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Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 18 Leicester Tigers 19

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Gloucester Rugby were made to pay for their own wastefulness according to director of rugby David Humphreys after Leicester Tigers snatched a dramatic late win at Kingsholm.

With Ben Morgan in the sin bin for the home side, Logovi’i Mulipola crashed over and Tommy Bell held his nerve to convert and give the Tigers the narrowest of wins.

Gloucester looked like they had brought their good European form back into Aviva Premiership Rugby as two first-half tries from James Hook and Morgan put them on top.

And with Freddie Burns misfiring from the tee on his return to Kingsholm, the Tigers needed inspiration from Marcos Ayerza and Telusa Veainu who both crossed for tries.

But even then it did not look like being enough until Mulipola and Bell combined late on – leaving Humphreys to rue missed opportunities from his side, particularly at the start of the second half.

"It (yellow card) was a big decision," Humphreys said. "There was some contact, no question, but it certainly wasn't the reason we lost the game.

"If we look back at the game, it was very much in our control, but a couple of key errors at key points of the match meant we couldn't build the score.

"We got ourselves into a position to win the game. The first 15 minutes of the second-half, we had a lot of territory and possession, but didn't manage to take those opportunities.

"Against the top teams, you have got to take opportunities as they came along in the opposition 22, and that probably shows the difference between a team in the top half of the table and a team that has been in the bottom half over the last couple of years."

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill was happy to take the positives from a mixed performance from his side.

"I was pleased with our resilience to stay in the game. I am pleased we stayed in the arm-wrestle,” he said.

"Gloucester should have taken advantage of the opportunities they had, and they didn't, and it always comes back to bite you."

In other news, Manu Tuilagi’s hamstring strain is not serious and the England centre should be in contention for a place against Newcastle Falcons in a fortnight’s time.

"He (Tuilagi) probably won't play next week, and he will probably come into it for Newcastle the week after," Cockerill added.

"If he is playing and back fit, then it is up to Eddie (Jones) Manu's groin is great, now it is keeping the rest of his body intact as well.

"If he was going to play in the last two (Six Nations games) and he is out for a couple of weeks, that may put him back, but I don't know. We will see.

"If he's fit. great, if he is not ready, then he is not ready.

"Fifteen months out of the game is a long time, and we are trying to manage that and integrate that as sensibly as possible. I think we've done that.

"His hamstring was a bit tight after the Stade Francais game last weekend, and he had it scanned on Monday and there was the tiniest of strains there. It is nothing serious."

Gloucester: McColl; Sharples, Meakes (Atkinson, 63), Twelvetrees, Halaifonua (Burns 75); Hook, Heinz (Laidlaw, 52); McAllister (Wood, 52), Hibbard, Doran-Jones (Thomas, 55), Savage, Thrush (Galarza, 64), Kalamafoni, Rowan (Kvesic, 55), Morgan.

Replacements not used: Dawidiuk

Leicester: Bell; Betham, Tait, Smith, Veainu; Burns (Roberts, 75), Harrison; Ayerza, Bateman (Thacker, 69), Balmain (Mulipola 62), Barrow, Kitchener, Fitzgerald, Croft (Crane, 54), McCaffrey.

Replacements not used: Brugnara, De Chaves, Kitto, Camacho

SCORERS: 

Gloucester Rugby 
Tries: Hook, Morgan
Conversion: Hook
Penalties: Hook 2 

Leicester Tigers
Tries: Ayerza, Veainu, Mulipola
Conversions: Burns, Bell 

Attendance: 16,115
Referee: JP Doyle
 

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