SHANE Monahan has warned Gloucester to brace themselves for a backlash from wounded Worcester Warriors.
The Sixways club will be relegated to the Championship in the summer and face the Cherry and Whites in their final Premiership clash on Saturday.
They could be forgiven for throwing in the towel after their battle for survival was lost but Monahan is ready for a typically full-blooded M5 derby.
Monahan said: “They will be hurting. They have been relegated but they’ve thrown some good performances together, not for the full 80 but they have competed for an hour or so.
“You‘re not going to go there and get a walkover. It’s not only the last game of the season at Sixways but for a lot of them it will be their last game ever for Worcester so they are going to bring it.
“You always want to win a derby game. Dean Ryan and Carl Hogg are two Gloucester lads so you want to go and get one over them.
“So there’s plenty of motivation. It’s a great place to play and one I’m really looking forward to.”
Gloucester will make the short journey up the M5 after securing a 38-30 victory over London Irish, in a game in which Monahan bagged a hat-trick.
It was not all praise and glory for the Irish wing after he was at some fault for at least two tries and he admits aspects of his game were rusty. But he was just delighted to be back on the pitch and scoreboard.
He said: “It’s mad how things go sometimes, I was just expecting 20 minutes at the end of the game. I was just glad to be back from injury and in the squad but Billy (Twelvetrees) went down and it was straight back into it.
“I was a bit rusty but delighted to get on the scoreboard. I seem to go very well against the Irish boys, I love scoring tries, that’s the best part of the game as a wing and my job. Every time I can do that it’s great.”
Gloucester flattered to deceive against the Exiles. While they scored five tries but conceded four in an open and error-strewn closing encounter at Kingsholm.
Monahan reckons the performance was a reflection of the entire season and there is little doubt it has been a frustrating one for everyone involved.
The 27-year-old remains confident that Gloucester have the armory to battle it out with the best but he knows they must cut the mistakes to rise to the top.
He added: “That performance against London Irish was the best and worst of Gloucester, the ying and the yang, but you have to take a positive outlook.
“We have the ability to play some fantastic rugby, it’s just the little things, we have to cut out those silly errors, passes and offloads.
“I’m confident we can beat any team, any weekend and that’s why this season has been so frustrating. If we were a squad that wasn’t up to it fair enough but we are capable.
“It was great to get the win in the last home game, it was a big thing for the support - we owed it to them and to ourselves.
“We have to work on doing the little things right in training because they transfer, practice makes perfect and we need to be accurate everywhere we can be.
“We have the foundations, we just need to start building on them, beginning with Worcester.”