Leicester Tigers missed out on an opportunity to move into the top four of the Gallagher Premiership with a 36-13 defeat by Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm on Friday evening.
The teams were separated by one point and one place in the table going into the Round 7 clash but Gloucester emerged with a bonus-point victory on their home turf.
After early kicks from rival half-backs Danny Cipriani and Joe Ford, full-back Jason Woodward provided a try for the hosts. Although Ford added a second shot on target, Gloucester responded with two more tries from Matt Banahan and Fraser Balmain before half-time.
Ollie Thorley added try number four early in the second half and, after a Mike Williams score from a driving maul finally provided some hope for the visitors, he young wing added another in the closing minutes to put a seal on Tigers’ fate.
Among the oldest rivals in club rugby, Tigers and Gloucester met for a 222nd time, with the Cherry and Whites 107-106 ahead on the win count going into this game, including 75 on home turf.
In the first league action since a win over Northampton Saints at Twickenham at the beginning of October, Tigers welcomed back Sione Kalamafoni and Dan Cole to the starting line-up, though interim head coach Geordan Murphy was without a number of players on international duty.
Gloucester were led by former Tigers captain Ed Slater, with Balmain and Billy Twelvetrees also lining up opposite old clubmates. Another former Leicester man, prop Kyle Traynor, came into the squad just ahead of kick-off following the withdrawal of Val Rapava Ruskin due to illness.
Playing in their alternate kit of white and purple, Tigers conceded the opening points after just three-and-a-half minutes with a Cipriani penalty, though the ball did strike the inside of the right-hand post on the way through.
A knock-on by Twelvetrees gave Tigers put-in on the opposition 22 moments later and when prop Sean Hohneck was penalised at the scrum, Ford put over the kick to level the scores.
The next scrum brought a whistle against Greg Bateman, but Tigers stood firm against the lineout drive and forced anther knock-on.
Kyle Eastmond got hands on the ball as Tigers looked to attack and they were rewarded with a penalty from a lineout on the right. With the tee on the junction of the 10-metre line with the 15-metre mark on the right, Ford pushed his kick wide.
Tigers were made to count the cost after a scrum on halfway when Mark Atkinson broke down the Gloucester left and put Woodward in to score. Cipriani added the extras to make it 10-3 with 16 minutes played.
Some good pressure from the Tigers defence forced another error on the Gloucester 22 and, after setting a platform at the scrum, referee Ian Tempest blew for an offence in front of the posts and Ford made it 10-6 with the kick as the clock ticked just past the 20-minute mark.
George Worth was penalised in possession as he got isolated on halfway, giving Gloucester a chance to play from a set-piece in Tigers territory for the first time and they held on to the ball long enough to create a two-on-one on their right wing, giving Banahan the chance to score in the corner. Cipriani dragged the conversion wide with his team 15-6 in front.
As an added blow to Tigers, Guy Thompson left on a stretcher before the game restarted and Ben White left for a head injury assessment, with Mike Fitzgerald and Sam Harrison coming off the bench.
When Sione Kalamafoni was wrapped up by the Gloucester tacklers on halfway, the game restarted with a scrum for the hosts but Tigers used good linespeed in defence to keep them out and forced a handling error.
But Tigers were penalised at the next scrum and, while Tom Youngs spoke to the referee, Cipriani kicked up towards the line. Although Jordan Olowofela produced a tryline tackle on Ollie Thorley in the corner, play came back for a lineout offence on the opposite flank and Tigers were still on the back foot as they hit hard at Twelvetrees and then Willi Heinz, dislodging the ball almost under the posts.
But Gloucester came back again, earning a penalty for a high tackle and then seeing temperatures rise when Cipriani had his progress blocked by Tom Youngs.
A lineout drive took them towards the line once more, but they were just short when the ball became unplayable. That gave them put-in again and, after Heinz had dropped short, prop Balmain picked up and forced his way over. Cipriani’s extras stretched the lead to 22-6 with two minutes remaining in the half.
White returned at scrum-half as good work along the backline gave Olowofela a chance to get into his stride on the right wing, but a tap tackle from Cipriani brought him down 30 metres out and Gloucester were handed a penalty as Heinz attacked the breakdown. Graham Kitchener stole valuable ball at the lineout as the half came to a close with Gloucester still 16 points ahead.
From the kick-off to the second half, George Worth made a big break through the middle but breathed a sigh of relief when Banahan read his pass to left but could not keep hold.
A dangerous attack down the left had Tgers tracking back until strong work by the forwards turned over ball in a central position and Ford kicked clear.
But relief lasted barely one minute more as Gloucester outfoxed the defence and Thorley ran in on the right for the bonus-point score. Cirpriani’s kick made it 29-6 on 48 minutes.
Will Spencer replaced Harry Wells as the game restarted, but Gloucester were straight back on the ball and looked like they had added a fifth try with a length-of-the-field break on the right involving Cipriani and Banahan twice before Woodward’s finish. But, after checking with the TMO, play came back as the final pass travelled forward.
A big scrum from Tigers looked like creating an opportunity to open up the play, but Gareth Owen’s pass to Adam Thompstone went forward and Gloucester had their own set-piece ball.
An interception from Thompstone finally gave Tigers a chance to move out of their own half, but he was chased down 30 metres out.
Tigers had another chance from a penalty into the corner and, after gathering safely, earned a repeat when Slater was whistled. And this time the drive ended with Williams dotting down his first of the season. Ford added the kick to make it 29-13.
Strong work at the breakdown by Owen brought another penalty on the left and the forwards kept tight formation as they drove in-field. Referee Tempest issued a team warning when Gloucester brought down the drive on the five-metre line just to the left of the posts.
Kalamafoni aimed for the line as he picked up but Gloucester stayed firm until a handling error gave them scrum ball just 10 metres from their own line. An early engage gave them a free-kick and Cipriani cleared to halfway.
When Tigers were penalised as Gloucester over-shot their own lineout ball, Cipriani pointed goalwards but his kick dropped fractions short.
Ben White took over the captaincy as Murphy started to make changes, including a new front row and Tom Hardwick on at fly-half, but the scrum-half soon made way too as Harrison returned.
The home crowd were pushing their team on as they built phases of play, but they met a good set of defensive work from Tigers, making their tackles and then forcing another dropped ball 10 metres out.
Harrison assumed the captaincy as he put in at the scrum and Gloucester went straight to the floor, allowing Hardwick to kick 20 metres upfield.
Matt Smith made good progress from a chip by Hardwick, with Spencer adding some strength on the ball too before the referee penalised the Gloucester defence and Tigers took play into the right-hand corner.
Tigers remained 10 metres out, with Spencer and Fitzgerald getting through their carries, but could not find a way through and when Gloucester finally won ball back, they released wing Thorley and he used his pace to pick his way upfield and run in for a fifth try with barely 90 seconds remaining. Twelvetrees made it 36-13 with the conversion.
Thank you to all the travelling Tigers supporters who made the trip to join us at Kingsholm this evening and we hope you have a safe trip home.
Gloucester kick to touch to end the game 36-13.
Tigers kick the restart and there's a tackle in the air, Gloucester win the penalty. A quick tap and Gloucester kick to touch to end the game.
Gloucester adds the conversion through Billy Twelvetrees to make it 36-11 after 79 minutes.
It's a loose ball in the 22 and Gloucester go quick, the ball is out to winger Ollie Thorley who manages to weave the retreating Tigers defenders to run in for the try.
Tigers continue to build phases after the driving maul collapses but we retain the ball.
Tigers with the Lineout
Tigers with their phases and Sam Harrison runs it before being tackled and there's a penalty for Tigers as Gloucester fail to release the player and Tigers kick for the lineout on the 5 metre line.
What a run from Matt Smith, there's a chip ahead and Matt Smith collects from the bounce to run up to the Gloucester 22 and Tigers continue to build phases.
Now Tigers build phases after a loose ball and Gloucester lineout it is Tigers pushing into the Gloucester half with some big carries.
Tigers graduate Tom Hudson repalces Danny Cipriani.
Matt Smith makes his way on to the pitch to replace Gareth Owen.
From Tigers lineout Olowofela chases a chip kick well and makes the tackle on Banahan but Glocuester recycle and look to run wide. A loose ball in midfield give Tigers the scrum on our 10 metre line.
Tigers win a penalty at the scrum and kick for the lineout just our side of our 10 metre line.
Ben White is replaced by Sam Harrison.
Kyle Traynor, Gerbrandt Grobler and Callum Braley replaces JOsh Hohneck, Ed Slater and Willi Heinz.
Gloucester build a number of phases and after initially looking to be pushed back work up into the Tigers 22 and up the 5 metre line before a knock-on in contact gives Tigers the scrum.
Dan Cole is replaced by Gaston Cortes.
Cipriani is accurate with the penalty kick but it falls just short, Tigers have the 22 restart.
Jake Kerr, Facundo Gigena and Tom Hardwick replace Tom Youngs, Greg Bateman and Joe Ford.
Gloucester win a penalty at the lineout and opt for the posts.
Tigers run the ball from the lineout and there's some chip kicks before Gloucester win a penalty for a high tackle, Gloucester kick the lineout on Tigers 10 metre line.
Tigers look to dominate the scrum but Gloucester win a free kick for early engagement and kick for a Tigers lineout just inside our half.
Ben Morgan replaces Gareth Evans.
Reset and Phases
After a few reset scrums Tigers run the ball and look to build some phases working both ways but the ball goes loose in contact for a knock-on and Gloucester scrum around the 5 metre line.
Tigers again create the driving maul and push towards the posts where the maul collapses and win a penalty. Gloucester get a team warning and we opt for the scrum.
Tigers win a turnover and kick to the corner for another lineout after some end-to-end rugby as both sides look a few kick chases and look to run the ball.
Tigers and Joe Ford adds the conversion to make it 29-11 after 55 minutes.
Tigers create the driving maul and it moves towards the posts before pushing forward and driving over the line, Mike Williams looks to be the one to have scored.
Tigers collect the ball and create a driving maul but the referee blows for a penalty against Gloucester. We opt for another lineout.
What A Run
Gloucester go for a quick pass back inside from the scrum but Adam Thompstone intercepts and runs back up to the Gloucester but the ball goes loose and Gloucester look to run it back.
The ball goes for a few phases before Tigers win a penalty at the breakdown and kick for the lineout on the Gloucester 5 metre line.
Henry Walker replaces James Hanson.
Ciaran Knight replaces Fraser Balmain.
Ciaran Knight replaces Fraser Balmain.
It's a mad few plays from the restart and Gloucester think they've scored another as they run from their own 22 passing back and forth before running in under the posts but the referee is called back by the TMO for a forward pass and Tigers have the scrum.
Cipriani adds the conversion to make it 29-6 after 47 minutes.
Will Spencer replaces Harry Wells.
Gloucester run a good line from the lineout and winger Ollie Thorley breaks through running wide round the defenders and upto Tigers tryline to score.
Gloucester go quick from the scrum and look to go wide in the corner for their fourth try but Tigers win a turnover and a great kick from Joe Ford gives Gloucester the lineout just their side of halfway.
End to End
From a lineout on Gloucester 22 and loose ball is collected and cleared by Gloucester to a scrum just inside Tigers 10 metre line after Olowofela goes for a high ball and knocks on for the scrum.
Tigers win the penalty at the scrum and kick for the lineout on the Gloucester 22 line.
Tigers collect the return kick from Gloucester and Goerge Worth makes a break and goes for a wide pass but Banahan looks to intercept and knocks-on for a Tigers scrum on half-way.
Teams are back out and Joe Ford kicks-off the second-half here at Kingsholm with no replacements at half-time.
Tigers win a lineout and kick the ball to touch to end the first-half 22-6.
Gloucester with the lineout but Graham Kitchener wins the ball in the air and Tigers have the ball, Ben White kicks the ball into touch to end the half.
Tigers collect the clearing kick from Gloucester and build phases into the Gloucester half and a great run from Jordan Olowofela gets Tigers upto the Gloucester 22 but CIpriani taps his feet to bring him down and Gloucester win a penalty at the breakdown.
Gloucester kick for the lineout in Tigers half.
Gloucester and Cipriani add the conversion to make it 22-6 after 37 minutes.
Henry Trinder replaces Mark Atkinson.
Gloucester with a few phases off the lineout before Fraser Balmain finds a gap and is pushed over for a try.
Gloucester win a free-kick at the scrum but opt to scrum again.
Tigers show good defence as they hold back the driving maul and hold up the ball over the line, Gloucester will have the scrum on the 5 metre line.
Gloucester run the ball from the lineout and the play is side to side, there looks like a high tackle against Tigers and then a block in midfield as Cipriani looks to chip and go but nothing wrong and the play is brought back for the high tackle.
Gloucester kick for the lineout in Tigers 22.
Ben White returns from the blood replacement and Sam Harrison returns to the bench,
Gloucester create the driving maul and then build phases up to Tigers tryline but Tigers get a turnover and kick to clear for a Gloucester lineout just inside the 22.
Gloucester win a penalty at the scrum and kick for the lineout inside Tigers 22, Gloucester with the lineout run it wide and look to score in the corner but a great covering tackle from Jordan Olowofela pushes Thorley into touch. The referee brings them back for a penalty at the lineout and they go for another lineout.
Tigers in defence from the scrum as Gloucester run wide and build some phases but there's a knock-on on the far touchline to give Tigers a scrum on our 10 metre line.
Tigers kick the restart and collect the clearing kick from Gloucester looking to run it back into Gloucester's half but the ball is held up in the tackle and Gloucester get the scrum on halfway.
Tigers have two early replacements as Guy Thompson is replaced by Mike Fitzgerald and Ben White is replaced by Sam Harrison.
Break in Play
There is a break in play as Tigers Guy Thompson receives some treatment in front of the posts.
Danny Cipriani can't add the touchline conversion so it remains 15-6 after 25 minutes.
Gloucester build phases from the lineout and as they work to one wing quickly run the ball the other and with numbers in space Matt Banahan runs in in the far corner.
Tigers look to go quick and run the ball wide from the scrum but there's a penalty as Tigers look to get back up from a tackle, Gloucester with the penalty kick to touch on Tigers 22 and a lineout.
Tigers collect the restart and Ben White kicks to clear, Gloucester's Jason Woodward looks to catch the ball on half-way but the ball bounces loose for a knock-on and a Tigers scrum.
Joe Ford makes the easy penalty and makes the score 10-6 after 20 minutes.
Tigers go forward
Tigers run the ball from the scrum and make their way further into the Gloucester 22 before winning a penalty in front of the posts and Joe Ford calls for the kicking tee.
Tigers with the restart and the play stays in the Gloucester half around the 22 but the ball exchanges hands multiple times before the ball goes into touch on the far side but everyone is called back for a knock-on and Tigers get the scrum on the 22.
Gloucester add the conversion through Cipriani to make it 10-3 after 16 minutes.
The referee has a chat but awards the try to Gloucester and Jason Woodward.
Is it a try?
Gloucester run the ball wide and Jason Woodward goes down the wing to score in the corner but the referee in chatting to the touch judge for possible foul play.
Joe Ford pushes the penalty wide and it's Gloucester with the 22 restart.
Tigers look to the run the ball back but the ball is lost in contact as they head back in field, Gloucester scrum on halfway.
Tigers with a quick lineout and run the ball wide, the ball goes into touch but the referee runs back to the lineout and gives Tigers a penalty for tackling in the air and Ford points to the posts.
Tigers run the ball from the scrum and Kyle Eastmond looks to run at the defence winning a penalty at the breakdown as Gloucester don't roll away. We kick for the lineout in Gloucester's half.
Tigers show good defence at the lineout as we win a penalty for a Gloucester knock-on and get a scrum.
Gloucester with their first put in at the scrum and they win a penlaty, kicking to touch for a lineout just outside Tigers 22.
Tigers keep the pressure on Gloucester as they clear the restart and as they look to attack Tigers push them back.
There's a loose ball and Tigers look to capitalise but it is brought back for a knock-on in the tackle for a Gloucester scrum.
Joe Ford gets Tigers on the board with the penalty to make it 3-3 after 6 minutes.
Tigers with the put in at the first scrum and we win a penalty, Kalamafoni runs the ball but it rolls loose at the ruck so the referee calls us back and Tigers point to the posts.
Tigers Strong Defence
Tigers keep Gloucester in their 22 from the restart with a charge down of their clearing kick and a loose ball in a ruck is called as a knock-on by the ref for a Tigers scrum on the 22.
Gloucester and Danny Cipriani with the first points tonight as he lands the penalty to give them an early lead of 3-0 after 2 minutes.
Tigers clear from the kick-off and Gloucester have the first phases of attack working the ball wide and up into the Tigers half.
Tigers are penalised at a breakdown for hands in the ruck and Gloucester point to the posts.
Here we go
It is Gloucester and Danny Cipriani to kick things off tonight here at Kingsholm.
Teams have both gone back into the changing rooms and we are nearly ready for kick-off.
Confirmation of tonight's teams
Boys are here
Geordan Murphy spoke to LTTV ahead of tonight's fixture and
looks back on the recent Premiership Cup performances and development of the squad's younger members, shares how he's settled in to the role of head coach and previews the away trip to Kingsholm, as well as sharing his own experiences at the venue from his playing days.
Watch the interview on LTTV by clicking here.
Hello and Welcome
Tonight you are joining us live at Kingsholm as Tigers visit Gloucester Rugby in the return to the Gallagher Premiership action.
We will be bringing you updates live from tonight's game, kick-off at 7.45pm.