Cockerill: Racing deserved semi-final win


Richard Cockerill felt Leicester Tigers paid the price for some sloppy mistakes along with inconsistent refereeing from Nigel Owens but admitted Racing 92 deserved their European Champions Cup semi-final victory on Sunday.

Racing captain Maxime Machenaud scored a try after only two minutes and classy fly-half Dan Carter booted 11 points as Racing reached their first European final with a 19-16 victory at the City Ground.

The Tigers were toothless in Nottingham, where Telusa Veainu's try came too late for the two-time European champions to mount a dramatic fightback.

Leicester were far from their fluent best, as poor handling let them down but Cockerill refused to be too critical after they missed out on a final against Premiership rivals Saracens next month.

The Tigers director of rugby said: "We made some errors and we turned the ball over more than we would have liked, which is frustrating.

"I thought we played some great stuff and I'm proud of the players with how they played and took the game to Racing.

"Racing are a good side, they were very physical and played on top of us and did a good job in that. I'm a little bit frustrated around the set-pieces.

He added: "I thought our scrum was very dominant, disappointed to concede three points in the second half when we were going forward and Dan Cole gets penalised.

"I'm disappointed in some of the consistency around the scrum, their loosehead was penalised five times. He was warned once that if he does it again he goes to the bin. And he does it again and doesn't go to the bin. All those little factors and it's a game of small margins. 

"Racing are a good side, on balance they're probably deserved the victory. I'm very proud of what we did and disappointed we didn't win."