Twickenham date awaits after Tigers are put to the sword
TWICKENHAM awaits Gloucester's triumphant 12 after they stormed to victory at The Rec to become the 2013 JP Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s champions.
The Cherry and Whites will take on the best in the world at the World Club 7s series on Saturday and Sunday.
Coach Olly Morgan praised the team after their success in Bath on Friday night and believes they showed huge potential for the future.
The 12-man squad went one step further than the side who lost in the final last year and will now prepare for a trip to London this weekend.
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They brushed aside Newcastle Falcons in their opening salvo with a well executed try from Steph Reynolds and second-half tries from Gareth Evans and Andrew Bulumakau.
And the Cherry and Whites then set up a final against Leicester following a tense finish in their final pool game with Saracens, the galloping Bulumakau sprinting to the corner again with a roar from the Kingsholm faithful behind him.
Tired Gloucester legs had less time to recover having played the last of the group games.
Leicester, who opened with a win against Worcester Warriors, beat a resilient Harlequins in a dramatic 19-17 turnaround with a try from the last play of the game.
But whereas Gloucester were made to fight for their wins in the opening rounds, it was Leicester's lacklustre defence that gave Gloucester the initiative early on in the final and they took advantage.
Gloucester opened with a brace from Reynolds.
The paceman took a wide berth to the line, finishing with a delicate plump over the whitewash for his first try.
And Reynolds then got the better of his opposite number again to breeze over for his second.
But Billy Burns, the younger brother of Freddie playing in Toulon, couldn't convert his first two conversion attempts.
The Tigers' passing became wayward and Gloucester rose to the challenge in the lineout.
Barnstorming Bulumakau continued to make inroads and the Cherry and Whites looked bullish.
Then it was Gloucester's turn to defend.
Last-ditch tackles left Leicester whiskers from a well-needed score and their fortunes continued to falter with far too many fumbles.
In comparison, Gloucester were far more composed than their opponents.
They teased and weaved openings with patience, soon putting Rhodri McAtee round on the loop for the third try just before the half and Burns added the conversion.
Leicester caught a break early in the second half but Bulumakau had the legs to cut off a try-scoring opportunity, but Tigers' Rhodri Davies found a gap out wide.
Another try came for the Leicester men soon after, but Cinderford's Nevaro Codlin responded by bouncing on to a tight and elegant pop pass and flew over the line.
The game opened up, Leicester hit and then Gloucester countered.
Will Hayward found himself in space but alone and could have settled for being shuffled into touch but he threw the ball inside.
Leicester scored from the possession but that wasn't enough.
Gloucester held on for the victory and set up a date at Twickenham.
Gloucester Rugby: Martyn Thomas, Apo Satala, Akapusi Qera, Andrew Bulumakau, Will Hayward, Nevaro Codlin, Billy Burns, Gareth Evans, Steph Reynolds, Matt Cox, Drew Cheshire, Rhodri McAtee.