Leicester Tigers’ director of rugby Richard Cockerill was relieved to see his side eke out victory at Newcastle Falcons, despite seeing Tom Croft suffer a suspected dislocated shoulder that could see him miss the rest of the season.
England coach Stuart Lancaster will be concerned after Croft left the field in agony less than a week before the Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland.
“Newcastle played really well,” said Cockerill. “They have a brand of rugby which suits them on that pitch, and fair play to them, but we found a way to win even with the disruption of losing Tom Croft with what looks like a dislocated shoulder.”
Tommy Bell’s try six minutes from the end – after a lengthy TMO review – hauled Leicester into a winning position and fly-half Freddie Burns kicked the conversion to complete his personal tally of 11 points with the boot.
It was harsh on the Falcons, who put themselves in front with tries from Sinoti Sinoti and Scott Lawson but failed to score after the interval.
Cockerill’s counterpart Dean Richards made no attempt to hide his disappointment.
“When we have a chance to put our foot on the throats of the opposition we have got to make that happen,” he said.
Scorers: Newcastle – Tries Lawson, Sinoti.Conversion Catterick. Leicester – Try Bell. Conversion Burns. Penalties Burns 3.
Newcastle A Tait; Sinoti, Powell, Socino (Tiesi, 64), A Tuilagi (Cato, 75); Catterick, Tipuna (Takulua, 75); Vickers, Lawson, Rogers, Thompson (Furno, 41), Barrow, Mayhew (Saull, 75), Welch, M Wilson.
Leicester M Tait; Morris (Bell, 42), Goneva, Bai (Roberts, 67 (Mele, 74)), Thompstone; Burns, Harrison; Ayerza (Rizzo, 59), T Youngs (Ghiraldini, 59), Mulipola (Balmain, 59), De Chaves, Parling, Croft (Salvi, 36), Gibson, Pearce (Crane, 51). Referee L Pearce (Devon).Reuse content