Match Preview – Leicester Tigers v Gloucester Rugby
4 January 2019
The Cherry and Whites are on the road this weekend, travelling to the East Midlands to take on Leicester Tigers in Round 12 of the Gallagher Premiership.
Here are some players to keep an eye on this weekend.
The hooker has impressed during his short-term loan with the Cherry and Whites, and has been in fine try-scoring form in both Europe and the Gallagher Premiership. Gloucester Rugby will be seeking set piece control at Welford Road, as they look to pick up crucial points this weekend.
The Cherry and Whites know all about the England winger, and he will be one to keep very quiet at Welford Road this weekend. Arguably one of the best try scorers in World Rugby, May will be looking to add to the try he scored at The Rec last week.
Last Time Out
Gloucester Rugby 15-30 Sale Sharks
Bath Rugby 23-16 Leicester Tigers
With the Gallagher Premiership table so tight below the top two of Saracens and Exeter Chiefs, every game in the 2018/19 campaign is pivotal as the rest of the league fights to improve their standing.
Despite losing to Sale last time out, Johan Ackermann’s men start the year in third with a four-point advantage over Harlequins in the fourth semi-final spot.
A victory over Leicester would help them solidify their position in the top four, but Geordan Murphy’s outfit will be determined to start 2019 positively after a challenging year.
Tigers have only won four of their first 11 games in the league this season and need to pick up points quickly to avoid being dragged into the relegation scrap at the bottom of the table.
Form so far
Gloucester Rugby have been one of the form sides in the Premiership this season, with six wins, one draw and four defeats to their name following the opening 11 rounds of action.
Meanwhile, Leicester Tigers’ fortunes could not be more different as they struggled to find wins at the end of 2018 – beating Harlequins for their first win in nine in all competitions.
A defeat to Bath Rugby last time out caused more frustration for a side more used to challenging at the top, but Murphy will hope the new year will provide a fresh start for Tigers.
History suggests Leicester Tigers have the advantage over Gloucester, with the hosts winning 11, losing five and drawing one of their last 16 meetings in the Premiership.
Tigers had enjoyed a seven-match winning streak over Gloucester before they were beaten in February 2018 – losing 24-17 at Kingsholm in the Premiership.
And the clubs now appear to be on different trajectories, especially after the Cherry and Whites delivered a dominant display to beat Leicester again at Kingsholm in November.
One thing that can always be guaranteed is points. A record-breaking 41-41 draw at Welford Road in 2011 is the highlight in an entertaining history of match-ups between the two sides.
Ollie Thorley scored a brace as Gloucester ran in five tries to clinch comfortable 36-13 triumph against Leicester Tigers the last time the two sides faces each other.
Jason Woodward, Matt Banahan and Fraser Balmain all crossed to give the hosts a 22-6 lead at the break, before the Tigers rallied after the restart with a Mike Williams try.
His score was sandwiched in between Thorley’s double, however, with the youngster producing a mesmerising breakaway from just outside his own 22 to score his second.
While Thorley’s try-scoring exploits earned all the headlines, Cipriani was hailed for his performance as his quick hands contributed to Woodward and Banahan’s early tries.
15. Jonah Holmes, 14. Jonny May, 13. Manu Tuilagi, 12. Matt Toomua, 11. Jordan Olowofela, 10. George Ford (capt), 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Ellis Genge, 2. Tatafu Polata-Nau, 3. Dan Cole; 4. Mike Fitzgerald, 5. Graham Kitchener; 6. Mike Williams, 7. Will Evans, 8. Sione Kalamafoni
16. Jake Kerr, 17. Greg Bateman, 18. Joe Heyes; 19. Harry Wells, 20. Brendon O’Connor, 21. Ben White, 22. Kyle Eastmond, 23. George Worth
15. Tom Hudson, 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Ollie Thorley, 10. Owen Williams, 9. Callum Braley; 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Jaco Visagie, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Gerbrandt Grobler, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Freddie Clarke, 7. Gareth Evans, 8. Ben Morgan (capt)
16. Henry Walker, 17. Paddy McAllister, 18. Ciaran Knight; 19. Ed Slater, 20. Lewis Ludlow; 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Henry Trinder, 23. Matt Banahan
Referee: Wayne Barnes (208th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe & Matthew O’Grady.
TMO: David Rose.
Citing Officer: Shaun Gallagher.
How To Follow
This Saturday’s game is live on BT Sport, and there will be live commentary via BBC Radio Gloucestershire who will in place at Welford Road.
Follow all of the club channels for live updates on the Gloucester Rugby App, matchday live blog, Twitter and behind the scenes on Instagram.
Enjoy the game!