GLOUCESTER bounced back from their opening EDF Energy Cup defeat to the Ospreys by subjecting Bristol to an eight-try defeat at Kingsholm.
The strength of the victory gives them a chance of qualification to the knockout stages and once they shook off a sluggish, miss-directed opening 30 minutes, cut Bristol apart with some devastating counter attacking.
There were two tries for full-back Jon Goodridge and one apiece for James Bailey, Mark Foster, Peter Richards, James Forrester, Ryan Lamb and Rory Lawson.
The nature of the victory was utterly convincing once they were in full flow but Gloucester were once again dogged by a slow opening that lacked structure and direction. The contest was locked at six points all after 23 minutes - Ludovic Mercier and Dannt Gray swapping two kicks each - as both sides turned over the ball too frequently.
But pattern was already being set. Gloucester were totally convincing at scrum-time - the experienced trio of Patrice Collazo, Mefin Davies and Christian Califano caused plenty of problems, while Peter Buxton, Andy Hazell and Adam Eustace all made good contributions in and around the contact area and with ball in hand.
There was also a striking performance from Will James, who unravelled his best performance in a Gloucester shirt, combining good line-out service, damaging scrummaging and a willing ball carrier.
However, the game was 28 minutes old before Gloucester scored their first try. Buxton and Hazell made the initial telling surges to the right from a line-out and when Pete Richards swung possession to the left, Jack Adams took a great line and put Mark Foster away in the corner for a very good score.
That took Gloucester 10 points clear at 16-6 but Bristol hit back with a try of their own. Gloucester made a hash of a comfortable defensive position when Adams fumbled forward and Bernardo Stortoni hacked on and was awarded the try close to the deadball line.
Gloucester then grabbed the contest by the scruff of the neck. Both teams had already been reduced to 14 men when Bristol's Nathan Budgett and Gloucester's Collazo were yellow carded and the pressure began to tell on Bristol immediately.
Adams almost created a try for Hazell with a lovely break and inside pass but the flanker spilt the ball forward before Mariano Sambucetti was sinbinned for a professional foul three minutes before the break.
Gloucester's scrummaging power was already reaping dividends and from another big drive, Richards picked up, broke across the face of the defence and just made the corner for the second try.
It was the sign the floodgates were about to open. Bristol's much-changed side could not live with Gloucester after the break, despite fine performances from Stortoni and Luke Arscott.
The second period was only six minutes old when Mercier was twice involved in a move that allowed Adams to give the scoring pass to Goodridge and with Lamb now in the mix, Gloucester's adventurous intentions grew further.
Lamb, who is capable of some sublime distribution, sent Buxton galloping through a midfield hole with a lovely flat pass, the very impressive Luke Narraway added support and Lamb was on hand to scoop up his pass to score in the corner for try number four as Gloucester went 35-13 ahead.
There was yet more to come to keep the crowd enthralled. Anthony Allen, showing all the awareness and skills that marks him down as a very special talent, cut a huge swathe through Bristol's retreating defence and sent Goodridge in for his second try after 57 minutes.
To Bristol's credit, they kept coming at Gloucester but they simply could not live with the home side's firepower up front and willingness to shift the ball outwide.
James Bailey, who was outstanding in defence, grabbed the next try when he read play brilliantly to pick off Reay's pass and storm home from half-way to make it 49-13.
James Forrester go the next when he was able to break of a scrum and follow Allen's wonderfully incisive charge to accept the scoring pass and Rory Lawson completed the rout when he charged home from distance following a midfield turn-over.
In between times there were two tries for Bristol as Gloucester played the last quarter with only 14 men because of a dead leg to Adams.
First, Sambucetti finished a quite brilliant move that swept possession through half a dozen hands down the left before Bristol took advantage of Gloucester's lack of defenders by spreading play right to the lock who scored from short range.
And then Reay got on the score sheet to prompt Bristol's hopes for a bonus point but Gloucester held out to earn a commanding and very welcome victory.
Superman: Jon Goodridge flies in for his second try
Despite he and a number of his team mates playing out of position, Greig Laidlaw's four penalties were enough to help Gloucester to a 12-11 Aviva Premiership win at Sale on Friday evening. The skipper told GRTV after the game that everyone had played their part, especially the younger players.
Greig Laidlaw skippers the Cherry and Whites on Friday evening, when they head to Sale Sharks for the penultimate game of this season's Aviva Premiership. The Scottish half back spoke to GRTV about the challenge posed in Salford.
Previewing Friday night's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Sale Sharks, Head Coach Laurie Fisher acknowledged the fine home record that the Salford based outfit have built up this season, but is looking for Gloucester to round off their campaign on a high note.
Speaking to GRTV following the 16-9 victory over Exeter, Tom Savage felt that Gloucester needed that win after a tough few weeks and hopes that it acts as a springboard to a good end to the season for the Cherry and Whites.
A week on from '...letting down ourselves, the jersey and the supporters...', skipper Greig Laidlaw was full of praise for his team mates following the 16-9 Aviva Premiership win over Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm on Friday evening.
Four penalties from the boot of skipper Greig Laidlaw were just enough to see Gloucester dog out a tense 12-11 win at Sale on Friday evening and thwart the home team's attempts to finish the season unbeaten at home.
Thirteen years on from Gloucester Rugby's famous Powergen Cup victory over Northampton at Twickenham, many of the players and management from that side are gathering once more to recreate that famous day.