Gloucester survived a close call against Blues to claim four crucial Pool Six points in a pulsating Heineken Cup clash at Kingsholm.
HEINEKEN CUP POOL 6
Gloucester: (10) 23
Tries: Fanolua (2), Bailey
Pens: Paul (2)
Blues: (16) 19
Cons: L Thomas
Pens: L Thomas (3)
Terry Fanolua grabbed the first of two tries in the third minute for the home side but a Tom Shanklin try and Lee Thomas kick put Blues out in front.
Henry Paul levelled with a penalty but Thomas kicked Blues to a 16-10 lead.
James Bailey hit back with a try before Thomas slotted a penalty, but another Fanolua try and Paul penalty sealed it.
However, Gloucester only just escaped the clutches of a
superb Cardiff effort to keep the heat on pool leaders Stade Francais.
The exceptional Robert Sidoli led the Blues' effort in the line-out and hooker
Rhys Thomas and prop Tony Yapp were equally as effective in the loose.
In contrast, Gloucester kicker Paul had a far from impressive night, missing three penalty attempts.
The Cherry and Whites also paid a price for their victory, losing wingers Marcel
Garvey and James Simpson-Daniel to injuries.
Gloucester coach Dean Ryan was disappointed with his side's display, particularly after scoring a try after only three minutes.
"We got the start we wanted and then couldn't build on it," he said.
"The game was very scrappy, and we got sucked into a battle we didn't want to be in. We struggled to change our gameplan and be more effective.
"We didn't play particularly well but we got four points - and from our point
of view that was the most important thing."
Blues coach Dai Young praised his makeshift side after they pushed Gloucester all the way.
"Next week will be a different game, but I thought Gloucester underestimated us," said Young.
"Perhaps losing at Borders gave them the indication we were pushovers, but they got a huge challenge.
"The players responded well and showed a lot of character and at the end I'm disappointed we didn't snatch the win."
Gloucester: Goodridge; Garvey, Mauger, Fanolua, Simpson-Daniel; Paul, Gomarsall; Bezuidenhout, Parkes, Powell; Eustace, Buxton; Boer, Hazell, Balding
Replacements: Elloway, Wood, Cornwell, Forrester, Page, Davies, Bailey
Blues: R Williams; F Tuilagi, S James, T Shanklin, C Morgan; L Thomas, D Dewdney; J Yapp, R Thomas, G Jenkins, D Jones, R Sidoli, N Thomas, M Williams (capt), K Schubert.
Replacements: B Evans, M Jones, G Williams, N Budgett, R Sowden-Taylor, N Macleod, N Walne.
Referee: Donal Courtney (Ireland)