Despite demolishing Agen 60-7, Gloucester crashed out of the Amlin Challenge Cup as La Rochelle qualified for the quarter-finals.
Despite demolishing Agen 60-7, Gloucester crashed out of the Amlin Challenge Cup on Thursday as La Rochelle qualified for the quarter-finals.
La Rochelle hammer Rovigo 71-17 to finish top of Pool Five and book a place in the play-offs.
James Simpson-Daniel and Henry Trinder scored twice each as Gloucester ended their European campaign in style with eight tries at a misty Kingsholm.
But Bryan Redpath's side still failed to qualify for the last eight of European rugby's second-tier competition for the first time in 10 years.
Freddie Burns notched up 21 points in the first half as the Cherry and Whites raced into a 41-0 half-time lead.
With the game less than a minute old, England wing Simpson-Daniel scorched over to set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Gloucester dominated and went onto score four further first-half tries through Trinder, Burns and Tom Voyce just before the break.
The French visitors were rejuvenated after the break and frustrated Gloucester for most of the third quarter, captain Jean Monribot leading his side from the front and scoring his side's only try after 47 minutes.
But Simpson-Daniel's second try inspired the hosts, Olly Morgan scoring Gloucester's seventh try three minutes later before Luke Narraway rounded off the rout with a late score.
Tries: Simpson-Daniel 2, Burns, Trinder 2, Voyce, Morgan, Narraway
Cons: Burns 5, Taylor 2
Pens: Burns 2
Yellow cards: Wood (Gloucester) ; Barnard (Agen); Kouider (Agen)
The result at Kingsholm was academic as La Rochelle topped Pool Five and qualified for the quarter-finals of a European competition for the first time with a predictable victory over Rovigo.
La Rochelle ran in 11 tries, including one by full-back Greg Goosen who finished with a 21-point haul, to comfortably beat the Italian minnows and top the pool, three points ahead of Gloucester.
The bonus-point win ensures La Rochelle home advantage in the quarter-finals.
For La Rochelle:
Tries: Dall'igna 3, Jacob, Boboul, Leupolu, Fa'asalele 2, Le Bourhis, Goosen, Neveu
Cons: Goosen 8
Cons: Bustos 2