Gloucester United scored three tries in a 48-19 defeat against an experienced Leicester Tigers in the Guinness A League at Welford Road on Monday evening.
Louis Deacon and Alesana Tuilagi returned from lengthy injury absences for the Tigers and flanker Ben Woods grabbed a hat-trick on his return from a knee ligament problem.
It was Tuilagi who opened the scoring after Gloucester captain Willie Walker had missed an early penalty for the visitors and Sam Vesty added a second score after full-back Jack Cobden produced a brilliant tackle on opposite number Freddie Burns and then launched the counter-attack.
After Woods forced his way over from close range to make it 15-0, Gloucester grabbed their first points as Jack Adams' grubber kick created a chance for Dan Norton to score on the right. Walker completed the seven-point score from the touchline.
Ayoola Erinle set up a second try of the evening for Tigers flanker Woods and Vesty's conversion made it 22-7 at the break.
Woods claimed his hat-trick try 19 minutes into the second half with a drive through two defenders to score under the posts and Greig Tonks chipped over the conversion to make it 29-7.
Gloucester replacement Charlie Sharples then slipped through the Tigers defence to race in on the right and give Mark Cornwell's side renewed hope of a fightback.
But replacement Dan Hemingway collected Elliott Read's pass to dive over on the left just a moment later and Tonks converted to put Tigers 34-12 ahead.
Gloucester full-back Burns drove over to score under the posts for the visitors' third try and got up to convert his own score before No8 Ben Pienaar and wing Tom Varndell rounded off the scoring for the hosts.
TONIGHT there is a meet the players evening in the Star Suite at Kingsholm from 7.15pm. Olly Barkley, Greg Somerville and Matthew Watkins will be in attendance. Entry is by season ticket book or 1873 Club lanyard.
Speaking to the local media this week, back row flanker Jacob Rowan said that he is excited for the challenge at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday, and added that the players know the responsibility is theirs to deliver against the league leaders.
Ben Morgan was on media duty this week, and as Gloucester prepare for Sunday's trip to Wasps, the number eight is looking forward to see Gloucester go toe-to-toe with another of the Aviva Premiership's front runners.
Tom Marshall scored his first Gloucester try in the 31-23 win over Saracens on Friday evening and was named Man of the Match. Talking to GRTV, he praised the forwards for setting the tone on the night.
Matt Scott was on media duty this week, and the Scottish international spoke about the benefit of having a full week of training with his club mates and the determination to get back to performing well against Saracens this Friday evening.
Last Friday night saw Gloucester Rugby Head of Community Adam Balding present a cheque for £7082.82 to the Royal British Legion as a result of a series of fundraising during the Remembrance Period in November.
Gloucester battled bravely against Wasps on Sunday, but it was a case of taking chances at the Ricoh Arena. Gloucester didn't make the most of theirs while Wasps did, and that proved to be the difference.
Gloucester were competitive for long periods at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday afternoon, but were left to rue a host of missed scoring opportunities throughout as Wasps hit back to earn a 35-22 Aviva Premiership win.
Gloucester's Ciaran Knight made his first start at tighthead prop, Henry Walker made his first appearance as a second half replacement and Alex Seville also featured as England U20s might it three from three in the U20s Six Nations with a 46-0 win over Italy in Darlington on Friday night.