The Tigers head coach saw Tigers claim a bonus point thanks to tries from Johne Murphy, Ben Kay, Lewis Moody and Jordan Crane.
“It was a hard-earned win,” said Cockerill. “I’m delighted for the boys, their attitude and effort were tremendous. I think we played all the rugby and we scored some good tries.
“We created scoring opportunities and maybe we should have finished off one or two more, but you have to be happy with four tries and five points.
“We also defended really well when we had to. We were under pressure at times and towards the end they were camped on our line but we kept getting up and making the tackles.
“Our defence has been good all year and we don’t concede many tries.”
The return to action after injury of Harry Ellis, Sam Vesty and Ben Woods also brought Chirstmas cheer to a capacity 24,000 crowd, as well as the coaching and playing staff, though flanker Woods did receive a yellow card after offending at a ruck soon after joining the fray.
“We are getting some combinations back and it was great to see Harry, Sam and Woodsy back,” said Cockerill.
“We are picking from a fuller squad, which gives everybody a boost and means we can look after guys who have had to play a lot of rugby. Geordan, Julian White and Castro are also still to come in so we have some big guys to come back.”
Tigers go to Guinness Premiership leaders Saracens on Sunday (3pm) before hosting London Wasps on Saturday, January 9 (5.30pm).
“We had a good win over Clermont here and a good bonus-point win over Sale,” said Cockerill assessing successive home wins which ensured Tigers went through the whole of 2009 without defeat at Welford Road.
“Now we have to build some momentum and we have two more big games coming up. We just have to keep working hard and keep improving.”