Exiles deliver stylish send off for Catt
London Irish gave England-bound attack coach Mike Catt the perfect send-off with a 52-18 win over Gloucester in a Madejski Stadium contest marred by the sendings off of Jim Hamilton and David Paice.
The game was effectively over by half-time as tries from Darren Allinson, Sailosi Tagicakibau and Jonathan Joseph, plus a 19-point haul from Tom Homer, put Irish 34-11 ahead. Homer kicked another penalty while substitute Marland Yarde (2) and the departing Delon Armitage added further tries to complete the rout.
But the game will be best remembered for the huge brawl that saw Gloucester lock Hamilton and Irish hooker Paice dismissed.
The pair had already been sin-binned for exchanging punches by referee Dave Pearson, but when they elected to hold round two of their bout on the way to the touchline it sparked a mass confrontation and they were both shown red.
Two Tom Voyce tries and eight points from Freddie Burns were all Gloucester had to show for their efforts as they suffered a sixth-straight defeat to hand Mike Tindall a sad end to his Kingsholm career.
Homer, the Premiership's top points scorer this term, gave Irish a nine-point lead by the 19-minute mark as he slotted three penalties in quick succession with Gloucester's scrum coming in for particular attention from referee Pearson.
The Cherry and Whites produced a sharp response by claiming the game's first try from their first concerted attack, as Jonny May and Tindall showed patience to work full-back Voyce over in the right-hand corner.
However, that score only proved a brief respite as Homer added his fifth penalty before Joseph, Armitage and Allinson combined to craft a lovely score just before the half-hour.
The game had proved to be typical end-of-season fare but it suddenly erupted seven minutes into the second half as Hamilton and Paice traded blows off the ball, sparking a melee, which saw the pair sin-binned by Pearson.
But the duo squared up again as they walked from the field, with their second exchange of punches leading to a mass brawl near the touchline, leaving Pearson with little option but to dish out red cards to the central protagonists.