The faltering start to the Cherry and Whites' season still shows no sign of any real improvement as despite having a decent half-time lead 20-9, once again the pack was found to be not equal to the task. This time it was the line-out which was made to struggle as Toulouse overcame the deficit to add 16 unanswered points after the interval, totally dominating territory and possession.
Under pressure Gloucester coughed up far too many penalties and were made to pay for it in a performance that subsided from bad to even worse, as despite having the vast majority of previous players available, the rapid decline from the heady heights of last season is now beginning to become cause for some concern.
The French side were the first to get points one the board with a rare event, a drop goal from
Zack Holmes, before Joe Simpson hit back with a pair of scintillating tries, each made from well inside home territory, converted by Danny Cipriani who also added a couple of penalties as the Toulouse contribution was three penalties. So far so good.
for the hosts that was as good as it got as the visitors crucially got the first points of the second-half with a series of penalties and soon established their dominant ascendancy as Gloucester's play became more and more ragged and ended with their line-out in total disarray.
Gloucester were put under long periods of pressure but inevitably the defence cracked for a converted Toulouse try to level the scores before another Ramos penalty sealed the deal for the Frenchmen and effectively put Toulouse in pole position in the group and condemned the Cherry and Whites to being also-rans barring some freak results.
More from Mike
Overall a disappointing night.
The first half saw Gloucester play their part in an entertaining and.free flowing game of rugby, probably the best half of rugby seen at Kingsholm for some time. Two great break-away tries from Joe Simpson, what a signing, that saw Glos take a surprising lead into the half-time break.
The second half saw Toulouse strangle us and retain possession for long periods of play. When Glos did get the balll poor handling and a pitiful lineout robbed them of any chance of winning the game.
A better overall performance than last week, but their is still a lot to do if we are to reach the heights of last season.
15. Jason Woodward; 14. Tom Marshall, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Ollie Thorley; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Joe Simpson;
1. Val Rapava Ruskin, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Jamal Ford-Robinson; 4. Freddie Clarke, 5. Gerbrandt Grobler; 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ben Morgan (capt)
16. Corné Fourie, 17. Josh Hohneck, 18. Fraser Balmain, 19. Alex Craig, 20. Jake Polledri, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Billy Twelvetrees, 23. Matt Banahan
Unavailable for selection:
Ruan Dreyer, James Hanson, Willi Heinz, Ciaran Knight, Franco Mostert, Ed Slater, Henry Trinder, Owen Williams
Tries: Simpson (2)
Con: Cipriani (2)
Pen: Cipriani (2)
Half-time: 20 -9
Referee: Ben Whitehouse - Wales
Gloucester 34 Toulouse 24 - Friday 20 January 2012