Gloucester centre Henry Paul opened the scoring with a penalty in the first five minutes and extended the hosts' lead four minutes later with another well judged three-pointer.
But Rotherham fought back soon after closing the gap to just one as No.8 Geraint Lewis snatched up a wayward pass by Gloucester scrum-half Simon Amor to dot down underneath the posts. Fly-half Jason Strange was unsucessful with his conversion.
Strange and and Paul traded a penalty apiece as the teams went to the break separated by one.
After the interval Gloucester managed to rediscover some of the form that saw them top the regular season table last season as winger Marcel Garvey broke through the gap to offload to prop Paul Johnstone, who managed to set the ball up for debutant fullback Rory Teague – nephew of Kingsholm great Mike Teague – to charge over for the try.
Paul was successful with the conversion and added another two penalties to stretch the lead to a more comfortable 14-point margin, and in the end it proved enough to clinch the win.
For Gloucester:Try: TeagueCon: PaulPens: Paul 5
For Rotherham:Try: LewisPen: Strange