Gloucester boss Johan Ackermann and Leicester head coach Matt O’Connor agreed that a 10 minute sin bin period during the second half of their Aviva Premiership clash was the turning point of the match.
Gloucester emerged victorious as two first half tries from Henry Trinder, who started at centre but moved out as an emergency wing, plus one from replacement back Matt Scott, with centre Billy Twelvetrees kicking a penalty and three conversions, gave them a 24-17 victory.
Leicester were in the game at half-time as wing Nick Malouf scored an interception try and fly-half Joe Ford grabbed a try and two conversions.
But the Tigers then lost their momentum and only managed a losing bonus point from a last-gasp Matt Toomua penalty.
Yet the 10 minutes spent in the sin bin by Leicester prop Logovi’i Mulipola after 48 minutes, following a high tackle on Cherry and Whites skipper Willi Heinz, saw Gloucester grab 10 points which ultimately took them clear.
Gloucester’s director of rugby Ackermann said: “I was pleased with the intensity and energy we played with today but we still missed a lot of opportunities.
“During the yellow card period, we really played well just to get that lead and to keep that lead.”
The win put Gloucester into the top three of the Premiership but Ackermann warned: “We can’t get carried away with anything yet. This is just a good win and we have to keep the ball rolling in the right direction.
“We play Worcester next week and they can beat any side.”
Trinder was named man of the match, and Ackermann added: “Credit to him, he scored well and he showed why he is so dangerous. Scotty was justly rewarded with a try for the form of the last few weeks.”
O’Connor also pointed to the yellow card of his big Samoan prop as key. The ex-Australian international said: “The result is frustration but the effort was fantastic and the commitment was great.
“I thought we were in the game for large parts and the sin-binning was the turning point. The 10 points conceded at that point changed the game and they managed the last 15 minutes after that and put us under a lot of pressure.
“Us getting something at the end (a losing bonus point) could be important at the end of the season. If you come down here and get a bonus point against a very good side, it is not the end of the world. That is the focus, to make sure we build on the positives.”