Gloucester Rugby narrowly missed out in a 26-24 defeat against Leicester Tigers in the first round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup at Welford Road on Saturday.
The Cherry and Whites claimed a losing bonus-point and could have clinched a win when academy product Lloyd Evans missed a late penalty.
Adam Thompstone, Jonah Holmes and a controversial Charlie Thacker score edged the result for last year’s champions, with Joe Ford knocking three penalties over to seal a valuable win.
Paddy McAllister and Ben Vellacott both crossed the whitewash with Tom Hudson also going over against his former side.
Vellacott was the only player to remain in the Gloucester side that beat Bath 22-21 at the Rec in the Premiership over a week ago.
Freddie Clark reacts to Gloucester Rugby’s defeat:
Ross Moriarty – The Welsh back row was “outstanding” in his first appearance of the season having recovered from a back injury sustained during the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand. The 23-year-old led a young Gloucester side well and was powerful in defence.
Freddie Clark – The powerful lock impressed during an 80 minute stint. The 25-year-old made his ninth appearance of the season and his second this season against Tigers.
Ben Vellacott – The 22-year-old was vigilant and agile again for the Cherry and White’s with the England international darting over to score a try from close-range after a powerful driving maul.
Gareth Evans – Made his first appearance of the season but his game was ended abruptly when the 26-year-old was knocked unconscious after a heavy collision during the second-half.
Tom Hudson – The 22-year-old impressed against his former club and managed to cross the whitewash after a powerful run. The centre ran a good line to slice a hole through the Tigers defence and muscle his way over.
Tom Seabrook – Having put in a number of impressive performances in the A-League last season, Seabrook has again made another strong start to his season with the England under-18’s winger getting 80 minutes against Leicester Tigers.
Head of Academy Richard Whiffin was “proud of the performance” from his young side although expressed his disappointment in the manner of the defeat:
Gloucester Rugby: 15. C Penny (R Dunn 72); 14. T Seabrook, 13. A Symons, 12. T Hudson, 11. E Creed; 10. L Evans, 9. B Vellacott (C Braley 64); 1. P McAllister (C Orr 68), 2. J Hanson (H Walker 59), 3. G Denman; 4. C Beckett (c), 5. F Clarke; 6. R Moriarty (C Allen 53), 7. J Polledri, 8. G Evans (W Safe 47 (R Moriarty 58-68 HIA)).
Replacements not used: J Bartlett, C Chapman.
Tries: P McAllister, B Vellacott, T Hudson.