Richard Cockerill: Leicester Tigers not dead in European Champions Cup

Richard Cockerill
Richard Cockerill says Tigers' performance against Munster was unacceptable

Director of rugby Richard Cockerill insists Leicester's hopes of qualifying from the European Champions Cup are not dead despite an "unacceptable" display in the 38-0 drubbing by Munster.

Tigers suffered their record European loss in the competition and are third in Pool 1 with two defeats from three.

A defiant Cockerill said Saturday's return game was a chance to "crack on".

"You need to be an idiot to think there is way of escaping the performance," he told BBC Radio Leicester.

"It is hard to deny that we played poorly. If you watch the clips there isn't much to defend is there? And that starts with me and trickles down.

"It wasn't good enough, and it's not acceptable.

"But the pool's not dead. I don't care what anybody says. We will fight to the death and we can still qualify if we get it right."

Tigers lost to Glasgow in their opening fixture and last weekend's loss means Munster stay top of Pool 1 with 10 points, despite having played a game less than Glasgow and Leicester.

Leicester are now six points behind the leaders with just one win from three matches and Racing 92 are bottom with two losses from two.

Manu Tuilagi attempts to get past Keith Earls at Thomond Park
Saturday's defeat against Munster saw Manu Tuilagi make his first start for Tigers since September

Cockerill said Tigers must sharpen up physically and mentally and "play what we practised" in Saturday's reverse meeting at Welford Road.

"If we do that we know we are a good enough side to win," he added. "I'm a realist. I am not going to say 'there were positives out of that' because there weren't many were there?

"They will come and smell blood. They have pretty much got a fully fit team; they are playing well and are physically good. Why wouldn't they want to come to Welford Road and stick it to us?

"Racing have had a shocking result at the weekend and will be going to Glasgow to put that right. We have had a shocking result and have to put that right."

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