England's tour of New Zealand, which had seen so many positives, ended on a low note in Hamilton on Saturday morning with a 36-13 defeat to the All Blacks.
After narrow defeats in the first two Tests, hope sprung eternal for Stuart Lancaster's side, but their ambitions were cruelly squashed in the game's first half.
England were at sixes and sevens defensively during that period, particularly in midfield where Billy Twelvetrees' organizational skills appeared to be missed, and New Zealand ran in four tries before half time.
England regrouped after half time, and the second half was drawn with seven points for each side. But the brutal truth was that the game was already lost.
Freddie Burns had an early chance to give England the lead, but dragged a penalty attempt wide. New Zealand promptly scored through Julian Savea at the other end.
Burns, in his last game as a Gloucester player, did narrow the gap with a penalty. However, Aaron Cruden caught Kyle Eastmond wanting in defence and put Savea in for his second.
Cruden and Burns subsequently swapped penalties, before Cory Jane brushed aside Marland Yarde to put Aaron Smith over. And the scrum half was soon in for his second try after yet more weak defence.
Yarde muscled his way over early in the second half, and England did threaten on several other occasions but just couldn't get over the line.
Perhaps fittingly, Savea completed his hat trick with the last play of the game but, once again, weak tackling contributed hugely to the try.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).