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.
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.
Having named an unchanged starting XV for the past three Aviva Premiership games, Gloucester Rugby ring the changes and retain only five players for Thursday's visit of Stade Rochelais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 7:45pm).