London Welsh 25 Gloucester 31
London Welsh were unable to make it three wins in a row as they slipped to a narrow home defeat to Gloucester.
Back to back victories over Exeter and Sale had injected a little confidence into the Exiles' hopes of consolidation at Premiership level, but a tough Gloucester display ensured there'd no hat-trick win. After falling behind to an early Freddie Burns penalty, Welsh levelled things up with a penalty of their own through Gordon Ross, but a second penalty from Burns followed by a try created by the goal-kicker's quick thinking, and finished by Shane Monahan, put the visitors in a commanding position. Welsh penned the visitors back through a second Ross penalty, but a close range surge from Tom Savage brought about a second try for Gloucester, converted by Burns, and, though a third Ross penalty on 32 minutes reduced the deficit, the visitors held a handsome 18-6 lead at the interval. A penalty early in the second half from Ross reduced Gloucester's advantage to nine, but Billy Twelvetrees restored the 12-point cushion with another three-pointer for the visitors. But Welsh then gave themselves an excellent opportunity to get something from the game with a burst of 13 points in eight minutes. First, Ross struck a penalty goal on 56 minutes, and, after Sranck Montanella's converted try on the hour had put Welsh two points in front, yet another Ross penalty on 64 minutes meant the hosts held an improbable five-point cushion. The loss of their advantage sprung Gloucester into life, however, with Burns' penalty reducing the arrears, before the visitors retook the lead thanks to a short-range try from Shaun Knight on 72 minutes, converted by Burns. This time there was to be no response from Welsh, and the match finished with Gloucester controlling the play, as they turned their six-advantage into a hard-earned victory.