Tigers roar back to deny Ospreys win

LEICESTER head coach Richard Cockerill saluted his injury-hit team&rsquo;s never-say-die attitude after watching them claw back to draw 32-32 with Ospreys in the Heineken Cup at Welford Road.<br /><br />The Tigers fought back from 26-8 down with a late Jeremy Staunton try to share the spoils and earn themselves a try-scoring bonus point in their opening Pool Three fixture.<br /><br />The home side led 8-0 early on but Ospreys responded with 26 unanswered points in a 20-minute demolition.<br /><br />And with a host of regulars on the treatment table, Cockerill was quick to praise his squad&rsquo;s resilience in unfavourable circumstances.<br /><br />&ldquo;The spirit of the players today was fantastic. We had players unavailable and pulling out at the last minute. The attitude to just go out and play and not give up is what this side is about,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />&ldquo;We pride ourselves on having people who want to play for us and not for the money. You can buy a team but you can&rsquo;t buy spirit.&rdquo;<br /><br />Forlorn Ospreys coach Scott Johnson was left to reflect on what might have been. He said: &ldquo;If you had offered us two points prior to coming here we&rsquo;d have taken it but we are totally disappointed.&rdquo;<br /><br />Despite losing a raft of first team players, including Harry Ellis, Dan Hipkiss and All Black Aaron Mauger all before kick-off, Leicester underlined their intent with a Johne Murphy try in the opening two minutes.<br /><br />Staunton then made amends for his missed conversion with a penalty but Ospreys quickly woke up with fly-half Dan Biggar kicking two penalties before setting up Shane Williams to score. A Biggar drop-goal followed by a converted Tommy Bowe try appeared to put the final nail in the coffin, only for the Tigers to come roaring back.<br /><br />Billy Twelvetrees, in for the injured Hipkiss, capped a man-of-the-match performance on full debut by touching down before Lucas Amorosino&rsquo;s try further cut Ospreys&rsquo; lead.<br /><br />And it was Twelvetrees who ensured the match ended honours even, converting Staunton&rsquo;s 76th minute try.<br />