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Gloucester Rugby: Jimmy Cowan insists Cherry and Whites must bounce back

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 06, 2014

Cowan calls for fighting response

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JIMMY Cowan has urged Gloucester to unleash the agony of their humiliating defeat to Saracens when they return to Heineken Cup action against Munster on Saturday.

The Cherry and Whites were pummelled by the Premiership pacesetters, who dominated from the offset at Kingsholm.

Gloucester went down to their heaviest home defeat to Saracens as the London club’s juggernaut pack steamrolled Nigel Davies’ men and ran riot when they ventured wide.

Cowan said: “You have to give credit to Saracens, they played a very good game and managed it very well. They controlled the set-piece very well, put us under pressure all game and we just couldn’t play.

“They are at the top of the table so we were probably kidding ourselves a bit but it’s a good wake-up call and hopefully we can get to grips with things ahead of Munster.

“Saracens was never a step too far but it just shows the difference between us – they’re a top of the table team but to lose like that at home is disappointing and we have plenty to work on.

“It comes down to the old rugby adage that if you don’t have a set-piece you’re not going to go anywhere. We didn’t have a set-piece against Saracens and that will be a major focus going forward.

“From 1 to 15 they were all on the same page and know what they’re doing – you can hear that through their communication at the set-piece and in phase play. "They’re beatable but you have to give them credit for the way they play.”

While Gloucester are languishing at the wrong end of the Premiership table, with little hope of a top half finish, they are alive and fighting in Europe.

The Cherry and Whites sit second in Pool Six, five points adrift of Munster who visit Kingsholm on Saturday.

A victory over the Irish province would give Davies’ men a real chance of reaching the knockout stages for the first time since 2008, ahead of a trip to Perpignan a week Sunday.

And the former All Black reckons Gloucester will have no shortage of motivation following their Saracens horror show.

He added: “It doesn’t get any easier. We knew we were going into a hard period of rugby with Saracens, Munster and Perpignan but this is why you play the game.

“These are the kind of games you should be able to get up for but we didn’t front up against Saracens.

“This will hurt for a few days but we will regroup and look forward to Munster. We will lick our wounds and bounce back.”

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