May's double sinks former club Gloucester
PREMIERSHIP MATCH REPORT: Jonny May scored twice against his former club as Leicester Tigers reignited their Premiership Rugby top-four push with a resounding bonus-point 34-16 win against Gloucester Rugby.
The England wing crossed twice in each half while there were further scores for full-back Jonah Holmes, after some divine play by Matt Toomua, and fly-half George Ford.
Gloucester responded through Gareth Evans’ score and three Billy Twelvetrees penalties but fall to their fifth league defeat of the season.
The Tigers, who had lost four of their last five in all competitions, now shoot from ninth to sixth in the congested table and have some real momentum behind them ahead of two European rounds.
They struck first at Welford Road through Ford’s third-minute penalty and shortly after they pounced for the first try, cutting through Gloucester for May to score.
Just inside the 22, Leicester got quick ball from the breakdown and when Ellis Genge popped off a short pass to Ford, a scrambling Gloucester knew they were in trouble.
The fly-half found Holmes in space and once he straightened up, he looped a pass to an open May to score.
Third in the table, Gloucester arrived with confidence but were 13-0 down when Ford landed a second penalty.
Two Billy Twelvetrees penalties cut the deficit to seven at the break but Leicester scored their second try just after as Toomua wrapped around the outside and flicked a pass back inside to Holmes, who slid in.
Gloucester began to struggle and May waltzed in for his second of the match after a counter-attack involving Ben Youngs and replacement Kyle Eastmond.
However, the Cherry & Whites responded quickly and decisively, with Evans scoring and Twelvetrees converting to reduce the gap to 14 points.
But Leicester hit the accelerator again, with May this time supplying Ford with a lung-bursting break and the fly-half eased through to score under the posts.
Replacement Jordan Olowofela thought he scored with five minutes left when he spectacularly dived in at the corner while under pressure but the TMO ruled it out after he appeared to lose control.
It was the only thing that went wrong for Leicester all day.
For Leicester Tigers:
Tries: Ford, May 2, Holmes
Cons: Ford 4
Pens: Ford 2
Pens: Twelvetrees 3
Leicester Tigers: 15 Jonah Holmes, 14 Jonny May, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 George Ford (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Will Evans, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Greg Bateman, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Brendon O’Connor, 21 Ben White, 22 Kyle Eastmond, 23 George Worth.
Gloucester: 15 Tom Hudson, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Ben Morgan (captain), 7 Gareth Evans, 6 Freddie Clarke, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Josh Hohneck.
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Lewis Ludlow, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Henry Trinder, 23 Matt Banahan.
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe & Matthew O’Grady.
TMO: David Rose.