Flood held his nerve to kick Leicester to a narrow victory at Kingsholm
29 November 2013, 10:08 pm ::
By Ryan Walters
Gloucester Rugby 17 Leicester Tigers 22
Toby Flood made up for an early error to mastermind a Leicester comeback at Kingsholm, setting up a try and kicking 17 points to inflict a fifth straight Aviva Premiership defeat on Gloucester.
Freddie Burns capitalised on a poor Flood pass inside the first ten minutes to give Gloucester the lead before Dan Bowden replied for the visitors to hand the initiative back to the Tigers.
And despite a further try from Jonny May it was the kicking of Flood, made for him by the outstanding work of the Leicester pack, that handed Leicester an important victory at Kingsholm.
Burns missed an early penalty on seven minutes but was in the thick of the action just moments later when he gave Gloucester the lead in slightly fortuitous circumstances.
With Leicester on the attack Gloucester were penalised at the breakdown only for referee Greg Garner to call an end to Leicester's advantage as Toby Flood's pass was intercepted by Burns, who raced from just inside his own half unchallenged to touch down.
The England fly-half converted his own try for a 7-0 lead but his opposite number Flood got Leicester on the scoreboard with a penalty on 13 minutes.
Burns then followed up a wayward drop-goal attempt with a missed penalty and Flood took advantage to add a further three points on 23 minutes to draw the Tigers back to 7-6.
The Tigers no.10 was looking to make amends for his earlier error and after missing a penalty on 28 minutes, which would have given his team the lead, he produced a sublime offload to set up his side's only try of the game.
After great work from Ben Youngs at the scrum, Leicester had the ball five metres short of the try-line and after the ball found its way to Flood the fly-half broke a tackle and released the ball out of the back of his hand to Bowden who touched down on the half-hour.
Flood added the conversion and missed another penalty before Leicester were dealt another sucker punch when May latched onto a hopeful clearing kick from Henry Trinder to score Gloucester's second try.
With Leicester attacking their line, the Cherry and Whites turned defence into attack with a turnover and after Trinder sent the ball high into the sky it was May who outpaced Scott Hamilton to the ball and ran on to score.
Rob Cook took over kicking duties to hand Gloucester an unlikely 14-13 half-time lead with the conversion but after the break it was Flood who stole the show with an excellent kicking display.
Cook then missed from the kicking tee twice in the first nine minutes of the second-half and when Gloucester were awarded another penalty on 51 minutes it was Billy Twelvetrees who took over to extend the lead out to 17-13.
But that proved to be the end of the Gloucester scoring as Leicester came roaring back with penalties on 64 minutes and 70 minutes to retake the lead 19-17 - exceptional work from Julian Salvi and Dan Cole earning such scoring opportunities.
Flood then had the chance to put the game almost beyond Gloucester's reach with another penalty on 75 minutes which he successfully made setting up a tense finish for the home crowd.
With time up Gloucester had to run the length of the field to try and score a try to level things up and they managed to get into the Leicester half thanks to some positive play.
But after Cole earned his side yet another penalty the game was over and Gloucester had suffered another defeat on home soil in the Aviva Premiership this season.
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