‘Too little, too late’ could well apply to the Cherry and Whites’ performance against table-toppers Exeter who did exactly what was expected of them with an almost clinical disciplined display which earned them victory.
In marked contrast Gloucester were once again their own worst enemies as for the home side, despite plentiful possession and territory it was the same old muddled lack of control, poor discipline, missed chances, poor decisions, no improvements, etc, etc, that have blighted this inconsistent season which is such a disappointment after the highs of last season.
Gloucester have not impressed or played well all season and a top four play-off position now seems but a distant dream whilst qualification for the European Cup could well be in doubt after a sixth Premiership defeat and only four wins.
Not surprisingly Exeter took an early 7-0 lead with their customary well drilled catch and drive drill following a penalty kick to the corner. Thereafter the hosts began to get their act together as much of the play was confined to the visitors’ territory but pressure in itself is not enough to break down a well organised defence as all too often chances were missed and opportunities to take the points from penalty kicks declined which proved to be costly with just three points to show for all their first-half efforts.
As the second-half unfolded it got even worse for Gloucester as Gareth Steenson kicked four unanswered penalties to ease Exeter into a 19-3 lead as the hosts got the wrong side of the referee before the visitors then dealt a hammer blow when they fielded a loose kick to run it back for full back Stuart Hogg to score under the posts. 26-3.
Gloucester’s replacements did make an impact as Jake Polledri crossed for a try from close range before Louis Rees-Zammit scored in the corner courtesy of the TMO.
All in all, like the wet weather, another very disappointing evening for the Cherry and White in what has been a disappointing season.
More from Mike
Well what did we expect? Exeter are top of the Premiership and despite
Gloucester's fourth place there was a massive gulf in both discipline
and performance. The former was played to the full extent by Chiefs who
were all to often in offside positions, which went unseen by both the
assistant referees and Mr, oops sorry, Master Maxwell-Keys.
All in all a disappointing performance, which after the weekend results could see Gloucester slip to 7th.
A trip to the soulless Madgeski Stadium Reading awaits next week, one can only hope and put on the Rose tinted glasses.
15.Matt Banahan; 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13, Chris Harris, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Tom Marshall; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Joe Simpson;
1. Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Gerbrandt Grobler, 5. Franco Mostert (capt); 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ben Morgan
16.Todd Gleave 17.Josh Hohneck, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Ed Slater, 20. Freddie Clarke, 21. Jake Polledri, 22. Callum Braley, 23. Mark Atkinson
Unavailable for selection:
Ruan Dreyer, Jamal Ford-Robinson, James Hanson, Willi Heinz, Charlie Sharples, Ollie Thorley, Henry Trinder, Owen Williams, Jason Woodward
Tries: Polledri, Rees-Zammit
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys