THIS may not have been an exact replica of the Guinness Premiership but at least Gloucester can meet Leicester next weekend in a positive frame of mind following this victory over Glasgow.
They will hope and pray certain key elements get more clarity from the referee but this was a clear-cut 30-8 victory after Gloucester grew in strength and over-turned an 8-0 deficit to finish in virtual control.
Gloucester regard themselves as one of the smartest teams in the Premiership and they won this game because they stayed true to themselves and didn't panic when the contact area became littered with rucks, the scrum deteriorated into a mess and their driving game ended in a mass of bodies.
Gloucester dominated the scrum throughout but got precious little dividend and had they played more in the latter stages, may have grown out an even more comfortable victory but this was good all the same.
As it was, two of their three tries came in the last two minutes and confirmed they have the footballing ability to cause more than a few problems. They also handed a debut to Fijian Apo Satala, who may well become more of a fixture as the season progresses.
Despite their wonky scrum and a ton of bodies at the tackle area, Glasgow were the more positive of the teams in the early stages. When they kept the ball they did so with some sharp close-quarter passing and had a return kicking game that kept the likes of Olly Morgan, Iain Balshaw and Lesley Vainikolo honest at the back.
They were already 3-0 ahead with a third minute Dan Parks penalty and when Gloucester turned the ball over nine minutes later, full-back Bernardo Stortoni came in and kicked long over Morgan. Lome Fa'atau won the race to the ball to score a smash and grab try.
But Gloucester didn't panic. They sat in and dominated the scrum, got to grips at the tackle area and used the likes of Mike Tindall as their go-to man in midfield. His carrying qualities and kick returns were crucial, while Will James got through plenty of work.
It took Gloucester until the 30th minute to get on the scoreboard when John Barclay was penalised for not rolling away at the tackle on Tindall and Lamb nudged over the three points.
Having found their range, Gloucester dominated the second half to such a degree Glasgow barely broke out of their own half. Some of their play away from the set-piece was a bit ragged but once Lamb kicked a second penalty and threatened a try of his own with an intercept, Gloucester turned the screw.
After Gareth Cooper had combined with Tindall to the left, Andy Hazell burrowed close to the line, Lamb came in and delivered a short pass that was not taken by Nick Wood but Anthony Allen reacted the quickest to run between the cover and score.
Lamb converted and then added a 54th minute penalty to take Gloucester 16-8 in front and given the lack of ball and territory Glasgow had been afforded, it was a significant lead.
And when prop Kevin Tkachuk was sinbinned after the referee finally lost patience at the contact area, Glasgow's world was caving in.
However, it did take Gloucester until the final plays of the game to add to their score. Replacement scrum-half Rory Lawson was the first to go over when, from another scrum that had the visitors going sideways and backwards, number eight Luke Narraway delivered a flick pass and Lawson dived over in the corner.
Lamb again made no mistake with a difficult conversion before the hosts completed their flourish with a third try.
The power of Olivier Azam had been a key asset since his introduction from the bench and when he, Vainikolo and Morgan all linked well with some lovely off-loading, Narraway delivered a sublime pass and Morgan darted in to score. Lamb's third conversion sealed the deal and means Gloucester can go into the Guinness Premiership in good shape next Sunday.
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