There was plenty of grit and determination from a very young Gloucester Rugby side in Saturday's opening Premiership Rugby Cup fixture, and plenty of skill displayed. But London Irish's side featured some grizzled old veterans and the Exiles were just too strong on the day as they ran out winners by 49 points to 29.
Gloucester Rugby’s young side competed gamely against a vastly more experienced London Irish side and that knowhow and physicality eventually proved to be key.
The Cherry and Whites started well and, after penalty kicks were swapped, took a deserved lead when Jake Morris scored wide out on the right.
However, the Exiles then took control of the game as they scored three tries in six minutes through Ross McMillan, George Nott and McMillan again.
The Cherry and Whites could have folded but hit back with a sensational solo score from Aaron Hinkley. When Lloyd Evans intercepted at the start of the second half, it was 22-22 and game on.
However, Irish then started to dominate the collisions as the young Gloucester Rugby side seemed to tire. Scott Steele scored twice and Conor Gilsenan also touched down.
The Cherry and Whites did get some late reward as Louis Rees-Zammit went over to clinch the try-scoring bonus point, but Irish had the final word when Steele completed his hat-trick to make the final score 29-49.