Burns’ night as Leicester cinch win

Published: Friday 13th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Leicester crept into the Aviva Premiership top four after a hard fought 18-15 victory at home to Gloucester.

The Tigers avenged the 33-16 defeat at Kingsholm earlier in the season thanks to a brilliant kicking performance from fly-half Freddie Burns, who landed six penalties from six attempts.

Wales international James Hook kicked five from six for Gloucester, failing to earn his side a draw with a late 53 metre attempt.

The win puts Leicester on 39 points, the same as third placed Saracens who play Bath on Sunday.

Defences were on top throughout the match and neither side had the cutting edge in attack to make the breakthrough that would have brought the match to light in front of a crowd of 20, 298.

Gloucester winger Charlie Sharples received yellow card in the 69th minute.

Both sides were under strength due to the Six Nations and Leicester rewarded 21-year-old centre George Catchpole with his league debut after excelling in the LV= Cup.

And there was a bit of extra spice because of the rivalry between the Burns brothers, Leicester fly-half Freddie and Gloucester full back Billy.

Gloucester, looking to end a seven match losing streak at Leicester, just about shaded the first half which ended all square at 9-9.

Burns and opposite number James Hook each kicked three penalties from three attempts on a night when teaming rain and a muddy pitch made life difficult.

Both teams used the high kick as a weapon and neither side created any clear cut chances, although Gloucester had a 29th minute try chalked off for a forward pass.

And that came from a mistake by Burns who lost the ball trying to run out of his own 22. Gloucester pounced on the error but winger Henry Purdy’s pass to centre Mark Atkinson was ruled to have gone forward.

Leicester, who have scored just 21 tries this season – only bottom club London Welsh have fewer – did not look like adding to their meagre tally until the final moments of the half when they pinned Gloucester on their own line only to get turned over.

Burns kicked penalties in the sixth, 11th and 34th minutes, while former Wales fly-half Hook replied in the 10th, 16th and 24th minutes, his second a monster from half way.

Leicester made a flying start to the second half and opened up a six point lead thanks to two more Burns penalties, the first going over off the right post, the second off the left.

Hook hit back with one of his own but with the crowd getting behind them Leicester began to dominate. However, after going for a try instead of three points the again failed to breach the Cherry & White’s wall-like defence.

Gloucester wasted a good chance after a break-out by winger Sharples and soon found themselves defending their own line again.

Hooker, however, made Leicester pay for their indiscipline by kicking a fabulous 50 metre penalty from the left touchline in the 63rd minute to level the scores at 15-15.

Burns restored Leicester’s lead with 11 minutes left with his sixth penalty after Sharples was sin binned for obstruction in an offside position at a ruck.

Hook tried to earn Gloucester a draw with a 53 metre penalty near the end but was way short.

Published: Friday 13th February 2015 by The News Editor

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