Leicester started their Guinness Premiership campaign with a well-deserved 20-8 victory over a wasteful Gloucester at Kingsholm on Sunday.
The visitors suffered an early blow when captain and former All Black Aaron Mauger dropped out injured, meaning Matt Smith came in at thirteen, with Dan Hipkiss slotting in at twelve. In the end Mauger's loss was not a problem as he watched on from the sides.
Ultimately Gloucester's lack of discipline and inability to finish moves cost them dearly, leaving Dean Ryan fuming.
New boy Toby Flood had a chance to open the scoring on five minutes, when the Gloucester forwards were guilty of coming into the ruck from the side, but he pushed the resulting kick wide.
Again Leicester wasted a scoring chance when Alesana Tuilagi and Tom Varndell combined, only to see the latter waste a good chance.
Moments later Flood did open his and Leicester's account with a well struck penalty kick after Gloucester's scrum buckled under all kinds of pressure. Immediately from the kick-off Leicester cut through Gloucester's back-line and came within inches of scoring, only to be denied by an illegal hand in the ruck. Again Flood succeed with his kick.
Ryan Lamb had a chance to reduce the gap to three but his penalty hit the upright and Leicester cleared with ease. The pressure was soon back on and again Leicester gave away a cynical penalty, only this time Ben Herring was sent to cool his hands for ten minutes, but again Lamb missed a simple kick.
Gloucester, with the tails up, ran the drop out back, and a clever inside ball looked to have sent Andy Titterrell over - only for the TMO to rule the ball was held up. From the resulting scrum Leicester were caught short down the blindside as Olly Morgan powered over in the corner.
The home side suddenly sparked to life, and Leicester were on the ropes with one less man. However they hung on until half-time, and could have gone in four points to the good but for Flood missing with the final kick of the half.
After the break Gloucester looked to flex their muscle and were soon rewarded for their endeavour when Lamb slotted a long-range penalty to send his side into the lead. As the game swung from one end to the other Leicester had a great chance to recapture the lead, but fell foul of a monster scrum from Gloucester five out from their own line.
Leicester continued to waste chances, as Flood missed yet another kick at goal to let the home side off the hook once more. Finally the game came to life as both sides pressed for a victory, running the ball more often in search of the killer score.
Gloucester should have scored with fourteen minutes left but Anthony Allen made a hash of a three-man overlap, only to see Leicester make no mistake at the other end seconds later. Crane kept the ball alive in midfield as Leicester cut free, allowing Geordan Murphy the time and space to race over for a fine try. Dupuy made no mistake with the conversion to give Leicester a five point lead.
Dean Ryan was prowling the touchline as his side looked to hit back, but once again a three-man overlap was wasted, this time by prop Carlos Nieto - opting to dummy and go himself only to be turned over. Ryan's mood failed to get any better as his side wasted two more chances, Tindall and Simpson-Daniel the guilty parties this time.
As the home side threw caution to the wind they blew the game altogether, losing any hope of a bonus point in the process. Simpson-Daniel looked to throw a wide ball to Morgan, only to see Flood pluck it from the air and race in under the post for a converted score that sunk the home side.
Leicester have now won their last three games at Kingsholm, and Gloucester now face a stern challenge at Bath next week.
Tries: Murphy, Flood
Pens: Flood 3
Yellow card: Ben Herring (24th minute - hands in the ruck)
Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 James Simpson-Daniel, 13 Mike Tindall (capt), 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Lesley Vainikolo, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Alasdair Strokosch, 6 Peter Buxton, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Will James, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Olivier Azam, 17 Dave Young, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Andy Hazell, 20 Gareth Cooper, 21 Willie Walker, 22 Matthew Watkins.
Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Dan Hipkiss, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Harry Ellis, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Ben Herring, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Ben Kay (c), 4 Richard Blaze, 3 Julian White, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Dan Cole, 18 Marco Wentzel, 19 Ben Woods, 20 Julien Dupuy. 21 Sam Vesty, 22 Tom Youngs.
Referee: Dave Pearson
Touch judges: Robin Goodliffe, Bruce Robertson
Assessor: Ed Morrison
Television match official: Matt Peters, Geoff Warren