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Leicester late show sinks Gloucester

16th February 2014 15:54

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Leicester Tigers were forced to come from behind to snatch a hard-fought 11-8 Premiership victory over Gloucester at Welford Road on Sunday.

Toby Flood's 78th-minute penalty secured a narrow triumph for the home side to keep up with the race for the play-offs.

In a frustrating first half, where both sides made errors when in promising positions, Flood and Rob Cook traded a penalty each as they went into the interval level at 3-3.

Not much changed after the break until Charlie Sharples touched down to give the Cherry and Whites the lead. However, they couldn't hold on and Mathew Tait's try levelled the game before Flood's three-pointer snatched the victory.

Despite their win over Worcester Warriors last weekend, it was another inconsistent performance from Tigers, something which has encompassed their campaign.

They also struggled to get a foothold in this encounter as Nigel Davies' men created two good opportunities in the opening quarter, but on both occasions the final pass failed to go to hand.

Both teams played with intent throughout the first half but, in keeping with their respective displays in 2013/14, mistakes often prevented Leicester and Gloucester from building serious pressure.

Flood did eventually open the scoring with a penalty after 32 minutes before Cook levelled matters with one of his own.

The Tigers then had one final attack of the half as they got to within 10 metres of the line, but Ben Youngs' off-load straight to Matt Kvesic summed up a disappointing opening period.

At least the scrum was proving fruitful for the hosts and, following yet another dominant set-piece at the start of the second half, Matt Smith broke through the heart of the visiting rearguard.

However, the move broke down and it was the away side who were next on attack. It yielded a try for Sharples when excellent work from Henry Trinder and Martyn Thomas sent the England winger across the whitewash.

Gloucester were in the ascendency but they couldn't convert their dominance into more points and Leicester gradually built some momentum.

It resulted in a try for Tait as Flood's well-timed pass gave the full-back the simplest of scores. The fly-half's conversion missed the target but a three-pointer ten minutes later rescued a potentially vital win.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Try: Tait
Pens: Flood 2

For Gloucester:
Try: Sharples
Pens: Cook

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Louis Deacon, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 David Mele, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Blaine Scully.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mike Tindall (capt), 11 Martyn Thomas, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Will James, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 James Hudson, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Shane Monahan.

Venue: Welford Road
Referee: Dean Richards
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce , Peter Huckle
Television match official: David Grashoff

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