Lions boss Ian McGeechan was potentially the biggest loser of a miserable match as Gloucester ended Ospreys' reign as EDF Energy Cup holders with a 17-0 semi-final triumph.
McGeechan might have winced after three of his possible South Africa-bound tourists this summer - Gavin Henson, Ian Gough and Mike Tindall - all failed to last the distance at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
And a Lions fringe candidate, Gloucester wing James Simpson-Daniel, joined the trio in failing to reappear for the second period.
Ospreys ace Henson, playing at full-back instead of injured Wales colleague Lee Byrne, limped off nursing a lower leg problem, following Gloucester captain Tindall and Gough in making an early exit.
McGeechan’s tour squad is due to be announced at Heathrow on April 21 and he can only hope for encouraging fitness bulletins from the Gloucester and Ospreys camps.
Ospreys’ hopes of retaining Anglo-Welsh silverware were dashed by Gloucester fly-half Ryan Lamb, whose penalties after three and 43 minutes gave his team a critical edge before a 68th-minute drop-goal and third penalty sealed the deal.
And, just to confirm Gloucester’s dominance, wing Iain Balshaw ran in a late interception try from deep inside his own half.
However much the Ospreys huffed and puffed, they could not smash spirited Gloucester’s defensive resistance.
And, while they remain in contention for Heineken Cup and Magners League silverware this season, their EDF demise will frustrate them after failing to deliver on the big occasion.
Neither side produced memorable rugby as the semi-final suffered an acute hangover from last weekend’s frenzied RBS 6 Nations finale.
Not even Ospreys wing and Ireland Grand Slam hero Tommy Bowe could lighten the gloom on a blustery, overcast afternoon in the west midlands, barely receiving a pass following his try-scoring glory at the Millennium Stadium last Saturday.
Gloucester, though, now march on to Twickenham in three weeks’ time, knowing victory guarantees Heineken Cup qualification next term.
The Ospreys, targeting a third successive Twickenham appearance, welcomed back several of their Wales players from Six Nations duty against Ireland.