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Gloucester Rugby: Elliott Stooke - We can gain revenge in The Stinger

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 08, 2014

By Mike Brown @citizen_rugby

Stooke insists Gloucester can triumph in The Stinger

Stooke insists Gloucester can triumph in The Stinger

Elliott Stooke insists Gloucester can avenge their Amlin Challenge Cup defeat to London Wasps at ‘The Stinger’.

The Cherry and Whites were dumped out of Europe with a 36-24 defeat at Adams Park and face Dai Young’s men once again, in league action in two weeks’ time.

But while he could not hide his bitter disappointment, Stooke – one of few players to leave the pitch with his head held high – insists Gloucester can take plenty of positives from the second-half turnaround.

“The first half we totally fell asleep, we weren’t aware of the situations going on, especially around the breakdowns where they had a lot of pick and goes and a lot of momentum.

“We had a bit of a telling off at half-time but switched back on in the second-half and really turned it on as you can see by the score line.

“We knew their forward pack were strong and that if we took that away they wouldn’t have much else.

“That first-half was a bit of a kicking game, they controlled it and their forwards got the upper hand.

“We had to shut that down in the second-half and we did.

“We can be proud of our second-half performance but in the first-half it was embarrassing.

“It seems to be that we play our best rugby when we are down and that’s not how we want to go about things.

“But we will look forward to playing Wasps at Twickenham, which is sure to be a great occasion.

“We have to relish the fact we still have them in the Stinger.

“We’re obviously targeting that seventh spot in the Premiership, Wasps are just ahead of us and we know exactly what we have to do.

“We have to dig deep with four games left in the Premiership.”

That all begins against West Country rivals Bath in a sold-out Kingsholm clash on Saturday.

Mike Ford’s men ended a three-match losing-streak at the Rec as they booked their place in the Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals with a commanding victory over Brive.

And Stooke insists the Cherry and Whites must finally crack an 80 minute performance to have any chance of toppling their rivals, who sit fourth in the Aviva Premiership.

He said: “It’s been a summary of our season yet again. Newcastle at home we started well but finished poorly, the same in Exeter and then we start poorly here and finish well. We are playing a game of two halves.

“We absolutely have to put a stop to that. We have a derby against Bath next week, I believe it’s a sell-out already and everyone is relishing the fact we have another big game to focus on.”

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