DESPITE a brave and committed effort against a vastly experienced side, Gloucester suffered their third successive defeat in the Guinness A League against Saracens.
Although they suffered at the line-out and in the scrum, Gloucester tried exceptionally hard but only had a single Mark Davies penalty to show for their efforts in their 14-3 defeat.
Saracens included Andy Farrell but it was their front five who did the majority of the damage and despite hard working efforts from Adam Balding at number eight, Luke Narraway and Paul Price to name only three in the Gloucester side, they were always up against it.
"I cannot fault the effort or the commitment of any of our players at all," assistant coach Mark Cornwell said. "We were up against a vastly experienced side with plenty of quality, so I am very proud of the way they stood up to the challenge.
"But we must learn to take our opportunites. We created several but failure to finish them off against a side of that power and experience was very costly."
Gloucester also suffered because of some slow service but Jack Adams showed glimpses of his very special abilityin the centre and Jon Goodridge carried hard but Gloucester could not turn their chances into points.
The contest struggled to ignite and although Davies booted Gloucester ahead, they were soon trailing.
Saracens took the lead after 15 minutes when stand-off Alex Goode slid a kick in behind Gloucester's defence and centre Tom Loizides hacked on before Goodridge could sweep up, controlled the ball and touched down.
The rest of the first-half was disjointed. Saracens generally kept the ball better but neither side was immune from making a mistake. Gloucester's best chance came when Rob Thirlby glided down the left before cutting infield but his inside pass was spilt by Mark Davies.
Gloucester needed an early second half try to get back into the game but it was Saracens who scored again. Again Goode's break was the key when he slashed across midfield and full-back Thomas De Vedia scored in the far corner.
It was the cushion Saracens needed and although they lost both Paul Gustard and Tevita Vaikona to the sinbin late on, had enough of a cushion to close out the contest.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
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.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.