Gloucester Rugby will have to do it the hard way if they are to claim European glory after their unbeaten home record this season was ended by Pau at Kingsholm.
The Cherry & Whites went down 34-24 to the French side, who finished the Pool 3 standings with six wins from six to earn a home quarter-final in the Challenge Cup.
Gloucester were already assured a quarter-final spot, but this defeat sees them finish second in the pool and means they will be on the road in the last eight.
They could have topped the group with a win by seven points or more, and it was Gloucester who led first with a Jeremy Thrush try.
However Steffon Armitage’s score on the stroke of half-time turned the tide to give Pau a 13-7 lead at the break.
Frank Halai, Lourens Adriaanse and Daniel Ramsay all crossed for Pau in the second half, and despite tries from Callum Braley and Jake Polledri, Gloucester were well-beaten.
Thank you for your fine support tonight.
Tonight beaten by a better team. Now our job to become the better team 💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/j5qcve1tAi
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) January 19, 2018
And Billy Burns admitted they will have to learn from the defeat if they are to bounce back in the quarter-finals.
Burns said: “We’re bitterly disappointed with that result. There are a few positives to take but still we weren’t good enough in large aspects of the game and deserved the result we got.
“There were too many simple mistakes which you can’t do against a side like that. We’ll have a good hard look at ourselves. We’ve got do the competition the hard way now but we’ll take that challenge on and move on.”