Vainikolo dives in and the Shed erupts with joy

Gloucester 19 Leicester Tigers 12

Gloucester pulled off a dramatic victory over the champions with Lesley Vainikolo's late try. A compelling match looked to be heading for a draw when Nicky Robinson missed a fourth penalty, after the Leicester centre Matt Smith was sent to the sin-bin.

However, Gloucester had a final roll of the dice and though the hooker Olivier Azam looked to have blown an overlap, the flanker Akapusi Qera got the ball out to Vainikolo for the giant wing to barge over in the corner. Robinson converted and Gloucester maintained their unbeaten home league record that now stretches back for more than a year. They are now third in the Aviva Premiership table.

Gloucester's coach, Bryan Redpath, said: "We always knew this game was going to be tight and it certainly proved so. We showed Leicester respect but hopefully we have also gained some respect. I'm proud of the lads who battled hard and proved they would not freeze in the tight matches. We had to come back and finish off that game.

"Lesley brought a physical edge to our play, that's why we have someone like him and the reason we brought him on when we did. I'm delighted for him. We will enjoy this win. I'm chuffed to bits. But we can't get too carried away, we have some key games in the league before Christmas and we have to be smart in the way we approach them."

Both teams were without England internationals a a week before the first Autumn Test but Leicester who were affected far more – their attacking thrust looked blunt without Ben Youngs and Toby Flood. They took a losing bonus point but that was scant consolation to their director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, who was clearly unhappy with the referee, Wayne Barnes.

He said: "There were some bizarre decisions for both sides, especially at the scrums where the boys were left wondering what they had done. But we also have to look at ourselves because we are a better team than that. Perhaps we got what we deserved after being so flippant with the ball, especially in our own half. I'm frustrated and disappointed at some of the decisions we took on the field. We had opportunities to win. But we kept coughing up the ball, giving them more and more opportunities and eventually they took one."

It was a former Gloucesterplayer, the Leicester centre Anthony Allen, who came closest to breaking a way through in the first half, only to knock on as Jonny May came up with a timely tackle.

Gloucester edged the first half 9-6 and while it may have been nip-and-tuck stuff, with few openings, that only heightened the entertainment that was served up.

Gloucester lost the back-rower Brett Deacon to a leg injury after only 16 minutes and Robinson suffered a dose of the collywobbles in front of goal, being way off with successive penalties. James Simpson-Daniel failed to gather Henry Trinder's delightful kick with the Leicester line open.

Robinson responded in determined fashion, dusting himself down after earning a penalty with a brave tackle on Alesana Tuilagi and kicking Gloucester ahead from close to the halfway line.

Gloucester were giving Leicester a dose of their own medicine in the close exchanges, particularly in the scrum, and their sheer tenacity was rattling the champions.

The Tigers pack fluffed a line-out just five yards from the Gloucester line; the flanker Craig Newby gave away a needless penalty after charging down Robinson's clearance in the shadow of his posts; and the No 8 Thomas Waldrom had a rush of blood to the head, running a penalty head-long into a posse of Cherry and White jerseys when a successful kick at goal would have levelled the scores.

The Tigers No 10, Billy Twelvetrees, made sure he got his hands to the ball at the next penalty, to level matters 12-12, but the introduction of Vainikolo proved decisive.

Gloucester O Morgan; C Sharples, H Trinder, J May (L Vainikolo, 59), J Simpson-Daniel; N Robinson, R Lawson (J Pasqualin, 68); N Wood (A Dickinson, 55), S Lawson (O Azam, 55), P Doran-Jones, J Hamilton, A Brown, B Deacon (P Buxton, 16), L Narraway (capt), A Hazell (A Qera, 63).

Leicester Tigers G Murphy (capt); S Hamilton, M Smith, A Allen, A Tuilagi; B Twelvetrees, J Grindal; M Ayerza, G Chuter, M Castrogiovanni (J White, 59-68), E Slater, G Skivington, C Newby (J Crane, 67), T Waldrom, B Woods.

Referee W Barnes (London).

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
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

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?