Cockerill hails Twelvetrees
Tigers head coach delighted with improvements made by back
Last Updated: 07/01/12 8:37pm
Billy Twelvetrees: Scored 29 points
Leicester head coach Richard Cockerill hailed the improvements in Billy Twelvetrees' game after he scored all of the Tigers' points in their 29-11 victory over Wasps.
Twelvetrees scored two tries, both of which he converted, and kicked five penalties as the Tigers consolidated their place in the top four of the Aviva Premiership.
And after the match Cockerill was quick to pay tribute to the 23-year-old, who usually plays at inside centre but was given a start at fly-half in place of the injured Toby Flood.
"Billy has improved this year out of sight. His ball-carrying has been really good for us and, as you saw, his goal-kicking was very, very good," Cockerill said.
Twelvetrees was playing inside Anthony Allen, who has only just returned from a long-term injury, and the combination took some time to bed in as Wasps made a bright start and surged into an early lead.
Cockerill added: "Billy was a bit rusty at 10 because he's not played there for a little while, and Anthony Allen at 12 hadn't played for three months, so that combination was a little bit rusty.
"It was a little bit laboured but you have to give credit to Wasps.
"They defended very, very well. We tried to play and they came to disrupt and get in among us."
Twelvetrees admitted that he was not at his best during general play despite the incredible 29-point haul.
"My overall game at 10 was a little bit rusty, and we weren't very fluent in the first half, but in the second half we brought a different intensity," Twelvetrees said.
"The forwards started to dominate and that makes it easier for any number 10."
He also played down talk of an England call-up when he said: "For me it's just about helping Leicester out and playing well in the Leicester shirt."
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was pleased with how his side defended during the defeat but admitted that the Aviva Premiership strugglers were found wanting offensively.
Young said: "Some of our defence was heroic, but you can't spend the amount of time defending that we did against a side like that.
"We were certainly in the game in the first half, and we had one or two opportunities to put some distance between ourselves and the Tigers.
"Unfortunately when we did get in the right areas a line-out went astray or we gave a couple of penalties away.
"When you're scrapping and need a little bit of luck, things just don't go your way."