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).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
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

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot