RESOURCEFUL Gloucester owe their increasing versatility and coolness under pressure to measured boss Nigel Davies, hails Jim Hamilton.
Cherry and Whites captain Hamilton believes rugby director Davies is teaching Gloucester how to turn any tricky situation on its head.
Davies blamed himself for Gloucester’s abysmal start in Saturday’s West Country derby victory.
Gloucester slipped 10-0 behind at half-time, but rallied to a 16-10 victory – their fifth consecutive Premiership win over their fierce rivals.
Davies questioned whether his midweek training schedule left his side undercooked.
But 29-year-old lock Hamilton said shouldering responsibility like that is typical of the shrewd new Kingsholm boss – and all part of the reason why Gloucester are currently so calm on the field.
Hailing the new era, Hamilton explained: “I cannot tell you enough how much Nigel’s approach does help.
“I said to Freddie Burns after the game, we’ve got a plan A, a plan B and a plan C now.
“Whereas in the past if it wasn’t working we had nowhere to go.
“Nigel brings a calmness as well as having that authority, and a buzz and energy about him.
“We know we’ve got the players, the plays and the ability to go out there and still put pressure on teams and get a win, whether that’s with ten minutes or 30 seconds to go.
“We’re confident that if we keep it tight, we can create chances and get results.
“Look at London Welsh – old Gloucester, we would probably have lost that game.
“We’re not old Gloucester, we’re a new team in a new era with new management and players who believe in what we’re doing.”
Stephen Donald strolled home for a try after just one minute on Saturday, slapping stunned Gloucester across the face.
Hamilton said the Cherry and Whites mistimed their preparations – and paid the price – but praised his side for their ability to fight back.
He continued: “What really pleases me is that we can play that poorly in the first half and come back and win.
“That’s something we’ve got loads better at, and the fact we can regroup, adapt, start afresh and go out and get the job done, that’s important.
“We were pretty rushed with our warm-up. As we were coming back in from our warm-up to go through our final preparations and have a quick team-talk, Bath were almost ready to take the field.
“We had 30 seconds, it was a bit frantic, and we weren’t set properly for the start.
“And then Bath scored straightaway, and we were caught cold.
“There’s no excuse, though. Bath were significantly better in that first half.
“They were powerful in the scrum, far better at the contact area, and it took half-time for us just to sit and gather our thoughts.
“Nigel and I said a few words, and we just had to get out there with more composure.
“That’s a win against a good team, and we’ve now got to be happy with the fact we’re not firing on all cylinders yet, but I’m hoping that will come soon.
“We’re maturing as a team, and we’ve got to understand we won’t always have it all our own way.
“The fact that we came through a tough scrummage situation and probably ended with dominance, that’s pleasing.
“The only thing I ask for is that we never give up, we never die down and we’re relentless.
“As long as we keep doing that, I’m confident that the quality will come through in this team.”