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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 May 2007, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Premiership final



By Mark Orlovac

Leicester celebrate their Premiership triumph
Leicester are two-thirds of the way to a historic treble

Gloucester 16 (6)
Try: Lamb
Con: Walker
Pens: Walker 3

Leicester 44 (22)
Tries: F Murphy, A Tuilagi 2, Corry, Goode, Jennings, Moody
Cons: Goode 3
Pen: Goode

Leicester claimed their first domestic Double thanks to a powerful and comprehensive Premiership final victory over Gloucester at Twickenham.

The Tigers went behind early on but their forwards took control after Frank Murphy crossed on 23 minutes.

Alesana Tuilagi and Martin Corry scored before the break while Andy Goode, Tuilagi and Shane Jennings made sure of the win in the second half.

Gloucester never gave up but Lewis Moody's late score sealed a fine win.

The victory hands Leicester their first league title since 2002 and with the EDF Energy Cup already won and the Heineken Cup final against Wasps to come, the Tigers are now two-thirds of the way to an historic Treble.

And with the Tigers displaying such power and pace, Wasps coach Ian McGeechan knows he is in for one hell of a battle on Sunday.

Leicester scrum-half Frank Murphy
Frank Murphy celebrates his hotly-disputed first-half try

With a pre-match downpour at Twickenham, conditions were treacherous and England prospect Dan Hipkiss highlighted how slippy the ball was by uncharacteristically spilling the kick-off.

In truth it was a pretty nervy start from the Tigers and Gloucester, who were hit by the loss of skipper Marco Bortolami two hours before kick-off, took the lead on five minutes through a Willie Walker penalty after Leicester were penalised for not rolling away.

But Leicester quickly worked their way back into the game and they took the lead through scrum-half Frank Murphy, in for the injured Harry Ellis, who just managed to bundle his way over for a try which was eventually given by the television referee.

Gloucester skipper Peter Buxton was taken off with a suspected broken hand after 15 minutes but they reduced the deficit to just one point when Walker landed his second penalty.

606: DEBATE

But they were completely blown away as Leicester, with their mobile and destructive forwards and Tuilagi and Seru Rabeni coming in off their wings, started to take control.

A second try was always on the cards and sure enough it came on 32 minutes.

Powerhouse winger Tuilagi fielded a poor Ryan Lamb clearance and, after a one-two with Geordan Murphy, he bulldozed his way down the wing for the score - leaving Anthony Allen and Lamb in his wake.

Leicester were now unstoppable and three minutes later they romped down the field with good work from George Chuter, Lewis Moody and Rabeni, which led to a penalty for Goode.

Alesana Tuilagi scores his second try
Gloucester could not cope with Tuilagi's power

Outside centre Hipkiss was denied a score by the video ref on 38 minutes but in the closing moments of the half Rabeni carved a massive hole which allowed skipper Corry to charge over.

Gloucester went off the field for the break completely shell shocked but they gave themselves a glimmer of hope with Walker's third penalty on 43 minutes.

But with Leicester's forwards not giving Gloucester an inch, there was to be no way back and three scores in 19 minutes ended the game as a contest.

Goode made the score 27-9 after coasting around some poor defence, man of the match Tuilagi added his second after brushing off Lamb's weak tackle while Jennings bundled his way over from a trademark catch and drive.

Gloucester were well beaten but they continued to battle away, Lamb claiming a late consolation, but fittingly Leicester ended the scoring when flanker Moody scored a pushover try.

The final whistle was met with suitable celebration from the Leicester players but minds will already be turning to the encounter with Wasps at the same venue next weekend.


Gloucester: Walker, Foster, Simpson-Daniel, Allen, Balshaw, Lamb, Richards, Wood, Azam, Nieto, James, Brown, Buxton, Hazell, Narraway.
Replacements: M Davies, Califano, Eustace, Boer, Lawson, Adams, Goodridge.


Leicester: G Murphy, Rabeni, Hipkiss, Vesty, A Tuilagi, Goode, F Murphy, Ayerza, Chuter, Moreno, L. Deacon, Cullen, Moody, S Jennings, Corry.
Replacements: Buckland, White, Kay, B Deacon, Humphreys, Smith, Varndell.



SEE ALSO
Gloucester must get physical
11 May 07 |  English
We must outsmart Tigers - Ryan
10 May 07 |  English
Brains and brawn bolster Tigers
09 May 07 |  Rugby Union
Ellis faces World Cup heartache
08 May 07 |  English
Leicester 26-14 Bristol
05 May 07 |  English
Gloucester 35-13 Bristol
28 Apr 07 |  English


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