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Report | Tigers land bonus-point win over Gloucester

Leicester Tigers claimed a bonus-point win in a 35-23 success against Gloucester Rugby at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday.

Tigers led 14-6 midway through the opening half when Jasper Wiese added to a score by Jack van Poortvliet, but the visitors fought back to lead by two points at the break.

Gloucester went into the weekend in fourth place in the table and with just two away defeats on their record, but scores from Hanro Liebenberg and finally Guy Porter, coupled with the kicking of Freddie Burns ensured there would be a third at the hands of the Tigers.

Liebenberg was back as captain after starting on the bench in the win at Bath in Round 17, while Steve Borthwick gave a first start to Chris Ashton and recalled Nic Dolly, who was among the scorers in the away win over Gloucester in Round 2, to his matchday squad.

George Skivington, the former Tigers second-rower who is now head coach at Gloucester, included former Leicester prop Fraser Balmain in his starting front row and was able to name Mark Atkinson and Louis Rees-Zammit after their release from Six Nations squads. 

In the 130 years since their first meeting, the clubs are barely separated on win count, with Tigers 111-109 ahead going into the game, and there was little between them again in the opening half.

Adam Hastings got the game started for the visitors on a sunny and windy afternoon, and although he missed his first strike at goal just three minutes in, the fly-half made no mistake with a repeat after Ashton was whistled for a challenge on scrum-half Charlie Chapman to put the visitors in front.

Freddie Burns made the most of a penalty for offside on halfway, thumping his kick into the right-hand corner where Gloucester were whistled again for collapsing the maul. Julian Montoya, in traditional territory, took possession at the next set-piece but he was tackled into touch five metres from the tryline.

Tigers did not let Gloucester out, though, as Ashton neatly read a kick from Burns and then van Poortvliet almost carried to the line. But he was denied only for another 60 seconds as Tigers kept ball and, with a ruck under the posts, the scrum-half dived to the line. Burns added a conversion to make it 7-3 on 15 minutes.

The Gloucester pack claimed a scrum penalty immediately afterwards and Hastings cut the gap to a single point with the kick from 30 metres.

A piece of individual skill from Burns had the home crowd on their feet and set the platform for a second try as the fly-half chipped ahead on halfway, then volleyed the bouncing ball to the tryline. Although Kyle Moyle beat him to it, Burns wrapped up the defender to force a five-metre scrum.

When the whistle went at the set-piece, No8 Wiese tapped and barged his way over the tryline. Burns added the conversion for a 14-6 advantage.

Tigers got forward again as they overloaded the left flank when Nemani Nadolo linked with Montoya, but he was too close to the chalk and forced into touch.

Gloucester, without real attacking ball since the opening few minutes, then got a score from set-piece ball when Santiago Carreras broke through on a sweeping backline move and found Ollie Thorley on the left. He was tackled almost on the line by Nadolo and Kelly but still twisted to score and Hastings added the kick to take the score back to 14-13.

They almost added another immediately with a break on the right before Tigers closed the door just short of the tryline. But the visitors were enjoying a promising period.

Atkinson left the field after a nasty-looking clash of heads with a team-mate in front of the dugouts and was replaced by Rees-Zammit, surprisingly freed by the Wales squad this week.

When play resumed, Gloucester offloaded their way up the middle of the field until they were finally halted by aggressive work over the ball by Nadolo, and Burns kicked up to halfway.

The crowd had a chance to see Ashton in full flight  for the fist time as he chipped ahead on the right but the bounce just ran too far.

Hegarty then over-cooked a punt upfield, the ball bouncing under the goalposts at the Mattioli Woods Stand end and giving the visitors scrum ball 60 metres further back with the clock up to 40 minutes.

After a re-set, referee Jack Makepeace signalled a penalty and then marched Tigers back 10 metres. Hastings added the kick to give the visitors a 16-14 lead at the break.

Richard Wigglesworth and Harry Potter were the first replacements sent on by Borthwick on 49 minutes as Moyle spilled a kick on his 22 and Rees-Zammit picked up in front for a Tigers penalty.

Turning down a kick at goal, Tigers played from set-piece on the left and Wiese beat numerous tacklers in front of the posts before ball was recycled and Liebenberg reached out to score at full stretch despite the presence of three tacklers.

Burns put more distance between the teams with the conversion and a penalty from 45 metres to make it 24-16 on 54 minutes and ease Tigers beyond a converted score in front.

When the Gloucester scrum was penalised in the next phase of play, Burns was short with the kick at goal, but play remained at that end of the field and the arm-wrestle among the forwards continued when the visitors were driven out of play near halfway.

Gloucester lost replacement forward Alex Craig to a yellow card after a tackle on Liebenberg was checked by the TMO just after the hour-mark and Burns increased the cost with a penalty to make it 27-16.

Tigers stared to exert more control as Wiese took on three defenders when he picked up from a scrum and when their rivals tried to play from deep Hastings missed Thorley with a cross-kick into touch.

The lineout brought Kelly on to the ball, sidestepping his way forward and he was rewarded with another penalty, only for Tigers to miss their target at the lineout throw in the corner.

But Gloucester were unable to loosen Leicester’s grip on the game and, after more patience in attack, Porter added the bonus-point score with a remarkable finish in the left-hand corner.

Although he had some space when Kelly threw the long pass, Porter still had work to do, pushing off Moyle and then leaping for the tryline with a second defender and the touchline in close proximity. After several checks, there was nothing definitive to go against the referee’s on-field call of try and the score reached 32-16.

Gloucester replacement prop Harry Elrington immediately added their second of the day after good work in attack from Ludlow and Freddie Clarke.

Hastings converted to make it 32-23 momentarily, but Wiese then won a penalty on the floor and Burns kicked to add three points to the Tigers total.

The game was into its final minute when Tigers stopped a drive from the Gloucester forwards, but the referee was playing with attacking advantage when they swarmed over ball on the floor.

A score would give the visitors a point for their efforts but a mix-up at the lineout on the left cut any hopes short of that kind of dividend as Tigers added five points to their total.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 14-16 GLO

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 35-23 GLO




Jack Makepeace

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers

Full Time

Gloucester Rugby
Gloucester Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Gloucester Rugby

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Gloucester Rugby
Penalties Conceded
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Tackles Won
116/140 83%
125/140 89%
Scrums Won
6/7 86%
3/4 75%
Lineouts Won
16/18 89%
9/10 90%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Gloucester Rugby
Leicester Tigers
15Bryce Hegarty
14Chris Ashton
13Guy Porter1T
12Dan Kelly
11Nemani Nadolo
10Freddie Burns3C3P
9Jack van Poortvliet1T
1James Whitcombe
2Julian Montoya
3Joe Heyes
4Harry Wells
5Eli Snyman
6George Martin
7Hanro Liebenberg1T
8Jasper Wiese1T
16Nic Dolly
17Francois van Wyk
18Nephi Leatigaga
19Calum Green
20Tommy Reffell
21Richard Wigglesworth
22Matt Scott
23Harry Potter



Tigers win 35-23 with a bonus point after tries from van Poortvliet, Wiese, Liebenberg and Porter to take 5 points from a tough afternoon against Gloucester. 

Burns kicks the penalty to make it 35-23 on 77mins

Hastings conversion and it's 32-23 to Tigers, 4-3 on tries, with 5mins still to play.

Try for the replacement prop Elrington after break by Gloucester skipper Ludlow and Clarke. 32-21.


Burns off target with the conversion. Tigers have a bonus point score and lead 32-16 on 73mins.

Porter beats two defenders and launches himself into the corner for try number 4. It is now 32-16 on 71mins.


Porter has thrown himself into the left corner. But is it a try?


Tigers keeping Gloucester pinned back here but miss their man at a lineout in the corner.

Burns kicks the penalty for a 27-16 lead on 64mins.

Alex Craig goes to the sin bin after TMO checks on tackle on Liebenberg.

Burns lands a long-range kick to make it 24-16 on 53 mins.

Burns adds the conversion, 21-16 to Tigers on 51mins

HANRO LIEBENBERG, at full stretch and with three tacklers on him, reaches out to score and put Tigers in front at 19-16 on 51mins.


Teams are back out in the sunshine. Freddie Burns gets us started with Tigers 14-16 behind.


Hastings kicks Gloucester in front with the final action of the half. They lead 16-14. Tigers tries by van Poortvliet and Wiese.

The clock is past 40mins as Tigers are penalised at the scrum and marched back 10 metres, giving Hastings a kick for goal. He kicks Gloucester 16-14 in front.


First sight of Ashton in full flight has the crowd excited, but his chip-kick just runs too far.


Rees-Zammit is on for the injured Atkinson in the Gloucester backline.


Physio treatment for Gloucester centre Atkinson after a clash of heads with his team-mate Ackermann. But looks like play will restart for a penalty against Tigers from the previous phase of play.

Hastings kicks the conversion and it's 14-13 on 30mins

Try for Gloucester wing Ollie Thorley after a break by Carreras. Thorley just gets there as Nadolo and Kelly make the tackle on the tryline.

Burns adds the conversion for a 14-6 lead as we enter the second quarter.

JASPER WIESE takes a penalty quickly and takes on the Gloucester pack at close range before forcing his way over to score.  


So close for Burns, chasing his own kick, he volleys the ball towards the tryline and although Moyle is there, the Tigers favourite wraps him up behind the line for a 5m scrum.

Hastings has another penalty following a scrum and makes it 7-6 with the kick on 18mins.

Burns adds the conversion and Tigers are 7-3 in front on 15 minutes.

JACK VAN POORTVLIET is over to score next to the posts for the opening try and a 5-3 lead on 14mins.


Gloucester manage to take Montoya in touch touch just short of the line. But Tigers building some possession now.


A thumping kick to the corner from Burns gives Tigers good field position. Whistle follows again as Gloucester collapse maul.

Hastings penalty for Gloucester, keeping it low and true for a 3-0 lead on 5mins.


Hastings penalty for the visitors from the 10-metre line is off-target, looked like the wind played a part in that too. 

KICK-OFF | Leicester Tigers v Gloucester

Gloucester fly-half Adam Hastings will get the game started with Gloucester in chnage colours of blue and white, and Tigers playing left to right as we look from the dugouts in the Breedon Stand, attacking the Mattioli Woods Stand End. 



It has been a bright and sunny day so far, if a bit windy. The forecast says it should hold for the rest of the afternoon. It's a peaked-cap type of day in the crowd.



Gloucester Rugby: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Santiago Carreras, 13 Tom Seabrook, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Charlie Chapman; 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2 Jack Singleton, 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Freddie Clarke, 5 Matias Alemanno, 6 Jordy Reid, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 8 Ruan Ackermann

Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Alex Craig, 20 Jack Clement, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 George Barton, 23 Louis Rees-Zammit



Leicester Tigers host Gloucester Rugby in a 3.00pm kick-off  and, if you cannot join us at the game, you can keep up to date with Match Day Live on the Tigers App and website at www.leicestertigers.com.



There are no changes to the team announced on Friday as Tigers host Gloucester this afternoon.

STARTING XV [with Tigers appearances]

15 Bryce Hegarty [10], 14 Chris Ashton [2], 13 Guy Porter [34], 12 Dan Kelly [37], 11 Nemani Nadolo [27], 10 Freddie Burns [90], 9 Jack van Poortvliet [38]; 1 James Whitcombe [15], 2 Julián Montoya [19], 3 Joe Heyes [89], 4 Harry Wells [144], 5 Eli Snyman [12], 6 George Martin [32], 7 Hanro Liebenberg [47], 8 Jasper Wiese [32]


16 Nic Dolly [16], 17 Francois van Wyk [10], 18 Nephi Leatigaga [58], 19 Calum Green [79], 20 Tommy Reffell [66], 21 Richard Wigglesworth [28], 22 Matt Scott [40], 23 Harry Potter [30]


MATCH PREVIEW | Tigers v Gloucester

This season is the 130th anniversary of the first meeting between Leicester Tigers and today's visitors Gloucester.

When Gloucester first travelled to Leicester in 1891/92, it was during Tigers’ final season before moving to their iconic home now known as Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Gloucester arrive today with one of the best away records in the league as the 24-15 loss at Exeter two weeks ago was only their second defeat on the road in the Gallagher Premiership this season – and a first since the opening weekend.

Nic Dolly, a tryscorer in the Tigers' win at Kingsholm this season, returns to the squad for the reverse fixture, while Chris Ashton makes his first start. Hanro Liebenberg is back as captain in the team announced by head coach Steve Borthwick.

George Skivington, the former Tigers second-rower who is now head coach at Gloucester, includes Fraser Balmain in his front row, but Billy Twelvetrees, Ed Slater and Jonny May all miss out.

Referee is Jack Makepeace, who was also in charge when these two teams met here last season.



We are LIVE as Leicester Tigers host Gloucester in Round 18 of the Gallagher Premiership season at Mattioli Woods Welford Road. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

If you are unable to join us at the game, you can keep up to date with all of the action right here with our Matchday Live service on the Tigers App and website at www.leicestertigers.com.

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

Kyle Moyle
Santiago Carreras
Tom Seabrook
Mark Atkinson
Ollie Thorley
Adam Hastings
Charlie Chapman
Val Rapava-Ruskin
Jack Singleton
Fraser Balmain
Freddie Clarke
Matias Alemanno
Jordy Reid
Lewis Ludlow
Ruan Ackermann


Santiago Socino
Harry Elrington
Jamal Ford-Robinson
Alex Craig
Jack Clement
Ben Meehan
George Barton
Louis Rees-Zammit
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI242004726452274885211394
Gloucester Rugby
Gloucester RugbyGLO2413110685525160926712773
Form Guide
Last Match
Beat Saracens 15-12
Past Meeting
Won 35-23
Last Match
Past Meeting
Last Match
Beat Saracens 54-7
Past Meeting
Lost 23-35

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers35
Leicester Tigers
Gloucester Rugby23
Gloucester Rugby
Full Time