Leicester’s woes continue as Gloucester continue to climb the table
Five defeats in six league games for the Tigers.
Gloucester entered the Aviva Premiership top three as they ground struggling Leicester to a 24-17 defeat at Kingsholm.
It was Leicester’s fifth defeat in six league games and it was an improved performance, with tries from wing Nick Malouf and fly-half Joe Ford, with the stand-off converting both and centre Matt Toomua landing a last kick penalty.
Gloucester missed out on a try bonus point as centre Henry Trinder crossed twice and replacement Matt Scott added the third try. Centre Billy Twelvetrees kicked a penalty and three conversions.
The handling of both sides was poor in the opening 20 minutes, with Leicester guilty of several knock-ons including one from Malouf.
Yet the winger turned from villain to hero on 12 minutes when home skipper Willi Heinz cleared to Burns who, in turn, passed to Trinder.
Trinder’s shuffle of the ball out left to flanker Lewis Ludlow was intercepted by Malouf who ran 60 metres under the posts for the game’s first try that Ford easily converted.
Gloucester had a few runs into Leicester territory by the half-hour but found a glorious move when Twelvetrees switched the point of play from right to left.
Flanker Jake Polledri ran over half-way, fed Ludlow and he sent Trinder in unopposed at the corner from 30 metres, with Twelvetrees adding a thumping touchline conversion to tie up the game at 7-7.
That ignited a furious nine minutes in which the Tigers took the lead again only for the Cherry and Whites to draw level.
Dashing flanker Brendon O’Connor played a major part in Leicester’s second touchdown, racing over halfway in the middle of the pitch before linking with lock Graham Kitchener.
He passed back to O’Connor who made it deep into the home 22 before sending Ford over under the posts from five metres.
The conversion was simple but seconds later, a run to the line from home hooker James Hanson was stopped just short.
Heinz seized the ruck ball, played it to wing Tom Marshall who popped the ball to Trinder for the centre’s second try that Twelvetrees again converted magnificently from very wide out.
Tigers prop Logovi’I Mulipola spent 10 minutes in the sin-bin after a nasty high tackle on Heinz to stop a quick tap penalty under the Leicester posts, with Twelvetrees kicking a simple three points.
And there was further trouble for the Tigers when the Cherry and Whites again attacked deep in the opposition 22 for Twelvetrees to set Scott over unopposed. Twelvetrees’ conversion put Gloucester 10 points ahead.
Gloucester pinned Leicester in their own half in the final quarter but Leicester found their way into home territory in the final five minutes and took a losing bonus point via Toomua’s penalty.