Harlequins suffered a humiliating 29-7 defeat to Gloucester as they failed to deal with the windy conditions at the Stoop.

An error-strewn performance from Paul Gustard’s men handed victory to a Danny Cipriani inspired Cherry and Whites.

Gustard’s men’s plans of gate-crashing the top two have been put on hold as handling errors proved costly as Johan Ackermann’s men ran in four tries to one to claim a deserved bonus point.

The win closed the gap between Quins in third and Glouc' in fourth to two points, but the difference between the two in class seemed to suggest the visitors were the likely to challenge for top honours.

Rare Brown Mistake

Mike Brown’s missed tackle allowed Jason Woodward to open the scoring after nine minutes.

Gloucester added another three minutes later after a delicious Cipriani pass freed Ruan Ackermann to run in after fine break by Ollie Thornley from deep.

Twelvetrees added the extras from the touchline with a sublime effort in horrendous west London wind.

Tom Marshall was sent to the stands for a deliberate knock deep on his try line that brought an end Quins’ first real threat on the visitors goal line.

Quins failed to capitalise on the man advantage as Ackermann’s men stood firm, and if anything looked the more likely to add to the score with Cipriani in the mood.

Restored to full numbers Glouc’ took full advantage on some woeful handling and kicking errors as Twelvetrees added a penalty to push the visitors to 17 unanswered points as the half time whistle came.

Change Of The Guard, Same Result

Gustard sent Marcus Smith on at the break for James Lang who seemed to struggle with the swirling Stoop wind.

Joe Marler also made an entrance to the delight of the home support and was immediate involved as his foray made room for Nathan Earle to stampede into the Glouc’ 22. Quins looked brighter from the off.

Despite the positive start, the mercurial Cipriani and his men weathered the storm and almost crossed over from an outrageous crossfield kick which found Ben Morgan with advantage being played for a Joe Marchant high tackle.

Failing to cross the line, referee Barnes produced a yellow card for the Quins centre and down to 14-men, Glouc’ crossed over through Marshall.

The cherry and whites dominated all facets of the game and when they forced an attacking scrum V, Cipriani got the try and the bonus point he and his side deserved after peeling off the back of the scrum.

Twelvetrees added the extras from the touchline once more to put the visitors into a huge 29-0 lead.

Gustard’s men finally crossed the whitewash through Earle after his chip and chase was gathered after a mix up on the line allowed the England hopeful the easiest of touchdowns.

Smith added the conversion to restore some pride in the jersey.