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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea