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'Proud' Tigers bounce back on home turf

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Richard Cockerill praised "a proud performance" from the Leicester Tigers team in grabbing a last-gasp victory over Munster at Welford Road on Saturday.

A crowd of more than 24,000 – the highest for a European Cup fixture at the stadium – saw Owen Williams kick the decisive penalty in the dying moments as Tigers won 18-16 just a week after a 38-0 defeat against the same opponents in Ireland.
“It was a fantastic game of rugby,” said director of rugby Cockerill. “Both sides went at it and I’m delighted with the win.
“Last week was not acceptable, nobody tried to get away from that. We copped it on the chin and we’ve taken a lot of flak, but now we have come back and performed well, we stayed in the battle and we’ve taken the win in the end.
“I am proud of this club and proud of the performance tonight. I’m delighted we won, but even if we hadn’t got the last kick, I would have said the same thing about the performance. Munster are a good side, but so are we.
“We rolled our sleeves up, gritted our teeth and got stuck in. You can talk about systems and how you are going to play and tactics and everything else but gainline physicality, the ‘want’ to do your job and to put bodies on the line, they are the parts players have to bring. And they did that.
“I’m delighted for the club and for the supporters. It was a proud performance.”
Fly-half Williams landed the winning kick from inside the Tigers half just moments after Munster had snatched the lead with a try from a lineout drive.
“Of all the blokes we have, Owen is the man to kick the goal from there in that situation,” said Cockerill. “He wanted to take it on and we’re just gratefully he got it and we got the win.
“We battled so much to get back into the game and stay in the game after they’d got a couple of early penalties. But even when we conceded the try, the message under the sticks was to try to get the ball back and try to get that chance to win it.”
Tigers are back in Aviva Premiership action with a trip to Exeter Chiefs on Christmas Eve and then host defending champions Saracens at Welford Road on New Year’s Day. Kick-off is at 3pm and tickets are available now.