Gloucester's performance was characterised by a disappointing amount of errors which, in a way, saw them dragged into a dogfight which suited Leeds down to the ground.
Leeds deserve credit for their passion and commitment. They played like men whose lives depended on it.
Gloucester showed glimpses of what they are capable of but those glimpses were all too fleeting on the day.
The match eventually hinged on Michael Stephenson's try on the hour which was scored amidst some controversy as it looked as though the ball was dropped ahead of grounding.
However, it would be churlish to deny Leeds their moment of glory whilst Gloucester have a lot of hard thinking to do this week ahead of the visit of Exeter.
Freddie Burns, starting at fly half for the first time in the Aviva Premiership this season, got the game underway but it was a fairly error strewn start from both sides in the early stages at a sparsely populated Headingley.
Conditions couldn't be blamed as the temperature was positively tropical compared to recent weeks and the pitch looked in good nick.
And it was a Gloucester error that gifted Leeds the lead as a turnover on halfway allowed the home side to work the blindside and break downfield.
Rory Lawson just got back to deny Lee Blackett but Hendre Fourie burrowed over from close range. Ceiron Thomas added a touchline conversion for a 7-0 lead after 13 minutes.
Gloucester's inability to hold on to the ball was hurting them dear at this point, preventing them from building any momentum at all and playing right into Leeds' hands.
However, the back line clicked on 24 minutes as Fuimaono-Sapolu put Tindall into half a gap. His long pass found the flying Olly Morgan who put James Simpson-Daniel into just enough space to score in the corner.
Burns gifted superbly from the touchline to level the scores. Would this be the catalyst that Bryan Redpath's side needed?
Unfortunately, Leeds struck next as Gloucester failed to roll away from the tackle area and Thomas stroked home a 29thminute penalty for 10-7.
There were signs of Gloucester starting to get it together but the home defence was terrifically committed and making inroads continued to be tricky.
Up front, though, there were signs of the Gloucester pack starting to get the upper hand and duly forced a penalty at a set scrum which Freddie Burns confidently slotted to level the scores on 36 minutes.
Gloucester finished the half well, stretching the Leeds defence right and left and were only denied a potentially dangerous position when Luke Narraway's offload to Mike Tindall was ruled just forward.
Upon reflection, given the shaky opening, Gloucester may well have settled for being on terms at the interval.
However, there was so much more to come from Gloucester and Leeds had done little to suggest that they could threaten in attack with their one opening having come from a turnover.
The win was still very much on the cards but Gloucester would need to avoid the errors that blighted them in the opening quarter. When possession was maintained, Leeds looked vulnerable.
And Gloucester did play it sensibly in the opening stages, dominating possession but couldn't make the vital breakthrough against rugged home tackling.
It was tense and nervy stuff but Gloucester eventually earned a kickable penalty for a ruck offence Burns dragged the kick just wide but duly made amends minutes later as Gloucester's pack won another penalty at the scrum.
The lead lasted just minutes as a Charlie Sharples handling error gave Leeds good field position. The home side remained patient and eventually Michael Stephenson wriggled over from close range to give the home team a narrow 15-13 lead.
Gloucester needed to remain calm but errors and discipline reared their ugly heads again and a ruck offence on 68 minutes gave Thomas an easy chance to stretch the lead but horribly mishit the attempt and pushed it wide right.
The clock was against Gloucester and minutes started to tick by with Leeds starting to play it tighter than ever. Bryan Redpath's side were having to play from deep and it was tough going.
It proved to be too much as Gloucester simply couldn't work their way into a scoring position as Leeds defended as though their lives depended on it and ultimately emerged with a deserved win.
Gloucester, for their part, were forced to contemplate the long drive home with just a losing bonus point.
|Leeds Carnegie Score Card|
|Gloucester Rugby Score Card|