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

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…