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Gloucester Rugby: Freddie Burns wants to end on a high

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 20, 2014

Freddie Burns

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Freddie Burns is determined to finish his Gloucester career on a high after guiding the Cherry and Whites into the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

Gloucester had it all to do in Catalonia, requiring a bonus-point win and other results to go their way to snatch a qualifying spot.

But they came up trumps as a rejuvenated Burns, who last week confirmed he will quit Kingsholm in the summer, orchestrated expertly.

The fly-half booted 11 crucial points, unleashed the backs when it was right to do so and kicked to the corners when necessary.

And he is determined to make the most of his remaining days in Cherry and White and challenge for silverware with a quarter-final against London Wasps scheduled for early April.

Burns said: “It would mean a massive amount to me to finish with some success. I’m not lying when I say I love the club and playing for them.

“I feel the time is right for me to move on but you just have to hear this crowd – I’ll treasure the last few games I have for Gloucester.

“The last few weeks we’ve been playing a style I like to play, it suits me and having that licence to play is fantastic.

“I feel better, I had the kicking duties back which helps even though I haven’t kicked well this year. It’s a big part of my game.

“It’s good to finally be playing well and to enjoying my rugby. I’m confident I can put in some good performances for this club in the rest of the competition.

“It’s great to be in a quarter-final, it’s always exciting whether it’s the Heineken or Amlin Challenge Cup.”

Jonny May, Charlie Sharpes and Ben Morgan all crossed the whitewash, while Shane Monahan grabbed a brace.

It was the first try bonus-point the Cherry and Whites have claimed in Europe this season, and only their second when including the Premiership.

Burns admits the way Perpignan approached the encounter suited the visitors’ game and he paid tribute to the all round performance which allowed him to unleash the backs.

He said: “We knew we had to come here and get the five point, bonus-point win and we’ve done that, put in a performance and scored a few tries which is always nice.

“It’s always physical when you come here and it’s never going to be easy. But the last two weeks we’ve played the way we want and to finally benefit from it is great.

“As a side we prefer that broken field play to a structured game. It was a bit sloppy at times but to score five tries is fantastic.

“To get it out to the wide boys Jonny May, Sharples, Monahan was great. I just have to sit there, pass the ball and let them do what they do best.

“We always knew they would come out and it would be tough in the second half but the defence stepped up and Shane crossing for his second early was key.

“The longer it goes on the more you become on edge. We were pleased to do wrap up the bonus-point early so we could enjoy the game.”

While Gareth Evans scooped the official man-of-the-match award for his all action performance, he could have little complaints if either of the half-backs pipped him to it.

It was a crucial combination that had the edge on a disjoined Perpignan team showing 13 changes to the side that lost to Edinburgh in Round Five.

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