DISTRAUGHT Billy Twelvetrees admits Gloucester’s lack of discipline in Saturday’s West Country derby was unacceptable.
The Cherry and Whites crashed to an 18-17 defeat to local rivals Bath following a late penalty try in a game littered in controversy.
Referee Tim Wigglesworth sent off Sila Puafisi for a high tackle and sin-binned both Mike Tindall and Huia Edmonds, for technical offences, before dismissing Tavis Knoyle for his part in the mass brawl that followed Bath’s late try.
The Hull official is no stranger to controversy having shown three red and two yellow cards in a clash between Bath and Leicester last year.
Bath were also in the bad books with Carl Fearns, Matt Garvey and Dave Attwood all sent to the sin-bin.
But Twelvetrees refused to blame the referee and insists Gloucester cannot afford to lose their cool.
He said: “Everyone is really gutted and pretty distraught. We felt we were the better side. We put them under pressure and we were keeping the ball well but discipline let us down and to finish the game with 11 men, there are just no excuses.
“A couple of decisions have gone against us but we are rugby players and we have to deal with it better. We can’t hope to win matches and be picking up red and yellow cards.
“It’s disappointing because we played a good brand of rugby but we lost at home on derby day and the boys are gutted – it’s not acceptable.
“It’s hurting but we will go back and look at it and see where we can take positives because there’s a quick turnaround until next week.
“We simply have to take the positives, we played well with the ball and created openings but little things are letting us down and discipline is killing us.”
Twelvetrees was also disappointed with his lack of accuracy with the boot, having missed a penalty midway through the second half and failed to convert Henry Trinder’s try.
The misses proved costly with Bath winning by a single point but in truth Twelvetrees was one of the last players you could blame for the defeat.
He led from the front, despite his pleading towards Wigglesworth falling upon deaf ears, and orchestrated affairs to good effect.
He said: “With a few kicks at goal from myself we could have been in a different position. It’s bitterly disappointing from my point of view. The boys work so hard and to come away with a loss against Bath, I’m just distraught.”
But Twelvetrees is well aware that Gloucester must pick themselves up quickly with their Twickenham Stinger against Wasps looming on the horizon.
Wasps lost to Leicester Tigers on Saturday and Exeter Chiefs moved into the all-important seventh spot – which will lead to a play-off for the Rugby Champions Cup.
Just two points separate Gloucester and Wasps, who trail the Chiefs by one and Saturday’s clash is likely to make or break the Cherry and Whites hopes.
Twelvetrees added: “The boys love playing for this club, we’re so passionate about playing for Gloucester and we love coming out here every week, using the ball and showing what it means to us.
“We will always give 100 per cent and that’s what is so gutting.
“We work hard to get things right and when it falls apart in the last 20 minutes it’s disappointing.
“But we will pick ourselves up and battle on ahead of a huge game next week.”