Gloucester swamped by Flood in rain and mud

Leicester 36 Gloucester 3

Welford Road

Leicester continued their quest for an Aviva Premiership top-two place in some style when they thrashed Gloucester, their rivals for a play-off spot. In chalking up a third successive win the Tigers ended a run of five victories in six games for the Cherry and Whites, which had seen them surge to within sight of the top four.

In driving rain and mud, Gloucester were second best throughout as the Tigers rattled up five tries without reply – it was a far cry from the corresponding fixture last season, which ended in 41-41 draw.

Leicester's tries came from the forwards Logovi'i Mulipola and Steve Mafi and the backs Ben Youngs, Matt Smith and Alesana Tuilagi; Toby Flood kicked four conversions and a penalty. With England's Six Nations encounter with France round the corner, it was a crucial game for the half-backs Flood and Youngs, who had been released by interim coach Stuart Lancaster in midweek so they could get some game time.

Neither put a foot wrong but whether Lancaster learned anything was a moot point, considering the awful conditions. The Tigers' director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, was just glad to have Youngs and Flood back.

"They just went out and had a crack today," he said. "They have not been as sharp as they would like to be but that's how it goes sometimes. We just said, 'Don't worry about anything, just go and play.' This is their club, they are comfortable here. They have had a bit of stick in the last few weeks in the national glare and Ben just went out and certainly had a crack; same with Toby. They are quality players, and Ben did some fantastic things today."

Cockerill said Leicester had wanted the victory more than Gloucester, adding: "They came talking about matching us physically, but they were never at the races."

Bryan Redpath, the Gloucester coach, said his team had not turned up, mentally: "I want to know why, they have to understand why. It's not a case of not trying, things did not go for us."

Redpath thinks Gloucester can still make the play-offs, and they do have a far easier run-in than Leicester, who must travel to face Harlequins and their arch-rivals, Northampton.

With Youngs, Flood and Tuilagi back in the starting line-up, Leicester were in better shape than Gloucester, who lost the England wing Charlie Sharples before the match, after he failed a fitness test on a calf injury. They were already without the centres Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu and Henry Trinder; the New Zealander Tim Molenaar, who was injured in pre-season, came in for his first start of the campaign.

Leicester lost the first fixture between the sides, in 1891, despite the possibility for divine intervention due to the presence of four vicars in their side. They never looked like losing this one, despite falling behind to a second- minute penalty by Freddie Burns, who proceeded to miss an easier one three minutes later.

Gloucester spent the rest of the half in need of binoculars to see the Tigers posts as the Leicester pack, who looked as though they had trained on raw meat, took control. The Tigers scored three tries and had another, by Flood, chalked off by the video referee, going into half-time with a 22-3 lead. Gloucester also had a lucky escape as scrambling defence stopped the No 8 Thomas Waldrom scoring in the 11th minute.

However, the first try had not been long in coming and it went to Mulipola, the Samoan juggernaut prop barging over from close range for his first try in Tigers colours. The blindside flanker, Mafi,made it 12-3 with a fine solo effort directly from a line-out and then Flood was denied by the video referee after outstanding work by both locks, George Skivington and Graham Kitchener, following a move that had been sparked by Youngs.

Youngs, looking hungry, scored a minute before half-time after a searing break. Despite being collared near the line, he clawed his way over for a try that was awarded by the video referee.

The Tigers scored only two more tries after the break, Smith from Billy Twelvetrees' chip and Tuilagi from an 80-metre interception. But that was hardly surprising, as replacements arrived as if through a revolving door on the touchline.

Leicester: Tries: Mulipola, Mafi, Youngs, Smith, Tuilagi. Conversions: Flood 4. Penalty: Flood. Gloucester: Penalty: Burns.

Leicester: G Murphy (capt; S Hamilton, 60); H Agulla, M Smith, B Twelvetrees, A Tuilagi; T Flood (G Ford, 68), B Youngs; M Ayerza (B Stankovich, 63), G Chuter (R Hawkins, 63), L Mulipola (J White, 63), G Kitchener, G Skivington, S Mafi (B Pienaar, 72), J Salvi, T Waldrom (C Newby, 66).

Gloucester: J May; O Phillips, M Tindall (capt; R Mills, 66), T Molenaar, T Voyce; F Burns, D Lewis (N Runciman, 52) ; N Wood (D Murphy, 52), D Dawidiuk (S Lawson, 57), R Harden (S Knight, 45), W James (J Hamilton, 40), A Brown, T Savage (A Qera, 66), M Cox, B Deacon (P Buxton, 45). Referee: T Wigglesworth (Yorkshire).

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?