Leicester Tigers defence off to shocking start
Leicester Tigers made a losing start to the defence of their LV= Cup crown with a heavy defeat at Saracens last night.
The home side picked up a bonus-point 38-21 win after running in four tries.
Their victory was based on a dominant first-half which saw them build up a 27-0 lead.
Tigers fought back in a more even second period and tries from lock Joe Cain, No.8 Michael Noone and a last-minute effort from replacement hooker Harry Thacker saw them win the period 21-11.
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Leicester lost their opening game in the competition last season after shifting 31 points at Llanelli.
They went on to lift the trophy after winning their next five games but director of rugby, Richard Cockerill maintains this season's Anglo Welsh Cup is firmly in third place on their wanted list.
"We are going to try to win the Aviva Premiership and we are still in a good position in Europe," he said.
"This competition is a healthy distraction if the fringe payers do well. But, at this point, the LV= Cup is not a priority for us.
"We also have the Maori All Blacks on Tuesday so we chose not to pick some of our more experienced players and that showed at times. At hooker, we brought 18-year-old Harry Thacker on in the second half and they brought on World Cup winner John Smit.
"But Saracens played some good stuff and fair play to them.
"Being 13-0 down with the slope against us was not too bad but we tried to force it and they went the length of the field to score, then added another.
"In the second half, we got back into it and did some good things. We had to grit our teeth, roll up our sleeves and show some pride.
"We achieved that but the game was lost at 27-0. We didn't deserve to win."
Cockerill said of Mat Tait's first appearance in 13 months after coming on as a late substitute: "It was good to see Mat back out there and talk about him playing again. Hopefully, he will kick on from here."