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Opening win provides a base for Tigers

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Richard Cockerill described Saturday's bonus-point win as the "perfect start" to the season for the Leicester Tigers players and also for the coaching team.

Vereniki Goneva claimed a hat-trick of tries and David Mele dotted down the bonus-point score as Tigers beat Newcastle Falcons 36-17 in front of a 22,000-strong crowd at Welford Road on the opening day of the Aviva Premiership season.
“It was a perfect start from a result point of view,” said Tigers director of rugby Cockerill.
“It’s good for us because we start with the five points but also with the knowledge that we have lots to work on.
“Newcastle came with intent to play and it could have been a banana skin, but we acquitted ourselves very well. I was really happy with the composure of the team.
“Newcastle got a foothold in the game with that try early in the second half but we took the momentum from there. We recovered from conceding a bit of a soft try and scored four good tries of our own.
“I’m happy with the five points, it is a base for us to work from and now we have to move on to Exeter on Saturday.”
Asked about the form of the new faces in the team – Freddie Burns, Seremaia Bai and Leonardo Ghiraldini started the game, with Robert Barbieri and Christian Loamanu among the Tigers replacements – Cockerill said they had all made a decent start.
“I don’t want to single out anyone in particular, I thought they were solid and did some good things,” said Cockerill.
“Everyone is finding their feet and there are a lot of quality players to come back in. I think the guys who came in all stepped up very well too. Those five points will be very important.”
Tigers have away games against Exeter Chiefs and Bath Rugby over the next two weekends before the next home game, against London Irish at Welford Road on Saturday, September 27. This match is a 3pm kick-off and tickets are available now. Book at the Tigers ticket office or phone 0844 856 1880 (open 8.30am-5pm weekdays, until 8pm Wednesdays and 9am-5pm Saturdays). Or click here to book online at any time.