But unfortunately for them, when England's domestic game saw its tried-and-tested first-past-the-post system abolished for the 2002-03 season and beyond, it sparked a period of Premiership heartache at Kingsholm.
Gloucester finished top by 15 points in 2003, but then lost the inaugural Twickenham play-off final 39-3 to Wasps.
They were 'first' again four years later, before shipping 44 points against Leicester; then took top spot three years ago, only for Tigers to dump them out in the semi-finals.
This weekend, Gloucester will try again, tackling Saracens at Vicarage Road for the right to face Leicester or Northampton in the English season's showpiece finale on May 28.
History lessons are not required down Kingsholm way. Each of those painful campaigns are etched deep into the memory bank of players and supporters alike.
And it is not about to get any easier for Gloucester, who must overcome a Saracens side that beat them 35-12 on Easter Sunday and go into the play-offs with more Premiership wins than any other team this season.
"Saracens are very efficient in what they do," said Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath, whose only injury absentees for the trip to Watford are centre Mike Tindall and full-back Olly Morgan.
"They don't take a huge amount of risks, and they are pretty relentless. You don't lose only four games in a domestic season and not be a good team.
"Play-offs are tough, and you have got to be mentally tough to deal with them. We've had two finals and a semi-final, and this is the fourth play-off we have been involved in.
"We have nothing to lose on Sunday, but physically, we must compete.
"We were a little bit flat and off the pace against Saracens three weeks ago, and if you are going to compete against a top side, you must match physicality with physicality.
"If you don't match it, they are capable of beating you, which they showed three weeks ago."
That last meeting between the clubs ended a period of three league games in nine days for Gloucester, and the line-up Redpath sends out on Sunday will be changed by around 60%.
It could also be the last Gloucester appearance for departing internationals like Nicky Robinson, Paul Doran-Jones and Dave Attwood, so motivation is hardly lacking for Redpath's men.
He added: "Everyone is ready to rumble and desperate to play.
"I don't take a huge amount from that game three weeks ago - semi-finals are one-off matches.
"It's a play-off, it is not about ticking any boxes, it's a one-off game against a team we know we will have to be top-drawer against on the day.
"We've got to be bouncing on Sunday, we have to be.
"I would be disappointed if there is anyone in the squad not really jumping for this game, especially with what happened in terms of our performance three weeks ago.
"We are well aware of what Sunday's challenge is - we could easily perform very well, and lose.
"European qualification was a massive target for us this season, which we achieved by winning the LV= Cup, and trying to get into the top four was the next target, and we've done that."
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