Prev Game: Aviva Premiership Fri 16th May

prev game - Leicester Tigers
team 1 score team 2
Northampton 21 - 20 Leicester

Next Game: Aviva Premiership Sat 6th Sep

next game - Leicester Tigers
team 1 score team 2
Leicester 15:00 Newcastle

Heineken Cup: Richard Cockerill left frustrated by defeat at Clermont

Last Updated: 05/04/14 9:57pm

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill refused to take any consolation from the gallant nature of his side's 22-16 defeat at Clermont Auvergne.

Tigers trailed 16-0 after 35 minutes at Stade Marcel-Michelin, where Clermont were unbeaten in their previous 74 games in all competitions.

Jordan Crane's try and the boot of Owen Williams then saw former champions Leicester recover to within a score of a remarkable win.

However, Thomas Waldrom's untimely yellow card proved costly as Clermont, last year's beaten finalists, held out for a 22-16 win to book their place in the semi-finals for the third season in a row.

Cockerill said: "Gallant losers is not my thing. Yes we can take the positives from how we played, but we came with the attitude to win and we didn't.

"Clermont are a very good side and you are always going to be up against it in France and especially here, where they played very well in the first half.

"Gallant losers is not my thing. Yes we can take the positives from how we played, but we came with the attitude to win and we didn't."
Richard Cockerill

"Our plan was to try and keep the scores as close as possible in the first half and then go for it in the second half, but in the end they had just too much of a lead."

France centre Wesley Fofana crossed on 22 minutes as Clermont surged 16-0 ahead in front of a raucous home crowd.

But Leicester's recovery began three minutes before half-time when fly-half Williams found Jamie Gibson in space with a cross-field kick and Blaine Scully handed Crane an easy finish.

Williams converted and then added three successive second-half penalties, while Morgan Parra and Brock James fired wide from distance, to slash the deficit to just three points at 19-16 on the hour.

Tough situation

Cockerill added: "We played well in parts and we have to take credit for the way we came back. We could have been obliterated because all the momentum was against us, they were leading and the crowd were singing. It was a tough situation.

"But fair play to our players, they took themselves to places they have never been in the Premiership or even in Europe at Ulster and Montpellier. To come back against a team of Clermont's strength and come within a whisker of winning takes some doing.

"Were Clermont lucky to win? Probably not. Were we unlucky to lose? Perhaps, but that's rugby sometimes."

Clermont have never lifted the Heineken Cup but hope they can go one better than last year's agonising loss in the final to rivals Toulon in Dublin.

Head coach Vern Cotter said: "It's a major achievement to reach the semi-finals of such a great competition at this.

"The first-half performance was the best we have produced for a long time. But our experience from previous big games such as last year's final was also crucial in the second half. It helped us both in attack and defence to raise our level when we really needed."

  • Share:

Related

Heineken Cup quarter-finals 2014

Heineken Cup Tries - Quarter-Finals

Take a look at some the best tries from the quarter-final weekend of the Heineken Cup.

Magnificent Munster

Munster, Steffon Armitage and Guy Noves make Dewi Morris' Heineken Cup picks of the week.

Try of the Week - O'Connell

Try of the Week - O'Connell

Paul O'Connell topped off Munster's dominating performance against Toulouse by scoring the sixth try.

Most Popular

Features

Good Week/Bad Week

Good Week/Bad Week

Sky Sports picks out our heroes and villains from another eventful last seven days in the world of sport.

Six of the best

Six of the best

Ahead of the Super Rugby Qualifying Finals, Sky Sports takes a look at the six teams in contention.

Mike Tindall factfile

Mike Tindall factfile

A factfile on England World Cup-winner Mike Tindall, who has announced his retirement from professional rugby.