European Champions Cup
Cockerill ready for uphill task
ESPN Staff
January 17, 2015
Leicester's Geoff Parling rises highest at the lineout © Getty Images

Leicester's director of rugby Richard Cockerill remains realistic about his side's chances of advancing to the knockout stages of the European Champions Cup, even though they recorded a six-try victory over Scarlets at Welford Road on Friday.

Tigers ran out 40-23 winners over the Welsh region, a result that keeps them in contention to pick up one of the three best runners-up spots behind double champions Toulon, who they are level on 13 points with, but have played a game more.

With Toulon very likely to top the group, Leicester require maximum points in their final game to Ulster in Belfast next weekend to stand a chance of reaching the knockout stages.

"Ravenhill is a difficult place to go," said Cockerill. "We are going to need five points to qualify and even that may not be enough.

"To go to Ravenhill and win is one thing. That would be an achievement. To go there and score four tries and get five points is a big ask, but we will see. If we have to go there with that mindset and have a crack at it we will see what we have to do."

Leicester turned a narrow 14-11 lead at the break into a runaway victory, scoring four second-half tries against an injury-hit Scarlets.

"We are happy with the win, it was a relatively good performance," said Cockerill. "We were clinical when we needed to be. We got what we wanted and it gives us a fighting chance for next week."

The result knocks Scarlets out of the competition but coach Wayne Pivac was in philosophical mood and refused to hold injuries to top players as an excuse.

"It was a bridge too far for us," said Pivac. "They were clinical. The penalties we gave away in our half they kicked to the corner and punished us. They are very good in that area of the game. They made a couple of substitutions in the front row and it was a struggle from that point on.

"The boys wanted to move the ball around and when we got good possession in the first half we made good inroads, got a good try and it was game on. But they scored those tries after half-time and put us under pressure.

"The sort of players we were missing make a difference, but the guys we had out there was what we had to work with and I thought they put up a brave effort."

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