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The Adventures of Sinbad, with Gloucester Rugby's James Simpson-Daniel

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 07, 2014

Comments (1)

Great for lads who are moving on to finish with victory:

In a way last Saturday’s result against London Irish encapsulated the good, the bad and the ugly of Gloucester Rugby.

I was quite conscious of sounding negative on the radio but at the end of the day we got the win.

Irish had nothing to lose, they have plenty of game breakers and threw everything at us.

They fed off our mistakes and we shipped a lot of points but we still got the win.

In many ways it was a dead game, but there was also a lot of motivating factors like finishing the season at Kingsholm on a high.

It would have been awful to have those celebrations and awards on the pitch following a loss.

But the boys played some really good rugby at times and give the supporters an enjoyable day, but at the same time it was far from a good performance on the whole.

It was a scrappy game with lots of mistakes and there will be a lot of individuals who would not be happy with their performances.

Shane Monahan got a hat-trick but earlier in the game it wasn’t going his way.

I have gone through the videos with him this week and, while he took his tries exceptionally well, he wasn’t happy with his all-round performance.

He made a couple of mistakes and you could see he started to try too hard, but once he got that first try you could see it was a confidence booster and relaxed him.

If he irons out the errors you would look back on a really good performance.

But he was focusing on the three or four mistakes rather than three super tries.

It was really good for the lads moving on and retiring to finish at Kingsholm with a victory.

You have to give a special mention to the older guys like Will James who have poured their heart and soul into the club and have so much respect around the game.

Marland Yarde was absolutely devastating for London Irish.

He was the best player on the pitch and I think anyone in attendance would appreciate that.

He was given the opportunities by our mistakes and the way we defended but as a wing all you can do is defend what’s in front of you.

He was just exceptional and was a danger every single time he got the ball.

He’s a real talent and was such a handful. He could have had five tries, let alone just a hat-trick, and his strike rate with ball in hand was very impressive.

There’s no doubt he will come back in to tour New Zealand in the summer.

That’s not good news for Jonny May. There’s always pressure to keep your jersey in an international environment and that’s especially the case with the current set-up because Stuart Lancaster picks on form.

If he continues to do that you can’t look much further than Yarde and Chris Ashton, who has really put his name back in there.

I felt sorry for Jonny against London Irish because he never really had any chances to get the ball in his hands.

It was a fast and open game which would have suited him down to the ground but the ball just didn’t go his way which must have been massively frustrating.

He would have come off the pitch happy that the team had won but disappointed that he couldn’t show what he can do.

It was a shame the Lord – Mike Tindall – could not have the same cheer off the pitch on Saturday, if he does indeed retire from the game.

I was an usher at Mike’s wedding and even I don’t know for definite what is being discussed, but if he does become backs coach that will be a great appointment.

Obviously he is already doing it on a player/coach basis, so it makes sense.

His presence alone is a big thing and it is similar to having Trevor Woodman as scrum coach.

As a World Cup winner nobody is going to know more than Trevor about the scrum and no one is going to question what he says.

It’s the same with Mike. He has that experience and has been playing at the top level for such a long time.

He might not be your Jeremy Guscott or Jason Little-style centre but he has got every ounce out of his ability and has been there and done the job at the top for so many years.

He has so many cups and trophies and has played so many matches for Bath, Gloucester and England.

There’s a feeling he could play on for another season but, although he won’t like me saying this, it’s probably a good idea that he nails down this coaching opportunity.

To still be playing at this kind of age says a lot because if there was someone else to replace him they would and it will be very disappointing if he does stop playing, but it’s probably in his best interests.

It is a bit like a punch-drunk boxer going on for too long, feeling you have another season left is probably a good time to hang up the boots.

Warriors will be fired up by Dean Ryan:

The match against Worcester Warriors in the Premiership this weekend could be seen as a dead rubber.

And it probably would be if it was against any other team – but this is a local derby.

There’s a lot of history with a lot of coaches and players between the sides, guys like Dean Ryan and Carl Hogg who have done a huge amount for our club.

Dean will have them fired up and they will want to take us on physically.

Ryan Lamb will also want to get the ball moving and in Chris Pennell they have a brilliant player.

They are down and out of the Premiership but they will be desperate to finish the season with a victory over their rivals down the road.

We will have to be very wary of that.

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  • Wilson642  |  May 07 2014, 5:41PM

    This is all well and good but, when it comes to Gloucester Rugby, what the club should really be doing is to ensure that Rupҽrt Hardҽn, our first choice and most talented tight head prop, starts as many games for Gloucester as is possible.

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