Autumn period will be a challenge
The week before the unwlecome absence of Tigers' England – and other international – stars was always going to be difficult.
Understandably, director of rugby Richard Cockerill threw as many of those stars into the game against Gloucester as he could.
What was probably unexpected was the way in which Gloucester have improved during the close season.
Once again, Tigers' worrying tendency to start slowly came to the fore and the team were always playing catch-up, something which they are not always going to manage against decent teams.
To be fair, Gloucester are more than decent this season, the greater level of professionalism illustrated by their willingness to give up the penalty rather than the try, and an excellent ability to score when the chance presented itself.
Tigers failed to show the same ruthlessness and that, ultimately, was their downfall.
The late omission of Ben Youngs was a key factor, since on form, and Danny Care notwithstanding, he is still the best scrum-half in the country.
The enforced lack of anyone to play at openside flanker is still tremendously damaging to Tigers' continuity – a situation where the best ball-stealer and operator on the floor is Dan Cole, the tight-head prop, just is not going to win enough matches.
It should also be acknowledged that Tigers' schedule – bruising encounters against Toulouse and Ospreys, while Gloucester had two games against disinterested French teams, did mean that the preparation of the two teams will have been very different.
In that sense, it was credit to Tigers that at the end they were battering the Gloucester line.
Of course, that has to be tempered by the amount of time Tigers had against only 13 men, which yielded only a penalty try from the scrum.
So, the team will move on, most teams will lose to Gloucester at Kingsholm this season, so, in that sense, nothing huge has been lost, but the challenge of the autumn international period will be keenly felt this season.
The next few weeks, with all those players missing, will be a massive challenge for Tigers.