Aviva Premiership
Burns' extra work paid off, says Cockerill
PA Sport
February 14, 2015
Freddie Burns kicked six penalties against Gloucester © Getty Images

Leicester fly-half Freddie Burns' decision to ask Paul Grayson for help with his goal-kicking paid off when he kicked his side to a vital Aviva Premiership win at home to Gloucester.

Burns, who has been working with former England fly-half Grayson for about a month, landed six penalties from six attempts against his former club to inspire the Tigers to an 18-15 win which catapults them into the top four.

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill says Burns would not have played had Owen Williams been fit and praised the 24-year-old for using his initiative.

He said: "Freddie came to see me a few weeks ago about selection and I said that while he was kicking at 60%, and Owen was kicking at 80%, Owen would play, because that's the difference in games and we saw that tonight.

"If he had kicked at 60% we would have lost. He brought in Paul Grayson to work with him. I encouraged it but sometimes players have to work it out for themselves.

"Freddie is a bright lad and he works hard. We saw the benefit of that tonight. If Owen has been fit, Freddie wouldn't have started, but he has taken his chance.

"He's a Test player but he has to be consistent and do it next week and the week after, and that will get him to where he wants to be. I'm delighted for him.

"Even that last kick to win the game, in poor conditions underfoot, he just got on with it and kicked his goal."

Cockerill was delighted with a win which puts Leicester in fourth place on 39 points, the same as third placed Saracens, who meet second placed Bath on Sunday.

He said: "It was always going to be tight with the weather conditions. The rain and the pitch did not help. Thankfully we sneaked a win, which is huge. We are delighted because it could have gone either way."

Gloucester fly-half James Hook kicked five penalties from six, missing with a late 53 metre attempt that would have earned his side a draw.

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys was left rueing a chalked off first-half try by centre Mark Atkinson for a forward pass.

He said: "I'm not sure whether we deserved a draw but I'm disappointed to come away with a loss.

"Credit to Leicester but we had a few opportunities in the first half, and you have to take those if you want to win at Welford Road.

"That disallowed try was a real clear cut opportunity, and against the top teams you have to take opportunities like that."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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