Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill insists that while his side’s bonus-point win over Worcester Warriors was far from complete, it was a step in the right direction.
The defeat to Sale Sharks the week before was put to bed at Welford Road as Tom Brady, Telusa Veainu, Logovi’i Mulipola and Graham Kitchener all touched down to seal a 34-13 win.
A notably improved defensive display from the Tigers ensured they were always in control but Cockerill admits he is going to need to see improvements from his side ahead of the tests to come.
“The players needed to front up and they did that,” he said. “But I thought that, at times, we still struggled defensively.
“With respect to Worcester, against better sides we would have been punished. It’s certainly not all fixed.
“We need to keep working hard and improve. I am always a big believer that if players want to tackle they will, if they don’t they won’t.
“It’s job done. Worcester are not a poor side, they have given other sides a lot of trouble.
“We rested a couple of guys, we have got a few missing, but you take the five points. It wasn’t spectacular but it was a good win.”
Brady’s first try in a Tigers jersey and a brilliant individual effort from halfway from Veainu helped the Tigers to a healthy 20-0 at the break.
And while Worcester seemed to get things going early in the second half with two quick penalties from Ryan Lamb, further scores from Mulipola and Kitchener ensured Leicester were comfortable winners.
And visiting head coach Carl Hogg admits his side failed to implement their game plan in the first half, which they ultimately paid the price for.
“We fed their very dangerous back three and they profited from it,” said Hogg.
“We wanted to come here and express ourselves, we didn’t want to get into an arm wrestle.
“So we came with the ambition to play but we did not get the high field position in the first half, and we struggled with ball in hand.”
Leicester Tigers: Veainu (Roberts 68); Thompstone (Smith 53), Betham, Tait, Brady; Williams, Kitto (Harrison 77); Genge (Ayerza 53), T Youngs (capt; Thacker 68), Bateman (Mulipola 53), Barrow, Kitchener, Fitzgerald, O’Connor (Evans 40), McCaffrey (Hamilton 63)
Worcester Warriors: Shillcock; Hammond, Olivier, Willison, Humphreys (Te’o 40); Lamb, Arr (Baldwin 62); Rapava Ruskin (Leleimalefaga 25; Schonert 63), Bregvadze, Schonert (Johnston 62), O’Callaghan (Scotland‑Williamson 65), Barry, Fa’osiliva, Kirwan (Cox 60), Dowson
Tries: Brady, Veainu, Mulipola, Kitchener
Conversions: Williams 4
Penalties: Williams 2
Penalties: Lamb 2
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth