Leicester Tigers 44 Newcastle Falcons 19: Volunteer effort pays dividends as Falcons are clipped

Leicester coach Richard Cockerill was ultimately satisfied as his side overcame a frustrating first half to beat Newcastle at Welford Road.

After 35 tonnes of snow were cleared from the pitch and terraces to enable the game to take place, the Tigers led just 13-12 at the interval courtesy of a penalty try.

But the efforts of a hundred people comprising staff, stewards and volunteers were rewarded with a superb second-half performance which saw the Tigers rack up five tries, two of which came from Manu Tuilagi.

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Cockerill was pleased with the way his side responded in the second half.

He said: "Our discipline was very poor in the first half.

"We coughed up the ball far too easily.

"They didn't come to play but just wanted to sit back and frustrate us and kick their penalties.

"The boys had a word at half-time and we knew what we needed to do."

But he complimented the performances of flankers Craig Newby and Thomas Waldrom, and added: "Our set-piece and line-outs were very good today and some our driving was exceptional.

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"In the end I was very pleased with our six-try win and the second-half performance was a very clinical one.

"We targeted the last two games and we've got the points we wanted from them."

Opposite number Alan Tait blamed injuries for the scrum problems which allowed the Tigers pack to take control after the break, but accepted his side had underperformed.

"It was a game of two halves," Tait acknowledged.

"We could have led at half-time. We slowed their ball down well and kicked our goals and their play was very static.

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"After the interval their forwards got much more involved and bullied us in the contact area.

"We didn't respond, we didn't retaliate which is not acceptable at this level.

"Our scrummage was again a problem but with injuries we are down to the bare bones."

The defeat leaves Newcastle seven points ahead of Leeds at the bottom of the Premiership, ahead of a big game between the two on Boxing Day.