A YOUTHFUL London Irish suffered a 47-7 humbling at Gloucester in the Anglo Welsh Cup.

The Exiles were taught a harsh lesson at Kingsholm on Saturday by a strong Gloucester team featuring a number of former All Blacks and British & Irish Lions stars.

Both clubs came together before kick off in support of Darren Dawidiuk, the London Irish hooker and former Gloucester player currently receiving treatment for testicular cancer.

The Exiles put up some stubborn resistance in the early exchanges as the Cherry & Whites struggled to make inroads.

It took the hosts 23 minutes to register their first points of the afternoon, skipper Willi Heinz slicing through to score following a powerful line-out drive from a kick to the corner. Billy Burns knocked over the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

Exiles conceded a second try five minutes later after coughing up possession deep in the Gloucester 22. Burns cleared upfield and a strong run by Richard Hibbard allowed Val Rapava Ruskin to dot down for 12-0.

However, the hosts were soon reduced to 14 men when Heinz was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on as the Irish forwards powered towards the line following good work from Ben Ransom and Theo Brophy Clews in the build-up.

However, their good work was soon undone as the visitors gave away a penalty allowing Burns to relieve the danger with a kick to the half-way line.

And to compound Irish’s frustration, they let in a third try on the stroke of half time when Tom Hudson crossed the whitewash, with Burns converting to put the hosts 19-0 in front at the break.

However, the Exiles were quick to respond and hit back with a try six minutes after the restart.

The visitors elected to kick for the corner after winning a penalty in the Gloucester 22 and, after a strong driving line-out, Ollie Hoskins burrowed over for their first points of the day. The returning Greig Tonks added the extras for 19-7.

Sadly, the fightback was short lives as Gloucester notched their fourth try and the bonus point on 58 minutes when Jeremy Thrush broke away from the pack before crossing the line. Billy Twelvetrees took over kicking duties and made no mistake with the conversion for 26-7.

Exiles fell further behind four minutes later when Henry Trinder took advantage of tired legs by scoring down the left before dotting down with Twelvetrees on target again for 33-7.

Irish did enjoy a period of pressure after that and kicked for the corner three times as they looked to make the most out of a string of penalties.

But They lost possession on the third throw and conceded another try on the counter, finished off by Callum Braley and converted by Twelvetrees for 40-7.

Gloucester added gloss to the scoreline with their seventh try late on through Jake Polledri with Twelvetrees on target again.

The hosts ended the game with 14 men after James Hanson was sinbinned for collapsing a driving maul, but Exiles were unable to add to their points tally.

Irish have now lost both Anglo Welsh Cup games following a narrow home loss to Bath a week earlier.

Irish return to Aviva Premiership action this Sunday when they host Bath at Madejski Stadium (3pm ko).

Gloucester: Hudson, Purdy (Symons 44), Trinder, Twelvetrees, Thorley, Burns (Evans 48), Heinz (c) (Braley 62), Rapava Ruskin (Denman 58), Hibbard (Hanson 58), Afoa (Hohneck 58), Slater (Savage 58), Thrush, Polledri, Rowan, Ludlow (Safe 72).

London Irish: Tonks, Ransom, Mulchrone (c) (Williams 50), McLean, Loader, Brophy Clews (Atkins 73), Brand, Smallbone (Elrington 50), Woolstencroft, Hoskins (Chawatama 58), Lloyd, Cooke, Basham, Northcote-Green (Donnell 73), Schatz.

Attendance: 11,272.