GLOUCESTER head coach Johan Ackerman refused to be drawn on a deleted post-match tweet from the club’s official website which criticised referee Jerome Garces' decision to award the late Cardiff Blues penalty in their European Challenge Cup defeat in Bilbao

Full-back Gareth Anscombe kicked a penalty from the touchline in the final minutes which put his side into a 31-30 lead which was too much for the Cherry and Whites going into the final two minutes of the final

Gloucester, who lead 20-6 at half-time and looked to be cruising to the title, were 30-23 in front.

Centre Mark Atkinson, wing Henry Trinder and hooker James Hanson scored the Cherry and Whites’ tries while centre Billy Twelvetrees was immaculate with the boot, converting all three touchdowns and booting three penalties.

But the defeat was heartbreak for Gloucester just 12 months on from a final defeat to Stade Francais.

The Gloucester Twitter account blasted the referee over the decision to award the final penalty which Anscombe kicked which came at a ruck 25 metres out on the edge of the pitch.

The tweet said: “A long season decided by that.” But after the deleted it, their account said: “Poor tweet earlier. Apologies. ‘slaps wrist’.”

Ackermann was philosophical about the penalty award and the ultimate defeat.

He said: "That is sport, sometimes decisions go against you. That's emotions speaking. We're all emotional if we lose. Somebody had to lose tonight.

"There's always decisions. Even the last decision I could argue that it was a ruck. Cardiff should have released the ball, our cleaner was there. Why the penalty? Why not a scrum?

"I'm probably not going to sleep well for the next seven, eight nights because it's the third final in a row that I've lost. Sometimes things will go for us, sometimes things will not."