When Gloucester lost skipper Marco Bortolami before kick-off with a knee injury and then Peter Buxton in the early knockings with a suspected broken hand, Gloucester's forward pack were denied two of their most effective maulers and Leicester took full advantage because the effort of their forward pack in every aspect was outstanding.
The Tigers love to get quick ball into the hands of Tuilagi and Rabeni and such was their dominance in the second half that Tuilagi stood in the stand-off position to attack Gloucester's 10 and 12 channel with devastating effect.
A third minute Willie Walker penalty was cancelled out with Leicester's only piece of good fortune all afternoon. Gloucester never cleared their lines after Walker was penalised for a check on Dan Hipkiss and Tuilagi came in for support and from the ruck, scrum-half Frank Murphy was awarded the try despite the fact it appeared he lost control of the ball.
Gloucester did cut the gap to 7-6 with a 24th minute Walker penalty but Leicester were fully keyed up for the set-piece battle, gradually began to starve Gloucester of possession and turn the screw in the last third of the field.
Although their second try was all down to two men - Geordan Murphy and Tuilagi - Gloucester will look at their exit strategy that kept a clearance kick in-field and then some poor tackling that contributed to the score.
Murphy fielded the kicked and got away from Iain Balshaw before feeding the run-away cement mixer from Samoa. Anthony Allen tried to make the tackle but lost his footing and then Lamb went the same way as Tuilagi dived into score.
Leicester were white-hot now and from the re-start, Moody, George Chuter and Rabeni carried possession the length of the field to earn a penalty and Andy Goode made it 15-6.
Gloucester, although they defended with desperation and total commitment, were simply out-gunned and before the break, Goode ran flat across the line, Rabeni came in to support and Martin Corry scored try number three.
Some of Leicester's close ball work given the conditions was a joy. Their inter-passing and control was masterful and although Walker kicked a penalty immediately after the re-start to make the score 22-9, Gloucester's defence again went missing three minutes later to allow Goode to score on an angled break in the corner.
The concern for Gloucester now, despite their bravery and determination to keep playing, was that the flood gates may open and when the Tigers won a scrum 25 metres from the line and Tuilagi and Rabeni loaded the open side, Lamb and Allen knew what was coming.
Murphy fed the ball and Tuilagi burst forward on a straight-line attack that took him in for his second try. It was as simple as it was devastating - Leicester's power, not only one-on-one but as a collective unit was staggering and there was still time for Jennings to grab try number six from a tried and trusted rolling maul.
That Gloucester didn't go totally under was a massive credit to them and when Murphy slung out an improbable pass, Lamb intercepted and had enough pass to beat Jennings to give the Gloucester supporters something to shout for.
Walker converted to make it 16-39 and although Leicester scored again in the final minute, it hardly mattered.
|Gloucester Rugby Score Card|
|Leicester Tigers Score Card|