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 GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.