Cockerill’s team bounced back from last week’s defeat against Toulouse, overcoming an initial 10 point deficit at Welford Road.
“I think Toby Flood gets a lot of unfair criticism. He’s played 50-odd Tests for England, he’s a really good player,” Cockerill said.
“We know Ben Youngs is an outstanding player. He is one of the biggest threats around when he makes those calls right.”
The game was tight until the 70th minute, but late tries from from Flood, Youngs and Manu Tuilagi sealed the much-needed win.