Richard Cockerill was full of praise for his resilient Leicester Tigers side after they overcame Bristol Rugby to win 21-16 and move within a point of third-place Wasps in Aviva Premiership Rugby.
Tigers downed Harlequins convincingly at Welford Road on Sunday and with a short turnaround, Cockerill was especially pleased with the way they reacted.
Freddie Burns missed a penalty early on but quickly made amends to cancel out 20-year-old Billy Searle’s effort for Bristol.
The Leicester No. 10 then moved Tigers ahead and though Searle pulled a penalty back, Burns was again at the heart of a fine move when his cross-kick found Adam Thompstone for the opening try.
Ellis Genge muscled over for a second just after half-time, but Bristol edged back into contention through former Tiger Rob Hawkins and the boot of Adrian Jarvis.
Appreciate the kind messages, pleased to have got the job done ✅ On to the next
— George Worth (@WorthGeorge) November 25, 2016
And in the face of a late Bristol effort, Tigers held firm, which particularly pleased Cockerill as he prepares for an East Midlands derby against Northampton Saints next time out.
“After just a five-day turnaround, we got the result that we wanted by coming away with the four points,” he said.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t kick on after we scored our second try and take control but our defence was good and we’ve only conceded one try in two games.
“Our resilience was good against a side who played very well and who were unlucky not to get anything from the Bath game last week.”
Great fight from the @Bristol_RFC boys last night. We definitely feel that 1st win isn’t far away. Great noise from all the fans. 👏🏻👏🏻
— Jordan Crane (@JordanCrane86) November 26, 2016
Bristol are still waiting for their first Aviva Premiership win, but picked up a valuable losing bonus point against a top-four side.
Tainton admitted that the performance had been pleasing – especially the way his side fought back into the game – even if the result did not quite go their way.
“I’m very proud and delighted at the way we finished the game. We defended superbly for the last 10 minutes in our 22 before moving up field to win a crucial penalty and get a deserved bonus point,” he said.
“We didn’t collapse when we went two scores down and we kept our structure but a lot of the game was in our control with ill-discipline and errors costing us.
“We’ve become a lot tighter and we are fighting every corner but it was still disappointing to lose tonight.”
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) November 25, 2016
Penalties: Seale 2, Jarvis
Leicester Tigers 21
Tries: Thompstone, Genge
Penalties: Burns 3
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth