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Aviva Premiership: Leicester Tigers recover to see off Gloucester
Leicester moved up to second in the Aviva Premiership table with a 17-12 victory over Gloucester at a wet and wild Welford Road.
In a real forwards battle played out in atrocious conditions, the Tigers looked in danger of failing to make the most of their dominance in the scrum when they trailed at the break.
The home side's cause wasn't helped by half-back duo Ben Youngs and George Ford both being sin-binned, while Gloucester themselves had prop Shaun Knight and lock Will James yellow-carded.
But in the end a try from centre Anthony Allen proved crucial in the meeting of two teams with serious title aspirations going into 2013.
Quite how Gloucester had been 6-3 ahead at half time was hard to fathom. Having broken the deadlock with an early penalty, Ford - drafted into the team in place of the ill Toby Flood - fluffed his lines with two further attempts.
His misses, after Freddie Burns had levelled the scores, meant the visitors' issues in the scrum went largely unpunished, despite Knight being carded by referee Andrew Smalls for collapsing a set piece in the 24th minute.
Yet, when a man light, and with Mike Tindall pushed into duties as a makeshift flanker with Akapusi Qera making way for a front-rower, they managed a rare attack to win a penalty, giving Burns the chance to boot them in front.
Although Burns failed to locate the posts following Youngs' yellow card in the closing minutes of the first half, he was on target shortly after the break to extend Gloucester's lead to six points, with Ford having swapped places with his team-mate in the bin.
However, the Cherry and Whites immediately shot themselves in the foot from the re-start; trying to play from deep they coughed up possession, allowing Leicester to methodically work their way towards the line. Just as the forwards looked set to score, Youngs' cut-out pass put Allen in at the right corner.
Geordan Murphy couldn't find the target with the conversion but did knock over a penalty, leaving Gloucester - who by now had seen James become the fourth player to be binned - trailing for the first time since the sixth minute.
A pair of penalties from the right foot of Ford, who showed impressive composure for a teenager after his earlier issues off the tee, gave Leicester a cushion and despite some late nerves, they held on to triumph.
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|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com