18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
In a hugely physical battle, Gloucester's powerful forwards proved the difference with four second-half tries from pack members.
After early exchanges of penalty goals from Barry Everitt and Ludovic Mercier, Gloucester scored the first try on four minutes through Adam Eustace. Mercier converted to give the visitors a 10-3 lead.
In a first half littered with ill discipline, much of the scoring came from penalty goals. A penalty try to the Irish on the stroke meant the sides went into the break tied at 16-16.
After the break the Gloucester pack wore down Irish defence with tries from Jumior Paramore, Jamie Forrester, Jake Boer, and a injury-time score from Rodrigo Roncero saw Gloucester home with the added luxury of a bonus point.
Next up for Gloucester are reigning Heineken Cup champions Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Friday night.
The Tigers have shaken off their early season wobble and are now up into the top three of the Zurich Premiership after they ground out a 16-3 victory over Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.
In a tight match first-half scoring was limited to penalty goals, two from the toe of Geordan Murphy, and a solitary penalty goal for the home side from Paul Grayson.
The second half saw the Tigers take control, playing almost the entire half in Northampton territory. On 73 minutes a try from the impressive Josh Kronfeld made the result safe.
In the battle of the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP sides at Adams Park, London Wasps and Leeds Tykes were involved in a thrilling 27-all draw.
The Yorkshire side hauled themselves back from 27-6 down with 30 minutes to play to grab the draw. A last-minute try by Dan Scarbrough, converted by Braam van Straaten earned them a point.
In the other battle between PARKER PEN sides, Saracens won a close match against NEC Harlequins 36-30.
Saracens start simply blew Harlequins away and they led 26-3 after half an hour. In the second period, the visitors had reduced the lead to 30-29 with just five minutes left.
In a frantic last five, Saracens' replacement prop Andy Kershaw battered his way over the line to win the match for the Watford side.
PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP side Bath put one over Heineken Cup competitors Sale Sharks with a 24-18 win.
Sale threw a 15-8 half-time lead away, and a Bath penalty try converted by fly-half Ollie Barclay proved to be the decisive score after 53 minutes.
And Bristol Shoguns won only their second league game of the season with a 38-10 victory over Newcastle. The Shoguns bagged six tries in a much improved performance.