Burns nudged Leicester in entrance after Albert Tuisue – the half’s pantomime villain – was penalised for not rolling away, earlier than the sport burst into life.
And it began, as ever, with a kick from a loosehead prop. After James Whitcombe had put boot to ball, Leicester regained possession, Jack van Poortvliet snuck via a spot by the aspect of Gloucester’s ruck, and Kelly was readily available to complete. To Leicester’s – and, maybe, the impartial’s – disappointment, the attempt was chalked off after Dan Cole was adjudged to have created the hole for his scrum-half by grabbing Tuisue on the ruck. It was a really powerful name.
Then got here the 10-point swing, with Tuisue as soon as once more centre of consideration. Gloucester rumbled over the road from a attribute catch and drive however Tuisue regarded to have been in contact as he grounded the ball. We’ll by no means know whether or not the No 8 was within the subject of play as the tv cameras couldn’t present the killer angle; however, as soon as once more, it regarded very tight and, as soon as once more, the decision went the way in which of the guests, leaving the house crowd incensed.
That anger wouldn’t final lengthy. With the second half in its infancy, Kelly steamed onto a Burns go in midfield. The centre discovered a pocket of house earlier than firing a go out to his midfield companion, Porter, on the touchline. The surface centre nonetheless had a lot to do from virtually 40 metres out however he beat Hastings for tempo earlier than powering sublimely via the Gloucester cowl to attain.
Burns added three extra for a Harris excessive deal with earlier than the Tigers bared their claws. Cracknell peeled around the again of a line-out with venom to go away the hosts inside two metres, earlier than Watson darted via some tender defence. Gloucester substitute Charlie Chapman, too, was fortunate to keep away from a yellow card for a cynical block on a haring Steward.
Watson’s second, from a sumptuously timed Steward go, meant victory was secured. A Gloucester comfort from Jonny Could, from an beautiful Alex Seville go, did little to melt the blow. The Ed Slater Cup – and a Christmas top-four spot – went to Leicester.
Scoring sequence: 0-3 Hastings pen, 3-3 Burns pen, 6-3 Burns pen, 6-8 Tuisue attempt, 11-8 Porter attempt, 13-8 Burns con, 16-8 Burns pen, 21-8 Watson attempt, 23-8 Burns con, 28-8 Watson attempt, 28-13 Could attempt.
Leicester beginning XV: F Steward; A Watson (C Ashton 67), G Porter, D Kelly, H Potter; F Burns (C Atkinson 75), J van Poortvliet (B Youngs 60); J Whitcombe (N Leatigaga 70), C Clare (G Oghre 70), D Cole (J Heyes 60), H Wells (C Inexperienced 65), O Chessum, H Liebenberg (c), T Reffell (S Jansen 70), O Cracknell.
Gloucester beginning XV: S Carreras (G Kveseladze 40); L Rees-Zammit (L Evans 11, C Chapman 54), C Harris, S Atkinson, J Could; A Hastings (L Evans 65), S Varney; V Rapava-Ruskin (A Seville 73), S Socino (G McGuigan 54), Okay Gotovtsev (C Knight 59), F Clarke (A Craig 59), M Alemanno, R Ackermann, L Ludlow (c), A Tuisue (B Morgan 59).
Referee: C Ridley