Aviva Premiership

Leicester 34 Gloucester 9

GLOUCESTER went down to a heavy Aviva Premiership defeat at Leicester Tigers as the home side picked up maximum points on Saturday.

Luke Hamilton, a penalty try, Adam Thompstone and new signing Maxime Mermoz were the scorers for the Tigers, with Freddie Burns and Owen Williams sharing kicking duties.

Billy Burns, Freddie's younger brother, kicked all nine points for Gloucester.

Leicester, whose last league win had been against Northampton on December 3, ended a run of defeats which had seen them drop to seventh in the table,but this bonus point win moved them up to fifth.

The Tigers scored in the fourth minute, added a penalty try, had one chalked off, and led 20-3 at half time despite losing fly-half Freddie Burns early on, depriving the crowd of a battle with brother Billy.

Number eight Hamilton gave the Tigers the perfect start, capitalising on a superb break by centre Jack Roberts to open the scoring with a try which Freddie Burns converted.

Gloucester lost number eight Sione Kalamafoni with a neck injury suffered during the try. Billy and Freddie Burns then swapped penalties before Freddie had to go off with an injury after tackling former Tigers centre Billy Twelvetrees.

Twelvetrees was just wide with a 49-metre penalty attempt in the 16th minute but after Leicester winger Tom Brady had been held up over the line, Leicester were awarded a penalty try at the subsequent scrum after demolishing the Gloucester pack.

Williams, who replaced the elder Burns brother, kicked the conversion against the team he is joining next season to put the Tigers 17-3 ahead.

Leicester scrum half Jono Kitto had a solo try chalked off for obstruction by Hamilton, while Gloucester made a real hash of a golden opportunity after a great run by lock Tom Savage.

Williams made it 20-3 with a 40th minute drop goal but Billy Burns cancelled that out with an easy penalty two minutes after the interval.

Leicester's most recent signing, former France centre Mermoz, made his home debut in the 51st minute with the Tigers under the cosh and unable to escape their own half.

Billy Burns' 52nd minute penalty put Gloucester right back in the game but Leicester, roared on by a 20, 918 crowd, gradually got back on top without rattling the scoreboard.

But they got their reward with seven minutes left when winger Thompstone shot through a gap to score his side's third try, converted by Williams.

nd right on full time Mermoz got the bonus point try from a driving maul following a line out, which Williams converted.