Anglo-Welsh Cup

Leicester Tigers 26 Gloucester 24

GLOUCESTER fly-half Lloyd Evans missed a late penalty to give his side victory in the Anglo-Welsh Cup against defending champions Leicester Tigers on Saturday.

Trailing 26-24, Gloucester were awarded a penalty thirty metres out in front of the posts but Evans, who had kicked nine points, shoved it wide and Leicester held on to win their opening match at home.

Tigers scored three tries through Charlie Thacker, Jonah Holmes and Adam Thompstone, while Paddy McAllister, Ben Vellacott and Tom Hudson replied for Gloucester.

Fred Tuilagi, the 20-year-old nephew of England centre Manu and son of former Tigers star Freddie, made his first start in a much-changed Leicester team. He is the fifth Tuilagi to play for the first team after Freddie, Henry, Alesana and Manu.

Full-back Afa Pakalani, a Tonga international, made his Tigers debut while flanker Ross Moriarty made his first appearance for Gloucester since picking up an injury in the British and Irish Lions' first game in New Zealand.

Leicester led 14-11 at half-time, which was scant reward for their possession and territory in a disappointing 40 minutes.

Their only try of the half came in the 12th minute, a fine solo effort from centre Thacker, who shrugged off three defenders before scrambling over.

Joe Ford, younger brother of Leicester and England fly-half George, failed with the conversion but kicked three penalties.

Prop McAllister scored Gloucester's only try of the opening period in the 29th minute, forcing his way over after good work by the forwards.

Evans, who had slotted a 17th-minute penalty, kicked the conversion to give Gloucester the lead for the first time, which lasted eight minutes.

Gloucester lost Gareth Evans after he was involved in a collision with Tuilagi seven minutes after the interval. He was treated for several minutes and a stretcher was taken onto the field but he eventually walked off.

Winger Holmes scored Leicester's second try in the 52nd minute on his debut after a lovely inside pass from centre George Worth, Ford's conversion making it 21-10.

A 58th-minute try by scum-half Vellacott, converted by Evans, put Gloucester within four points and six minutes later Gloucester centre Hudson was awarded a try despite video replays showing he received a forward pass. Evans kicked the conversion.

Winger Thompstone restored Leicester's lead with a 71st-minute try, which was not converted, before Evans missed a crucial 30-metre penalty.