If the object of the exercise was to rotate the squad, drip-feed in some youth and experience but maintain the winning habit, then Gloucester got it just about right.
A new batch of players got used to that feeling yesterday - Anthony Allen, Luke Narraway, Terry Fanolua and Mark Cornwell - to name the most significant four - who were given the opportunity by head coach Dean Ryan.
Gloucester simply had more wherewithal where it mattered, particularly up front in the scrum and in a superior power game that reduced Bristol's best efforts to their component parts.
The scrum was vastly dominant and even though the driving line-out was not up to the usual standards, there were impressive performances from Phil Vickery, Cornwell, Peter Buxton and James Simpson-Daniel.
"We talked in great detail about the fact this was a potential banana skin following our victory in the Premiership and we had to be very competitive to get the right result," said Ryan. "We have worked hard on our defence and if you can get that part of your game right, you become hard to beat.
"We are far from the finished article but there are now 25 players in the squad who know what it is like to win and that is very important with what is to come."
The game was over by half-time thanks to two Gloucester tries. The first came after eight minutes when Olivier Azam collected a wayward line-out throw from Saul Nelson and fed Cornwell on the burst.
From the ruck, Haydn Thomas linked with Mercier and Buxton was on hand to take his neat little pass to score by the posts.
Jason Strange reduced the deficit with a penalty but even against the wind, Gloucester were on top territorially to establish the sort of stranglehold Bristol could not shake off. Although the contest lacked the thudding intensity of the Premiership, Gloucester were neat enough to score again in first-half stoppage time.
Mercier had already nudged them ahead 13-6 with two penalties before a line-out drive got Thomas and Mercier in range and the stand-off's kick was brilliantly gathered by Simpson-Daniel who twisted and turned to score brilliantly under pressure.
At 20-6 to the good, Gloucester were virtually home and hosed. The quest now was for a bonus point and that required two more tries. The minimalist forward approach paid dividends after 47 minutes when another powerful surge by Buxton was carried on by Cornwell who crowned a solid performance with the third try.
Bristol simply couldn't live with Gloucester's extra grunt at the gristle end and although Bernardo Stortoni and David Lemi carried well, Bristol's one-out runners were easily swallowed by a hard-working Gloucester defence.
However, their fourth try did not arrive until the final quarter. Simpson-Daniel had lurked on the wing without much action all afternoon but when Fanolua picked another threatening line and off-loaded superbly to Narraway, Simpson-Daniel was given the chance to stretch his legs.
After shrugging off one tackle he burst past the cover to score behind the posts and complete the scoring.
He could and should have added a third in the closing stages that would have added the gloss to the victory but a fifth successive win keeps the run going.
"We have got to be pleased but we were at a similar situation last year so there is still plenty to do and plenty to work on," Ryan said. "It's back to the Premiership next week but we will go to Bath in good spirit."
Speaking after the 15-11 win over Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, David Humphreys heaped praise on his players, pointing out how they had bounced back after last week's tough defeat to overcome a rough start before controlling the game and earning the win.
Gloucester Rugby hooker Richard Hibbard spoke to the local media this week as the Cherry and Whites prepare to face Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. The Welshman is ready to bounce back at The Rec.
Speaking to the local media about the local derby against Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys acknowledged that it will be a tough encounter but hugely exciting at the same time and one the squad are looking forward to.
A visibly disappointed Billy Twelvetrees admitted that it was a very sombre Gloucester dressing room as a last minute try and conversion condemned the Cherry and Whites to an 18-19 defeat against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
A disappointed Tom Savage told GRTV, after the 18-19 defeat at home to the Leicester Tigers, that the whole Gloucester team had put in a fantastic effort, but just couldn't find the extra one or two percent necessary to put away a top side.
Speaking after the narrow loss to Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon, David Humphreys says despite there being a lot of good in Gloucester's performance, he rued the failure to close the game out, as well as thanking the home support
Kiwi second row Jeremy Thrush is thoroughly enjoying his time in Cherry and White so far, and this weekend the Leicester Tigers are the visitors to Kingsholm, and the All Black is massively excited about the challenge.
After two wins in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, securing a home quarter-final, David Humphreys told the local media this week that Gloucester are coming into Saturday's game in good physical shape having rotated the squad. However, he and the squad are prepared for a tough encounter against the Tigers.
Speaking to GRTV after the 14-11 win in Zebre on Saturday, Bill Meakes acknowledged that Zebre had forced Gloucester to dig very deep to earn the win and made a point of thanking the tremendous travelling support.
It's almost four years since Gloucester won a Premiership game at the Rec against Bath. However, they got that monkey off their back on Friday evening with a hard-fought 15-11 win in testing conditions.
John Afoa returns to the Gloucester Rugby starting line up to take on Bath Rugby at the Rec in the Aviva Premiership on Friday evening, one of three changes to the side that started against Leicester last weekend.
Great news this afternoon as Cherry and White duo Mat Protheroe and Ollie Thorley have been named to start for England as they open up their Under 20 Six Nations campaign against Scotland in Glasgow this Friday
A number of Gloucester Rugby's Academy players will be part of a Hartpury Rugby squad which will travel to Pennyhill Park on Thursday to train with Eddie Jones' England side in their build up to take on Scotland.