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 40-29 Aviva A League win over Wasps Rugby, Academy Coach Rich Whiffin explained his pride in the squad to overcome a strong opponent and book their spot in next week's Aviva A League final.
Willi Heinz returned from injury to skipper Gloucester to a famous 16-14 win over Stade Rochelais on Saturday evening. Speaking after the game in France, Heinz admitted the win wasn't pretty but was full of courage and a great result for the club.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.