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Match reaction: Gloucester Rugby 24 Leicester Tigers 17

Match reaction: Gloucester Rugby 24 Leicester Tigers 17

Henry Trinder was at the double as Gloucester Rugby climbed to third in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with a hard-fought 24-17 victory over Leicester Tigers.

Trinder spectacularly cancelled out tries from Nick Malouf and Joe Ford to make it 14-14 at half-time before a Billy Twelvetrees penalty and Matt Scott’s neat finish after the break guaranteed that Gloucester would extend their unbeaten home league record.

Leicester had lost just one of their previous 11 encounters with the Cherry and Whites but they are now eighth in the table, although Matt Toomua’s last-gasp penalty did at least secure them a losing bonus point.

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Man of the match – Jake Polledri

It could easily have been centre Trinder for his two finishes out wide that any winger would have been proud of as he kept Gloucester on level terms when the Tigers probably had the better of the first half.

But flanker Jake Polledri was a one-man highlight reel with some incredibly powerful carrying that saw numerous Leicester defenders bouncing off him all afternoon.

His impetus with ball in hand kept the Tigers defence on their heels and his consistent breaking of the gain-line ensured the Cherry and Whites were invariably on the front foot with ball in hand.

Try of the match

Leicester may have only got two tries to their opponents’ three but the second of those was a spectacular score that ripped through the heart of the Gloucester defence.

Brendon O’Connor made the break through midfield, offloaded inside to the supporting Graham Kitchener, who drew in a defender and returned a pass to the flying flanker.

O’Connor was hauled down just short of the line but popped a pass up from the ground to the on-rushing Joe Ford and the fly-half cantered over under the posts to make it 14-7.

Moment of the match

Gloucester had a 17-14 lead early in the second half thanks to Billy Twelvetrees’ penalty – the centre was four from four off the tee on the day – but established what would prove to be an insurmountable ten-point advantage on 56 minutes.

A series of powerful runs sucked in the Leicester defence and the ball was spread to the right, where Twelvetress drew in the final defender and passed to the overlapping Matt Scott for the simple run-in. 

What they said:

Gloucester director of rugby Johann Ackermann said: “I was pleased with the intensity and energy we played with but we still missed a lot of opportunities.

“We can’t get carried away with anything yet. This is just a good win and we have to keep the ball rolling in the right direction.

“We want to make it tough for other teams to come here [Kingsholm] and a big part of that is the crowd. But, ideally, we want to be a side that performs away and at home.

“Playing on your home field means that you stay in your own bed and in your own comfort zone but in this competition you have to win away as well.”

Leicester head coach Matt O’Connor said: “We need to stay in touch with what’s happening above us in the league. There is enough time but we need to make sure that we start getting some points.

“Us getting something at the end (a losing bonus point) could be important at the end of the season.

If you come down here and get a bonus point against a very good side, it is not the end of the world. That is the focus, to make sure we build on the positives.

“It’s a huge opportunity [against Harlequins] and then we have got to go away to Saracens and Worcester. Worcester had a good win today so they are not going to be easy beats for anybody, so we have to make sure we get as many points as we can at home at the weekend.”

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