Gloucester United bowed out of the Guinness A League on Thursday evening when they finished on the wrong end of a 55-27 scoreline against London Wasps in the semi final at Dry Leas.
The game was effectively over by half time, after Wasps ran in five first-half tries, to lead 41-3 at the break.
The second half was a much more evenly contested affair, but, despite a spritied Gloucester comeback, Wasps ended up comfortable winners, and for the second time running will now face Northampton Wanderers in the two-legged final likely to be played on April the 20th and 27th.
Wasps started well and edged into a 6-0 lead through two Jeremy Staunton penalties before scrum half Joe Simpson scored the first try of the game on 14 minutes.
Staunton then added a superb solo effort as he broke clear before gathering his own chip ahead to score and slotted the conversion himself for a 20-0 lead.
Gloucester fly half Freddie Burns got Gloucester onto the scoreboard with a penalty as half time approached but Wasps centre Will East scored Wasps' third try.
Adam Eustace and Damien Varley were then sinbinned after a dust up and the first half ended poorly for Gloucester as Wasps extended their lead with a penalty try and a fifth score from winger Lachlan Mitchell. 41-3 at the interval.
Replacement Jonny May scored Gloucester's first try early in the second period but it was quickly cancelled out by one from Wasps' Joe Ward which was quickly followed by another from Varley.
Gloucester dug deep and finished well, scoring three late tries from Charlie Sharples, a second from May and the final word went to flanker Richard Jenkins who scored his side's fourth.
Charlie Sharples was amongst the Gloucester try scorers
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.