GLOUCESTER made it three wins out of three in the Guinness A League last night with a comprehensive six-try success over Leicester.
When they combined their slickness in attack with some dangerous and powerful running, Gloucester were too strong for an inexperienced Leicester side, who managed one try through full-back Rickie Aley late on but were well beaten 45-8.
There were some impressive and disciplined performances on the Gloucester side and once they got into their attacking stride, simply over-whelmed a Tigers side that operated for much of the night without a regular supply of territory or possession.
Gloucester's back three of Mark Foster, Charlie Sharples and Iain Balshaw menaced throughout. Foster, physical and strong, crossed once and looked dangerous every time he carried the ball, Sharples collected a hat-trick and Balshaw got through 60 minutes on his return from a groin injury.
Gloucester had more than enough possession for Foster and the like to strut their stuff in the first-half but there were also impressive performances from number eight Andres Pretorious, who was safe as houses under the re-starts and carried hard into the contact area and flanker Guy Thompson, who was quick and aggressive throughout.
Hooker Scott Lawson was also accurate at line-out time and was dynamic going forward and after Foster and Balshaw had combined to break free down the left, Ryan Lamb kicked Gloucester into a second minute lead with a penalty.
Then, two minutes later, Gloucester got their first try. They controlled a scrum close to the sticks and Pretorious and scrum-half Jordi Pasqualin combined before Sharples finished off in the corner.
Their 8-0 lead soon became 15-0 when Foster surged forward and Henry Trinder finished off following more good work from Pasqualin and a lovely pass from Lamb. An inexperienced Tigers side gave it their utmost in the set-piece and through the powerful surges of Manu Tuilagi, but Gloucester were slicker and faster.
Foster was the next on the score-sheet when Lamb and the equally impressive Freddie Burns made sizeable midfield holes and the winger was able to score comfortably down the left to make it 22-0.
The try blitz was interrupted by a succession of penalties - Aley's 27th minute effort got Leicester on the board - but Gloucester responded with two from Lamb after 31 and 35 minutes to take the hosts 28-3 clear.
But there was still time in the first-half for Gloucester to secure their bonus point try. Dave Young carried hard and as the Gloucester forwards churned out yet more possession, Pasqualin, Lamb and Balshaw all used the ball well for Sharples to grab his second.
In the second half, Gloucester struggled to re-create their potency, despite dominating the contest for long periods. To Leicester's credit, they worked wonderfully hard in defence and tried desperately to go from deep but they were out-gunned for the majority of the contest.
The contest was deep into the final quarter before Gloucester scored their fifth try. The impressive Burns launched the move before Gloucester dragged play to the right and Sharples collected his hat-trick in the corner.
There was still time for Leicester to get their try when the powerfully constructed Tuilagi carried hard and Aley finished off the move in the far corner to make it 40-8.
But Gloucester had the final say when Trinder scored try number six to ease Gloucester to a highly commanding victory.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Newcastle Falcons (kick off 3pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys emphasised the importance this weekend of Gloucester building on last week's impressive home victory against the Exeter Chiefs.
Speaking to the assembled national and local media, try-scorer Jonny May was delighted and relieved to have tasted victory on Saturday evening, and is looking forward to the European Rugby Challenge Cup final.
Tom Savage delivered a Man of the Match performance against Exeter Chiefs on his birthday on Saturday evening. He spoke to GRTV after the game about the importance of the European Rugby Challenge Cup win.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester Rugby return to Aviva Premiership action against the Newcastle Falcons on Saturday (Kingsholm, kick off 3pm), and make several changes to the side that defeated Exeter Chiefs at home last weekend.
With a fantastic rugby season coming to a thrilling climax and the prospect of the world's best battling it out in our back garden in September and October, there has never been a better time to quiz your Gloucester Rugby and home nation heroes on what makes them tick.