Boss Cockerill hails ‘best performance of season’ from Leicester Tigers

Dylan Hartley feels the pain as Saints are swept aside by Leicester Tigers at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday (picture: Linda Dawson)
Dylan Hartley feels the pain as Saints are swept aside by Leicester Tigers at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday (picture: Linda Dawson)

Richard Cockerill hailed his side’s best performance of the season after Leicester Tigers thrashed Saints at Franklin’s Gardens.

Cockerill’s men claimed a 36-8 victory, picking up a bonus point in the process, to claim the east midlands bragging rights for the seventh successive game.

Pictures by Linda Dawson;

Pictures by Linda Dawson;

Saints had no answer to the problems posed by players such as powerhouse centre Manu Tuilagi, who scored two tries, and creative fly-half Toby Flood.

And Cockerill was delighted with the way his players performed as they kept a tight hold on the Premiership’s second spot.

“I thought it was the best we’ve played this season,” said Cockerill. “Our set piece and defence was very good, our half-backs were outstanding.

“I’m probably a little bit disappointed we didn’t get across the whitewash in the first half, but that second half performance, coming back from them scoring and potentially getting back in the game, was impressive from us.”

Saints had scored four tries at Wasps seven days earlier, using their maul to gun down Dai Young’s men.

But they couldn’t get on top up front against Tigers and Cockerill was left with a smile on his face as his game plan paid off.

“Our attitude was good,” he said. “We wanted to come here and play. I though they’d come at us as hard as they could.

“It was obviously a massive game for both sides and our intention was to come and meet fire with fire physically, both at scrum and lineout and to play at them and try to keep them on the back foot.

“They’ve got some danger in their backs and they’ve obviously got some power in the forwards and we just came here to be as positive as we could.

“It’s no secret if you can stop Saints’ set piece they struggle to get rhythm in their game, that was our aim and thankfully that was the case.”