We must be more ruthless – Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill
Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill insists his side need to be more ruthless, despite earning a bonus-point Aviva Premiership victory at London Irish.
Tigers were 14-0 up after half-an-hour and cruising at a rain-soaked Madejski Stadium.
But they lost momentum and some sloppy play allowed the struggling Exiles back into the game at 14-9 as a tense final 15 minutes approached .
Tigers saved their blushes by stepping up the pace again to secure not only the win but a maximum points haul with Niall Morris' last-minute try.
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It was not the first time this season that Tigers have taken their foot off the pedal to allow an opposition team back into the game, and Cockerill says his team must start killing teams off.
"That game was the tale of our season," he said. "We had a really good first-half and had the opportunity to score several more points – but we didn't take them.
"We made line breaks and coughed up the ball. We had our tails up and we have to take those opportunities when they come.
"If we had taken just one of them and made it 21-0, it would have been a different game.
"In the second-half, we came out and just expected it to happen. That was disappointing.
"We could have made things that bit easier for ourselves, and we just need a bit better control."
Aside from his criticism of a strong Tigers side that was as near to full strength as it has been all season, Cockerill was delighted with the five points that took his side back into the top three.
Morris' opening score came off a gorgeous cross-field kick from the outstanding Toby Flood and the pack earned a penalty try on the half-hour which made it 14-0.
The Exiles battled back to give themselves a chance at 14-9 but a second penalty try, scored when Morris was tackled off the ball by Irish flanker Jamie Gibson as he was about to score in the 74th-minute, killed off the game as a contest.
Then Morris' last-minute score completed his brace and a 31-9 scoreline.
"It was great vision by Floody for our first try and he did some good things," said Cockerill. "His penalty goal to put us 17-9 up was also quality. He looked very assured considering he has not played for so long.
"Niall Morris did really well too. If he hadn't been tackled without the ball, he would have had a hat-trick.
"As it was, he made two great finishes. You don't out-pace the Irish back three very often but that is what he did for our final try.
"He was outstanding and has been working very hard at his game. He is doing a really good job for us.
"It was five points on the road and that is a good return for us."