Salisbury JournalCockerill happy to eke out win (From Salisbury Journal)

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Cockerill happy to eke out win

Salisbury Journal: Richard Cockerill admits the 23-22 win at Worcester was 'a tough arm-wrestle' Richard Cockerill admits the 23-22 win at Worcester was 'a tough arm-wrestle'

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill was relieved to see his team scrape past Worcester 23-22 on Friday night but acknowledged they should have taken more of the chances that came their way.

The Aviva Premiership champions were given an almighty scare by the struggling Warriors at Sixways, but edged to a narrow victory thanks to two tries from impressive wing Vereniki Goneva and 13 points from the boot of Toby Flood.

"I'm glad to win as that was the best Worcester have played all season," he said.

"We should have taken more advantage in the first half but they are a good side and kicked their goals to remain in contention.

"It was a tough arm-wrestle and we did well to get through it. We did take two of our opportunities but we had around six in total so should have taken more."

Chris Pennell was the star man for Worcester, kicking 17 points with five penalties and a conversion of Josh Drauniniu's second-half try.

Pennell's only miss was a long-range effort which rebounded back off a post. Had it gone over, Worcester would have probably won.

Worcester director of rugby Dean Ryan was impressed by Pennell's display.

"Our goal-kicking has been a horror show all season," he said. "Chris is a fantastic player and he's got really strong courage and he is now solving our goal-kicking problem."

Worcester were unrecognisable from the side that lost 42-3 at home against Exeter last weekend as they produced a spirited performance.

"That's the best illustration of what we are trying to achieve," Ryan said. "It was a huge performance and a huge effort, but we need to be able to replicate it - starting with next week.

"We earned respect tonight in all the right ways, but it's still only one point and we are still learning how to be a team."

Worcester had gifted their opponents an early seven-point advantage when Goneva intercepted a stray pass from Paul Warwick.

"That made it very difficult for us, but we didn't let it get to us. And fair play to the forwards - they had got us back in it by half-time," Ryan added.

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