A late try by Tomas De Vedia ended Gloucester’s unbeaten record in the GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP.
The league leaders took a point from the Madejski Stadium, but left ruing their luck after referee Sean Davey referred to the television match official for the second time in the match to confirm the 71st minute score.
Having disallowed Phil Murphy’s effort, which was clearly grounded past the in-goal area, in the first half, the TMO gave the decision after confirming the winger had dotted down after Topsy Ojo had failed to get downward pressure on the ball.
It was just reward for an Irish side who played a cute gameplan, starving Gloucester of quick ball from the set-pieces and firing a volley at their visitors every time they had the chance to attack.
Australian full-back Peter Hewat, who had only arrived in the UK on Tuesday, got his eye in with a third-minute penalty but missed his next two to leave the Exiles clutching on to a 3-0 lead at the interval, despite having a man advantage when Ryan Lamb was sinbinned midway through the half.
Gloucester struggled to construct anything of meaning and were scrappy across the park as Irish kicked quick phase ball on and rushed into the Cherry and Whites faces as they scrambled to clear.
Their pressure paid off four minutes into the second half when Shane Geraghty sent a sweet cross-field kick over Gloucester debutant Chris Paterson for De Vedia to score in the corner, with Hewat converting.
Gloucester’s response was immediate, with Iain Balshaw finishing off a good move with a chip and chase to the flag.
Paterson, who struck 17 goals from 17 at the World Cup but missed his first penalty in Cherry and White, was on target with the conversion.
But having been unable to stamp their ascendancy on a team that had thus far this season failed to impress in the league, Gloucester paid the price when De Vedia scored his second try of the game.
Delon Armitage skewed the conversion and Paterson immediately reduced the arrears with a penalty.
Gloucester mustered a late rally with the help of three penalties to get to within 10 metres of the whitewash, but ran out of time and had to make do with a losing bonus point.