Gloucester put Tigers to the sword

Date published: October 4 2014

A superb first half performance laid the foundation for Gloucester’s 33-16 victory over Leicester at Kingsholm on Saturday.

A superb first half performance laid the foundation for Gloucester’s 33-16 Premiership victory over Leicester at Kingsholm on Saturday.

The Cherry and Whites dominated the opening period and deservedly went into the interval 30-9 ahead through Nick Wood, Charlie Sharples and Jonny May tries.

Owen Williams kicked three penalties for the Tigers in the opening period and they searched for a response in the second half, but Greig Laidlaw’s penalty increased the hosts’ advantage.

However, Gloucester found the bonus-point score elusive and in the end the visitors had the final word when David Mele crossed the whitewash.

Leicester have endured a difficult start to the season with a spate of injuries leaving their squad decimated.

Successive defeats to Bath – a 45-0 thumping – and at home to London Irish has put further pressure on director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

They were therefore in need of a positive start at Kingsholm and Williams kicked a penalty to take them 3-0 ahead after three minutes.

However, Laidlaw almost immediately cancelled that score out and added successive three-pointers to give the hosts a 9-3 advantage.

Although the Tigers’ centre reduced the deficit, the visitors were finding themselves under pressure and Freddie Burns, who was suffering a torrid time against his former club, was charged down and Wood was on hand to cross the whitewash.

A second try soon followed from Sharples before Williams’ third penalty gave the visitors hope but, against a rampant Gloucester, Leicester couldn’t cope.

Instead, May went over after good hands from backs and forwards alike as the Cherry and Whites went into interval with a comfortable buffer.

David Humphreys’ men struggled to break down the Tigers’ rearguard in the second period and Laidlaw’s penalty was their only score of the half.

They had a chance near the end to claim their fourth try but James Hook’s pass failed to go to hand, and the visitors regained some pride when Mele touched down in the final minute.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries: Wood, Sharples, May
Cons: Laidlaw 3
Pen: Laidlaw 4

For Leicester:
Try: Mele
Pens: Williams 3

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Purdy, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (capt), 11 Jonny May, 10 James Hook, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Mark Atkinson, 23 Tom Isaacs.

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Owen Williams, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs (c), 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 David Mele, 22 Sam Harrison, 23 Matt Smith.

Referee: Andrew Small