Champions Cup: Gloucester face uphill challenge to qualify in 2018-19

Gloucester Rugby’s hopes of a play-off spot are in danger following defeat away to Exeter Chiefs on Sunday.

The Cherry and Whites were on the receiving end of an emphatic performance by the reigning Premiership champions, as Exeter sealed their spot in the semi-finals.

Gloucester have now dropped below Sale Sharks in the table and have it all to do to secure a spot in next season’s Champions Cup.

With only three games left in the league campaign we take a look at the Cherry and Whites remaining fixtures.
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Harlequins – Saturday 14th April @ Kingsholm

First up for Gloucester is Harlequins at Kingsholm this Saturday.

Quins have a torrid second half to the season, winning only once in their last seven league outings.

Last weekend saw Harlequins suffer an embarrassing 35-5 home defeat against bottom of the table London Irish.

Gloucester will fancy their chances against Quins this weekend and could easily come away with the full five points.

When the two sides met at Twickenham Stoop in the second game of the season, Quins ran out as victors 28-17.

Bath – Saturday 28th April @Kingsholm

Gloucester’s final game of the season at Kingsholm sees them face Bath Rugby in the West Country derby.

Gloucester won the reverse fixture at the Rec earlier in the season 22-21 thanks to a last minute converted try from Ed Slater.

Bath’s season has been in free fall as of late with the Blue, Black and White falling out of contention for a play-off spot after defeats against Harlequins, Exeter and Leicester Tigers.

Form would favour Gloucester in this match, but with it being a West Country derby all form goes out the window with both teams fighting to get one over on their nearest rivals.

Saracens – Saturday 5th May @ Allianz Park

Gloucester have possibly the hardest final game of the season.

The Cherry and Whites travel to high-flying Saracens who will be going in search of a home semi-final.

Gloucester won against the two-time Champions Cup winners at Kingsholm earlier in the season but travelling to the Allianz is a far tougher challenge.

It’s hard to see Gloucester winning at Saracens but you can’t rule out the West Country side put up a performance that could see them earn a vital bonus point.

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If the final three games don’t go to plan, or results elsewhere leave Gloucester unable to break into the top six then there is another route into Europe’s elite rugby competition.

The Cherry and Whites can qualify for the Champions Cup through winning the Challenge Cup.

Gloucester have a home semi-final coming up against Newcastle Falcons and if they get past their Premiership counterparts they will face the winner of Pau v Cardiff Blues.

After the season Gloucester have had under Johan Ackermann it will be a shame to see Gloucester not return to Europe’s elite.

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