A second-half yellow card proved pivotal in a 24-17 defeat for Leicester Tigers at Gloucester on Saturday.
Tigers led twice in the first half with tries from Nick Malouf and Joe Ford, before the home side dragged the scores level at 14-14.
But Gloucester claimed 10 points in the 10-minute spell which Logovi’i Mulipola spent off the pitch after being sin-binned for not retreating at a tap penalty in front of the Tigers posts on 48 minutes.
“The 10 points we conceded at that point changed the game,” said Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor.
“The result is frustrating. The effort was fantastic, the commitment and the grit. We were in the game for large parts and the sin-binning was probably the turning point.
“It was a pretty even first half. We defended really well. They had a lot of field position and possession in the second half and we absorbed a lot of pressure with a man down, but they got that decisive score.
“They managed the last 15 minutes very well with good field position and pressure on our line. Our defence was very good there. The resilience to stay in it was important and it got its reward with that point at the death.”
Tigers took a losing bonus point with a last-minute penalty from Matt Toomua, taking on kicking duties after Ford has been replaced on the hour mark.
“It’s important to take something,” added O’Connor. “We didn’t let them get a bonus-point try when they had a lot of pressure near the end and us getting something here could be important at the end of the season.”
Tigers return to Welford Road on Saturday for the Round 15 match against Harlequins. Kick-off is at 3.00pm and match tickets are available now. Book in person, phone 0116 319 8888 (open 9.00am-5.00pm Monday-Saturday) or online.