Richard Cockerill hails Leicester's defence after win over Sale

Last Updated: 06/10/12 11:45am

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Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill felt his side's resolute defensive display proved crucial in the 20-8 win over Sale.

Rob Miller's try and Nick Macleod's penalty gave the Sharks a slender 8-6 lead at half-time, but Leicester fought back after the break as Ben Youngs' try and George Ford's accuracy with the boot condemned the hosts to a sixth straight defeat.

"They were very good for their lead at half-time, but I thought our boys kept their composure. It's a good win as they were obviously desperate for the win," said Cockerill.

"Sale played really well and we dealt with that pressure. Our commitment was good defensively and was as good as we've been for a long time.

"Our discipline to stay onside and roll away, and to deal with all those things was very good. It probably just got us enough ahead to win it."

Cockerill praised Ford after the fly-half kicked five penalties in his first start of the season.

He said: "I thought Fordy did well. He coped with their physical midfield. I wanted him to play 80 so he could deal with those issues and he did it really well.

"He kicked his goals and kept us in their half in the second period with some sensible kicking."

Sale director of rugby Bryan Redpath tried to search for positives, despite his side's dismal start to the season.

"I'm a lot happier," he said. "There were just a couple of crucial passes again that didn't happen. We needed to get that try just before half-time to build a cushion."

Reflecting on his side's second-half collapse, Redpath said: "We knew they had a strong bench and we knew we would be under the cosh a little bit in the second half.

"We just had a bad start to the second and never really recovered. George Ford for them just kept kicking them into positions and that made it harder."

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