Leicester Tigers 24-10 Gloucester
Leicester bounced back from successive defeats to beat Gloucester for their first Premiership win of the season. The hosts dominated the first half and surged into a 21-0 half-time lead, with Ben Youngs’ early brace, Nick Malouf’s try and George Ford’s accuracy off the tee providing their points. Gloucester, resurgent after the break, answered with a try from Josh Hohneck and Billy Twelvetrees’ boot. The Tigers wrestled momentum back but could not find the bonus-point score.
The result pushes Leicester one place above their opponents in the table to ninth and continues Gloucester’s challenging run on the road. The Cherry and Whites have won just once away from home in the past 12 months. England internationals Youngs and Ford set the tempo for the game, with the scrum-half scoring their first try inside 10 minutes when he caught his opponents napping with a quick tap and go after Jeremy Thrush was penalised for offside. Five minutes later Youngs scored his second by sniping from close range and the feet and finishing of Malouf, the former Australia sevens player, delivered a third try. Ford calmly secured all three conversions before Gloucester eventually found their feet after the break. Hohneck’s try plus a conversion and penalty from Twelvetrees delivered the visitors’ points, but their slow start and error-count left them with too much to do. Ford re-established a 14-point lead for Leicester with a penalty but, despite the noisy backing of their home support, they were unable to go on and secure a fourth try for a bonus point score in the final minutes.
Leicester head coach Matt O’Connor: “I thought we were very good in the first half, but we let ourselves down a little bit in the second half. We knew we had to be really good. “We came out of the blocks, were very accurate, and our intensity in that first 25 minutes was phenomenal. That is what we have got to get more of. “I knew they were going to come back at us quite hard – they were playing for pride at that point – and it was very disappointing that we let them in for a soft score at the start of the second half.” Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann: “The tries we conceded were very soft. There was nothing special that Leicester did. It was just missed tackles or a simple pass. “I was never on honeymoon. I always knew it was going to be tough. I just want to see character, and that is what we saw. From 21-0 (down), we possibly could have gone 40-0, but we didn’t. There was a lot of fight. “I haven’t got a magic wand. It took four years with the Lions (Ackermann’s former team). I don’t know if it is going take four years here. It might take eight, or it might take one. We have got to keep pushing.”
Leicester: Veainu; Malouf, Smith, Toomua, May; G Ford, B Youngs; Genge, T Youngs (c), Cole, Wells, Maksymiw, Williams, Hamilton, Kalamafoni.
Replacements: Thacker, Bateman, Mulipola, Mapapalangi, Ryan, Harrison, J Ford, Tait.
Gloucester: Woodward, Sharples, Trinder, Scott, Thorley, Twelvetrees, Heinz, Hohneck, Matu’u, Afoa; Slater, Thrush, Ludlow, Rowan, Ackermann.
Replacements: Hibbard, Rapava-Ruskin, Denman, Savage, Clarke, Vellacott, Evans, Purdy.