A crowd of 21,473 – the biggest of the weekend in Europe’s Heineken Cup and the best of the season so far at Welford Road – witnessed a tight and tense game, with Tigers scoring the only try and coming through to a 20-9 victory.
“Our attitude to defend and to control the game, and not force it, was old ‘Leicester Tigers style’ in some ways,” said director of rugby Cockerill as Tigers made it two wins from two in Pool 4.
“We did enough to win the game and we’re delighted not to concede a try.
“It was a classic European contest between two good sides. Our form has not been great but today we were somewhere near where we need to be.
“In tight games defence is going to be massive and our defence in the last three years has been very, very good but this year, for a number of reasons, it has not been as good as we would have liked. Today our attitude there was fantastic.
“You build a good side on defence. We have been scoring tries all season but we have been leaking too many.”
Matt Smith scored the only try of the game, with Toby Flood kicking the remainder of the points, and Ian Humphreys landing three penalties for the visitors.
“Ulster are a very good side, they have a lot of Test players in the backline and a good forward pack, and they made us very hard for our points,” said Cockerill.
“This is a good win but there is a long way to go. We are pleased but we’re certainly not celebrating. They will be difficult to beat at Ravenhill and we have two huge games to come with Clermont next month.”