Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 31 Leicester Tigers 38

Leicester Tigers kept their composure according to director of rugby Richard Cockerill as they recovered from being four scores down to pull off one of the most remarkable comebacks in Aviva Premiership Rugby history.

Henry Purdy’s try early in the second half made it 31-7 to Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm in the season opener, and Tigers looked to be dead and buried.

But they held their nerve to get back into it, scoring five tries in all, including a Sam Harrison double to pull off the most unlikely of wins, 38-31.

And for Cockerill, it was Leicester’s ability to stay cool under pressure that won the game, even if he was not impressed by the efforts before that magical last half-hour.

He said: “I’m delighted with the win and the resilience that the players showed. That is something we have been working on in pre-season and we needed every ounce of it tonight.

“But I was so disappointed with the first 50 minutes because we were pretty woeful and we need to put that right very quickly.

“To be fair we were pretty calm at half-time. We wanted to come out and still play positively because that was the only way to get back in the game, and try and score first to put the pressure back on them.

“Credit to the players, we got our composure back, we scored, and Gloucester ran out of steam.

“It was smart play from the team. We got results from the driving lineout and we kept going at it. We messed up a couple of opportunities but it was nice to see a 15-man maul to the line.

“Smart decisions in the last half-hour enabled us to get back in the game and win it.

“We’ve changed our approach conditioning-wise a little bit, we’ve worked hard and pushed the boys a little bit harder.

“It’s a long way to come back from but credit to the players, I’m delighted with the last part of the game but that first 45 minutes is unacceptable from us really.”

While this game will live long in the memory of Tigers fans, the Shed and David Humphreys will at a loss as to how this one got away from the Cherry & Whites.

Matt Scott made a perfect start to life in the West Country, but after his double, they couldn’t keep it up and had to settle for two points.

But that was little consolation for director of rugby Humphreys, who has warned his players they will have to be much better next time out against Worcester Warriors.

He said: “Credit to Tigers, coming back from 31-7. I don’t think there are too many teams who could do that.

“But it’s unacceptable from us to play such good rugby in the first half and put ourselves in such a good position. In the second half nothing really went right, in the set-piece, too many penalties, simple handling errors, things we weren’t doing in the first half.

“It’s not a good place to be, in your first game of the season but for us the message was wasn’t acceptable, to be winning 31-7 and lose the game.

“We’ve got to go away over the weekend and take a really hard look at what happened and make sure that doesn’t happen again this season.

“We’ve got to find a way. The big thing is we have to get ready for Worcester, that’s going to be a huge challenge in itself.

“There was lots of the game that was pretty good but there was too much that wasn’t good enough and if we have ambitions to move up the table and challenge at a higher level than in the last couple of years, performances like that aren’t good enough.”

Gloucester Rugby: Marshall, Sharples (Heinz 70), Scott, Twelvetrees, Purdy, Burns (Hook 41), Laidlaw, Thomas (McAllister 48), Hibbard (Dawidiuk 48), Afoa (Doran-Jones 47), Savage, Galarza, Moriarty, Kvesic (Rowan 65), Morgan (Evans 56)

Not used: Joe Latta

Leicester Tigers:  Tait, Veainu (Thompstone 45), Betham, Tuilagi (Smith 72), JP Pietersen, Burns (Youngs 67), Harrison, Ayerza (Genge 48), Youngs (McGuigan 61), Bateman (Cole 48), Slater, Barrow, Hamilton, O’Connor, McCaffrey

Gloucester Rugby
Tries: Scott 2, Sharples, Purdy
Conversions: Laidlaw 4
Penalty: Laidlaw

Leicester Tigers
Tries: Tuilagi, Pietersen, Harrison 2, O’Connor
Conversions: Burns 3, Harrison 2
Penalty: Burns

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Att: 14,298

Aviva Premiership Rugby returns this weekend. For a full fixture list please click here

Latest News

O’Connell desperate to deliver for Bristol Rugby fans against Saracens

Bristol Rugby prop Jack O’Connell is delighted to have the opportunity to test himself against some of the best players…

Gary Gold to become Worcester Warriors’ permanent Director of Rugby

Worcester Warriors are delighted to announce that Gary Gold will become the Club’s permanent Director of Rugby after signing a…

Gary Gold

Round 21 Preview: Bath Rugby v Gloucester Rugby

Bath Rugby’s only victory in the last five rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby was 27-21 over Leicester Tigers at Twickenham…

Bath v Gloucester

Round 21 Preview: Saracens v Bristol Rugby

Saracens have won their last five first team matches since their defeat to Leicester at Allianz Park in the semi-final…

Saracens v Bristol

Round 21 Preview: Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks

Leicester Tigers have suffered just two reversals in the last seven rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby: at home to Exeter…

Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks

Round 21 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints

Exeter Chiefs have won their last six matches in Aviva Premiership Rugby gaining a maximum 30 league points – no…

Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints

Round 21 Preview: Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors

Newcastle Falcons have won just one of their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby matches: 16-14 at home to Gloucester Rugby…

Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors

Round 21 Preview: Harlequins v Wasps

Harlequins have lost their last two Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, to Saracens and Exeter Chiefs, but have not lost three…

Harlequins v Wasps

Northampton Wanderers face Gloucester United in Aviva A League final

Northampton Wanderers will meet Gloucester United in the Aviva A League final on Monday 1 May (3pm) at Franklin's Gardens…

Ellis Genge agrees new contract terms at Leicester Tigers

England international prop Ellis Genge has agreed new contract terms at Leicester Tigers. Genge, 22, arrived at Tigers during the…

Ellis Genge

Billy Vunipola, Billy Burns, Ben Morgan and Francois Louw top the OPTA Rugby Rankings

Billy Vunipola was a force to be reckoned with as Saracens booked their place as Aviva Premiership Rugby’s representatives in…

Meet Sale Sharks’ Curry twins – Ben and Tom

When Tom and Ben Curry travel with the England squad to Argentina, they will be looking to claim a record…

Ben and Tom Curry

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Saracens make final as Bath fall short

Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens are into their third European Rugby Champions Cup final in four years after defying a…