Impetuous decisions cost us, says Leicester Tigers' boss Richard Cockerill
Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill blamed "impetuous" decisions for his side's costly 23-9 Heineken Cup defeat at Toulouse.
Cockerill's men had carried out their game plan successfully to open up a 9-6 lead late in the first half as a big Stadium Municipal crowd began to get nervous.
But two key moments either side of half-time saw Tigers shoot themselves in the foot and the change in momentum put the French in the box seat in this Pool Two opener.
Firstly, Vereniki Goneva decided to offload in midfield but Thomas Waldrom spilled the ball and Gael Fickou hacked on to score the game's only try on 37 minutes.
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Then, at 14-9 down in the second period, scrum-half Ben Youngs decided to run a penalty in front of the Toulouse posts which came to nothing.
Had Leicester kicked, the score would almost certainly have come back to 14-12.
"We did some good things but there were key moments in the game where we simply had to be better than we were," said a frustrated Cockerill.
"We knew we had to control the ball and territory which we did well for 37 minutes.
"But then we turned the ball over and they scored. Instead of being three points ahead, we were suddenly two points behind.
"Then after the re-start, we get a penalty in front of the posts and we choose to tap-and-go instead of kicking for three. You cannot do that.
"It was a massive turning point in the game. If we kick the three points and then receive the ball 14-12 down, the momentum is different. But we tapped, knocked on, got penalised from the scrum and the whole momentum has changed.
"You cannot have impetuous moments because that costs you games and points.
"Ben has only played one game this season but that (decision) was not lack of sharpness. It was a moment of him wanting to be good – but we didn't need him to do that at that stage.
"That was bitterly disappointing. We came with a plan and that worked for 37 minutes. Then Goneva offloads and they score. Why not kick the ball and chase it then like Toulouse did?
"If we don't give away the try and kick the three points, we are eight points to the better. That makes it a close game.
"We have got to learn our lesson very quickly. At the top level, everything we do has to be right.
"Everyone is a bit disappointed because parts of it we did okay."