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Heineken Cup: Richard Cockerill expecting a "classic" next weekend

Last Updated: 14/01/13 7:27am

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Richard Cockerill: Expects Welford Road classic

Richard Cockerill: Expects Welford Road classic

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Richard Cockerill predicted a Heineken Cup "classic" when Leicester and Toulouse go head to head at Welford Road next Sunday after the 15-15 draw against Ospreys.

The Tigers are two points behind the French European heavyweights and Pool 2 leaders, with only the group winners guaranteed a quarter-final place.

Victory for Leicester would take them through, albeit to then face a potential last-eight clash away against European title contenders like Clermont Auvergne or Toulon.

"We have set the occasion up for next week. That was our aim, and it should be a classic," said Tigers rugby director Cockerill, following his team's 15-15 Liberty Stadium draw against the Ospreys.

"We are disappointed that we didn't win today and won't have a chance to be at home in the quarters, but we are set up for a winner-takes-all with Toulouse at Welford Road.

"(Against) anyone at Welford Road we will back ourselves to beat them. Toulouse are a very good side. We know they have got the class in their team, and they know how to win games.

"But if we get past Toulouse, and that's an if at this point, then we are in with a fighting chance."

Ospreys substitute Jonathan Spratt's 77th-minute try denied Leicester victory in an absorbing tussle.

The visitors looked to have done enough through quickfire second-half touchdowns from scrum-half Ben Youngs and wing Niall Morris after they trailed 10-3 for much of the contest mainly down to Joe Bearman's try.

Arm-wrestle

Cockerill added: "It was a very tight game. It was an arm-wrestle the whole time. We just weren't quite sharp enough today, which is a bit of a concern. We have got to be more accurate.

"If we had gone more than seven points behind I don't think we would have grabbed it back. Ospreys played very well, and credit to them. We couldn't have complained had they won."

Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy said: "I am disappointed with the result - I thought we deserved more. It is a really deflated changing room.

"Most other teams would have thrown the towel in at 15-10 behind, but this group fights like no team I've seen or played in. They don't know when they are beaten, and they put in another massive shift today."

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