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Burns lands six from six in Tigers win

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Freddie Burns kicked six penalties from six attempts as Leicester Tigers secured a hard-fought 18-15 Aviva Premiership victory against his former club Gloucester Rugby.

Burns landed three penalties in each half of a tense Aviva Premiership battle in wet, windy and muddy conditions at Welford Road.

The boot dominated the game with James Hook, the Wales and British & Irish Lions fly-half, landing five penalties of his own to keep Gloucester in the hunt but Burns' final kick 10 minutes from time proved the decisive moment.

The win moved Tigers into the top four of the Aviva Premiership table, level on points with third-placed Saracens.

George Catchpole made his first Aviva Premiership start after eye-catching performances in the LV= Cup in recent weeks. Catchpole partnered Seremaia Bai at centre with Vereniki Goneva moving to the wing.

Burns started against his former club, partnering Sam Harrison at half-back. Jordan Crane captained the team from No8 and Graham Kitchener returned from England duty to take his place in the second row. Jack Roberts and Jack Whetton were included in an Aviva Premiership matchday squad for the first time.

David Halaifonua failed a late fitness test signalling a series of changes to the visitors' team. Charlie Sharples moved to the wing, Billy Burns came in at full-back with Steph Reynolds named on the bench.

Tigers were unbeaten at Welford Road since September while Gloucester hunted a first league double over Leicester in more than 10 years.

The game kicked off in heavy rain and a blustery wind, and it was a cagey opening as both teams looked to kick for territory.

Tigers were awarded the game's first penalty at the game's first scrum and Burns landed his kick to give Tigers a sixth-minute lead.

Sebastian de Chaves was pinged at a maul, giving Gloucester the chance to make an immediate reply and James Hook landed his kick to level the scores.

Burns and Hook traded penalties again before the midway point of the half. First, Kitchener stole a Gloucester lineout and was pulled down by Tom Palmer, and Burns restored the Leicester lead with the resulting penalty.

Then Hook landed a penalty from close to halfway when Catchpole was ruled offside as he chased an up-and-under.

The wet and windy conditions meant there was very little ambition shown by either of the sides in the opening quarter and the boot was to the fore.

Gloucester had the chance to put pressure on the Tigers line when Hook turned down a kickable penalty to go for the corner. But Tigers defended the drive and then held up the ball to win the scrum put-in.

Tigers were whistled at the scrum, however, and this time Hook opted for the posts, landing his kick to give Gloucester a 9-6 lead after 25 minutes.

Gloucester thought they had extended their lead when they swooped on loose ball on the Tigers 22. Former Tigers back Henry Purdy fed Mark Atkinson, who crossed the line only to be pulled back for a forward pass.

John Afoa escaped censure when he tackled Harrison in the air and without the ball, and Burns went to the corner as Gloucester infringed again in their 22. The visitors then killed the ball 10m from their line and this time Burns went for the posts to level the scores with five minutes to go to the break.

Tigers went in search of a try before the break. Goneva made a half break to take Tigers into the 22, Logovi'i Mulipola took them to within 5m of the line but eventually Gloucester forced the knock-on to signal half-time.

Tigers were unchanged at the break and looked to have the benefit of a swirling wind for the second period.

But the wind almost blew Burns' early penalty off course after Gloucester went offside, his kick going over with the aid of the right-hand post to give Tigers a 12-9 lead.

The visitors went offside again moments later and this time Burns used the left-hand post to help his kick over to move Leicester 15-9 ahead.

But Tigers were unable to consolidate their position. Ayerza was pinged at a ruck and Hook kicked a fourth Gloucester penalty to leave Leicester 15-12 ahead with 30 minutes remaining.

The game was played predominantly in the Gloucester half as the clock ticked into the final quarter but Tigers were unable to find a way through a well-marshalled Gloucester defence.

Instead, Tigers were ruled offside as they chased Tait's clearance giving Hook a penalty on the left flank, which he landed to bring Gloucester level again. Roberts came on for Bai for his Aviva Premiership debut.

Gloucester went down to 14 men with 12 minutes remaining when Sharples was shown a yellow card after impeding Harrison at the back of a ruck. Burns landed a testing penalty from wide on the left to give Tigers an 18-15 lead going into the final 10 minutes. It proved the decisive moment.

Now it was Tigers' turn to defend as Gloucester put them under pressure at a lineout. But Tigers made a mess of the maul and then hacked the ball up to halfway.

There Tigers were pinged for not rolling and Hook took on the kick from 5m inside the Gloucester half, however, his penalty fell short and Laurence Pearce, the replacement back-rower, fielded possession.

Tigers took play to the other end where Harrison's snipe took him agonisingly close to a try, instead Tigers were whistled for holding on at the next phase.

But with time running out, Tigers had done enough for victory.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 9-9 GLO

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 18-15 GLO

Attendance

20,298

Referee

JP Doyle

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
18

Full Time

Gloucester Rugby
Gloucester Rugby
15

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Gloucester Rugby
Possession
66%
34%
Territory
71%
29%
Penalties Conceded
9
14
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
57/62 92%
143/159 90%
Scrums Won
7/8 88%
2/2 100%
Lineouts Won
11/11 0%
16/16 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Gloucester Rugby
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Mathew Tait
14Adam Thompstone
13George Catchpole
12Seremaia Bai
11Vereniki Goneva
10Freddie Burns6P
9Sam Harrison
1Marcos Ayerza
2Neil Briggs
3Logovi'i Mulipola
4Sebastian de Chaves
5Graham Kitchener
6
7Julian Salvi
8
16Harry Thacker
17Michele Rizzo
18Fraser Balmain
19Jack Whetton
20Laurence Pearce
21David Mele
22Jack Roberts
23Miles Benjamin

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Seremaia Bai
12
Seremaia Bai
Vereniki Goneva
11
Vereniki Goneva
Freddie Burns
10
Freddie Burns
Marcos Ayerza
1
Marcos Ayerza
Neil Briggs
2
Neil Briggs
Sebastian de Chaves
4
Sebastian de Chaves
6
Julian Salvi
7
Julian Salvi
8

Subs

Fraser Balmain
18
Fraser Balmain
Jack Whetton
19
Jack Whetton
Laurence Pearce
20
Laurence Pearce
David Mele
21
David Mele
Jack Roberts
22
Jack Roberts
Miles Benjamin
23
Miles Benjamin

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Billy Burns
14
Charlie Sharples
13
Mark Atkinson
12
11
Henry Purdy
10
James Hook
9
Dan Robson
1
Dan Murphy
2
Darren Dawidiuk
3
John Afoa
4
Tom Savage
5
Tom Palmer
6
Sione Kalamafoni
7
Matt Kvesic
8
Gareth Evans

Subs

16
Aleki Lutui
17
Yann Thomas
18
Shaun Knight
19
James Hudson
20
Ross Moriarty
21
Callum Braley
22
23
Steph Reynolds
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2215164534213237394268
9
Gloucester Rugby
Gloucester RugbyGLO229112553575-2253614646
Form Guide
Form
WWLWW
Last Match
Beat Gloucester Rugby 33-26
Past Meeting
Won 33-26
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WDDLL
Last Match
Lost to Leicester Tigers 26-33
Past Meeting
Lost 26-33

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers18
Leicester Tigers
Gloucester Rugby15
Gloucester Rugby
Full Time