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.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).