|Leicester (22) 38|
|Tries: Van Wyk, T Youngs, Wigglesworth, Clare Cons: Henry 2, Diaz Bonilla Pens: Henry 3, Diaz Bonilla|
|Gloucester (8) 15|
|Tries: Hanson, Simpson Con: Twelvetrees Pen: Twelvetrees|
Leicester made a bonus-point winning start to life under new head coach Steve Borthwick as they beat Gloucester in their opening Premiership fixture.
Three first-half tries from Kobus van Wyk, Tom Youngs and Richard Wigglesworth were capped off by Charlie Clare’s score in the closing stages.
Gloucester, who were always trailing at Welford Road, crossed twice themselves through James Hanson and Joe Simpson.
But yellow cards for Hanson and Freddie Clarke hampered their victory chances.
Tigers lock Calum Green was also sin-binned for a clash at the base of a ruck with Hanson but, by then, Gloucester’s ill-discipline and penalty count had already made life difficult for them.
Leicester, who finished second from bottom last season, won just once in the last five rounds of the campaign’s restart.
More off-field disruption followed during a pre-season that saw three coaches depart, including director of rugby and former player Geordan Murphy little more than a week before the start of the season.
Former England assistant coach Borthwick took charge and he will have no doubt been thrilled to see Tigers register an opening-round win for the first time in four seasons.
Winger Van Wyk, hooker Youngs and debutant scrum-half Wigglesworth all went over inside the first 24 minutes while fly-half Zack Henry missed just once off the tee as he added 13 points with the boot.
Gloucester have now lost four completed Premiership matches in a row either side of being awarded a last-round win against Northampton in early October. They have not won at Welford Road since October 2007.
Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick told BBC Radio Leicester:
“I think the players deserve enormous credit for all the challenges that have been thrown at them.
“I’ve never once heard any player or coach make any excuses in advance of this game.
“There’s some good things today, but also plenty of areas to improve on too and we’ll go away and keep working.
“Since the first day I came into this club, the character of the players has been tremendous. The desire to improve has been tremendous.
“If we have those attributes, we’ll continue to build and improve and that’s all we’re going to do.”
Gloucester head coach George Skivington told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:
“We made some really basic errors. Leicester put us under pressure in some really simple ways to be honest, which is fair play to them.
“We dropped the ball, made some poor decisions and our discipline was really poor too, which ultimately stopped us from getting a foothold in the game.
“I’m disappointed with a lot of what happened today. Every time we got ourselves into a decent position, we conceded a penalty and Leicester were able to clear upfield.
“Their maul was really good and we struggled to contain it. You can’t play positive rugby when you’re giving away penalty after penalty.”
Leicester: Steward; Van Wyk, Taute, Porter, Potter; Henry, Wigglesworth, Gigena, Youngs (capt), Cole, Wells, Green, Liebenberg, Reffell, Wiese
Replacements: Clare, Bower, Heyes, Henderson, Brink, White, Diaz Bonilla, Kelly
Sin-Bin: Green (71 mins).
Gloucester: Woodward; Sharples, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, Banahan; Cipriani, Simpson; Rapava-Ruskin, Hanson, Stanley, Slater, Garvey, Reid, Ludlow (capt), Ackermann
Replacements: Walker, Fourie, Ford-Robinson, Gibson, Clarke, Flinn, Evansm, Seabrook
Sin-bin: Clarke (61 mins), Hanson (71 mins).
Referee: Jack Makepeace (RFU).