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Page last updated at 15:00 GMT, Saturday, 1 January 2011

Leeds 15-13 Gloucester

Leeds (10) 15
Tries: Fourie, Stephenson Con: Thomas Pen: Thomas
Gloucester (10) 13
Try: Simpson-Daniel Con: Burns Pens: Burns 2

Michael Stephenson scoring Leeds' winner
Michael Stephenson scored the decisive try to boost Leeds' survival hopes

Rock-bottom Leeds picked up their first Premiership victory of the season with a close win over Gloucester.

Hendre Fourie drove over for Leeds' opening score, which was converted by Ceiron Thomas.

Gloucester levelled the scores as Freddie Burns converted James Simpson-Daniel's try before Thomas and Burns swapped penalties before half-time.

Burns scored a penalty after the break for Gloucester but Michael Stephenson dived over for the winner.

The result will boost Leeds' battle against relegation while denting Gloucester's hopes of finishing in the top four.

Lee Blackett looked set to open the scoring for Leeds but Rory Lawson's last-gasp tackle denied him, but they were unable to stop England flanker Fourie from crossing.

Gloucester were on level terms when Simpson-Daniel crossed in the corner under pressure from Thomas after good work by Mike Tindall, Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu and Olly Morgan.

Leeds were back ahead through Thomas's second kick but Burns cancelled that out after a collapsed scrum.

England Under-20 fly-half Burns, who started ahead of regular number 10 Nicky Robinson, should have given them the lead 10 minutes after the break but he skewed his kick wide.

However he made amends with his boot after Leeds were punished for more infringements in the scrum.

But Leeds rallied and a multi-phase attack, which saw Scott Mathie generating a quick ball and determined running from Fourie and Lachlan MacKay, ended with Stephenson diving across the line just before the hour mark.

The Yorkshire side could have had a more relaxing finish but Thomas missed the conversion and then a penalty. However, Gloucester could not take advantage.

Leeds Carnegie head coach Neil Back told BBC Radio Leeds:
"It is a huge relief for the players. It's been a tough season but a bright start to the new year.

"We're scoring some good tries with solid defence.

"We've conceded one try in the last three games and we've scored 16 so we're on a high, playing with plenty of confidence but we know where we are with a mountain to climb but we're doing it in a much better place."

Gloucester coach Bryan Redpath told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:
"Some of our basics weren't good enough - our catching of balls, running into touch, control and the contact. I highlighted it, I talked about it prior to the game. They're fighting for their livelihoods.

"It'd be interesting to hear some of their reasons for it - I certainly highlighted it - how important this game was to us. After the last performance, too, which we highlighted wasn't good enough - and today is similar, so there's going to be some harsh words will be said on Monday - just some players didn't work hard enough.

"We got a fair few turnovers, but the crucial ones where you've got to keep possession, they got penalised as much as us in the contact areas, so it was a contest today. Right or wrong it's irrelevant. We lost the game because we didn't control our possession well enough."

Leeds: Thomas; Blackett, Fa'afili, Barrow, Stephenson; MacKay, Fury; Hardy, Thompson, Swainston; T Denton, Wentzel (capt); Oakley, Fourie, Browne.

Replacements: Mathie for Fury (51), MacDonald for Hardy (51), Myall for Wentzel (15), Paul for Oakley (60).

Gloucester: Morgan; Simpson-Daniel, Tindall (capt), Fuimaono-Sapolu, Vainikolo; Burns, R Lawson; Wood, S Lawson, Capdevielle; James, Brown; Buxton, Hazell, Narraway.

Replacements: Sharples for Simpson-Daniel (53), Robinson for Burns (63), Lewis for R. Lawson (60), Harden for Capdevielle (18), Qera for Hazell (60).

Attendance: 12,015

Ref: Tim Wigglesworth (RFU).

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see also
Six wins could save Leeds - Key
23 Dec 10 |  Leeds
Lock Attwood given nine-week ban
06 Jan 11 |  Gloucester
Gloucester 18-24 La Rochelle
19 Dec 10 |  Gloucester
Harlequins 51-18 Leeds
28 Nov 10 |  English
Gloucester 19-13 Saracens
27 Nov 10 |  English
Gloucester 22-21 Leeds
11 Sep 10 |  English
Rugby Union commentaries
09 Sep 10 |  Rugby Union

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