kick-off is at 7.45pm and tickets are available now from the Tigers ticket office at Welford Road. Call in, phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2) or book online.