Instead, displaying a bloody minded doggedness, they took on the visitors, fighting fire with fire, and battled their way to a crucial win.
But, it wasn't without drama. There was never much in it and Saracens kept going right until the bitter end even after trailing by eight points with only five minutes to go.
Alex Goode's try set up a grandstand finish and hearts were in mouths as Derick Houggard had a kick to win the match with time up on the clock.
However, the South African was short with the penalty from inside his own half and Gloucester were able to celebrate as they finished their third game in eight days with a well deserved win.
After the disappointment of the midweek setback at the hands of Newcastle, Gloucester were looking to bounce back in front of their home crowd.
And, it was a much changed line up from the one that started at Kingston Park, a line up that was further disrupted in the run up to kick off due to the late withdrawal of Andrew Hazell.
On a heavy pitch, although nowhere near as muddy as against Sale a few weeks ago, both teams predictably kicked for territory in the opening exchanges although a half break from Tim Molenaar lifted the crowd.
However, Saracens created the first scoring opportunity on nine minutes. A midfield break by Brad Barritt was carried on by Andy Saull and quick recycled ball created a man over on the left despite the suspicion of a forward pass. However, the Gloucester defence just scrambled across to smash Alex Goode into the corner flag and the TMO ruled that it was touch in goal.
From the 22 drop out, Saracens came straight back and Gloucester failed to roll away from the tackle area giving Jackson a shot at goal from just outside the 10m line. His kick just crept over the crossbar for a 3-0 lead after 11 minutes.
Gloucester, understandably, were looking a little disjointed but were fighting hard particularly up front where things were getting tetchy.
They did finally string together enough phases though to earn a penalty on 15 minutes and Freddie Burns stepped up confidently to level the scores.
Apo Satala then stole a Saracens throw and galloped a good 50 metres into the visitors' 22. The defence tracked back desperately to haul him down and Gloucester couldn't quite get numbers there in time to force home the advantage.
However, a massive effort at the next Saracens scrum forced a penalty and Burns nudged Gloucester into a 6-3 lead.
Gloucester, though, created problems for themselves when they lost a lineout in their own 22. As Saracens moved the ball wide, Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu levelled the runner but his tackle was ruled to be high but Jackson's penalty hit the upright and stayed out.
It was scrappy stuff and Gloucester weren't being helped by their own error count which was preventing them from spending a lot of time in the Saracens half.
And Saracens made them pay the price on 28 minutes. The visitors looked in trouble in their own 22 but kept calm and offloaded well to move downfield.
The ball was moved to the left where Chris Wyles slipped Charlie Sharples' tackle and stepped inside another before finding the supporting Brad Barritt who scored untouched to finish a fine move. Jackson converted from in front to take Saracens into the lead at 10-6.
It was a short lived lead as Tim Molenaar bust open the midfield defence and was only hauled down a yard short. The ball came back quickly and Fuimaono-Sapolu's long pass found an unmarked Sharples for the score. Burns converted in style for 13-10 after 32 minutes.
However, Rory Lawson was caught in possession from a scrum barely three minutes later, didn't release the ball and Jackson had no problem making it 13-13.
Molenaar duly continued his excellent form on his return and earned his side another penalty as he was taken out after his chip ahead and Burns kicked a superb penalty from the touchline for a 16-13 lead.
Sadly, it was Molenaar's last contribution as he left the field clutching his ribs and was replaced by James Simpson-Daniel.
The first half drew to a close without further ado to end a pulsating half of rugby. Despite the many changes and the third game in a week, Gloucester had dug deep with Burns, Molenaar and Satala particularly prominent.
More of the same would be required if Gloucester were to finish triumphant in this see-saw encounter.
But the visitors came out strongly and threatened from the off with a dangerous break down the right in front of the Shed. Gloucester got back and conceded a penalty but the usually metronomic Jackson was unusually off target.
Gloucester pounced. Burns' chip ahead created chaos and the Gloucester pack won a vital turnover. The ball went left with Olivier Azam carrying powerfully before Burns kept his head and chipped for Sharples to gather and fight his way to the line for the score. Burns kicked another superb conversion for 23-13 after 49 minutes.
It was all Gloucester and, from the restart, Will James delighted the Shed with a 60 metre burst downfield. Saracens were in tatters and another penalty followed which Burns nailed for a 26-13 lead.
What Gloucester needed to do now was consolidate their lead but back came the Men in Black. They remained patient, worked the phases and eventually created space on the left where Chris Wyles smashed through Burns' attempted tackle to score in the corner. Houggard was short with the conversion to leave the scoreline at 26-18.
The tension rose and neither side were in the mood to back down. Gloucester unleashed a superb backs move which very nearly put Burns in for the score. The ball came backs, the visitors were caught offside and Burns' penalty stretched the lead to 29-18.
Saracens were still far from done and sheer hard graft from their pack earned a penalty on 63 minutes which Houggard slotted to bring the visitors within three drop goals range at 29-21.
Cool heads were needed and Gloucester had them in half backs Rory Lawson and Nicky Robinson as the duo proceeded to pin the visitors back with a variety of canny touch finders.
Saracens are nothing if not durable, however, and still they came back showing the same patience they did earlier in the half.
Wave after wave of attack was repelled until, finally, a neat offload sent Alex Goode scampering in for the score. Houggard converted and it was 29-28 with just four minutes to play.
The drama continued and it looked as though Saracens would leave with the points just as Gloucester looked to have closed out the game.
A lost lineout led to a penalty as Nicky Robinson was yellow carded for not rolling away and Houggard went for the posts from inside his own half. The kick was short and wide and Kingsholm erupted in a mixture of ecstasy and relief.
Credit to Saracens who came to Kingsholm to play rugby and more than played their part in a pulsating game.
However, a great morale boosting win and a fantastic way to end a tough week.
|Gloucester Rugby Score Card|
|Saracens Score Card|