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Gloucester Rugby: Kalamafoni - It's time to crank it up

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 04, 2012

Sione Kalamafoni

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EVERY game is an opportunity for Gloucester to take their top-four Premiership battle to the next level, believes Sione Kalamafoni.

The powerful Tongan loose forward has called on the Cherry and Whites to raise their play-off challenge in the second half of the season.

And the 24-year-old believes Gloucester's double-header against London Irish is the perfect opportunity to kick-start that process.

Frustrated by Sunday's 28-23 Saracens loss, former Nottingham back-rower Kalamafoni said Gloucester must take every possible chance to hone their approach and hit the heights they crave.

The Cherry and Whites' Exeter Chiefs clash on December 22 at Kingsholm represents the halfway point of the Premiership season.

Kalamafoni admits Gloucester must improve after the turn of the year to realise their top-four play-off ambitions.

The 18-cap Tongan flanker explained: "As a team it's very pleasing to see the boys play for each other and it's a pleasure to be in a team like that.

"It's moving forward and I think generally for the club we're pleased with results so far overall.

"We're almost at the halfway point of the season, and hopefully we'll crank it up and take it to the next level for the rest of the campaign."

Despite tries from Dan Murphy and Akapusi Qera Gloucester still came up short at Vicarage Road.

Victory in Watford could have propelled Gloucester into second place, but their losing bonus point leaves them fifth.

Nigel Davies' men take on London Irish at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday – their second trip to Reading already this term after their 40-31 Premiership victory on September 8.

Now the Cherry and Whites face back-to-back Amlin Challenge Cup clashes with Irish – before hosting the Exiles at Kingsholm on January 5.

Calling on Gloucester to capitalise on every chance to sharpen up their approach, he continued: "We need to realise those opportunities that have been given to us and take it with two hands, and hopefully we'll come out with better results in these very top games in future.

"But every game is an opportunity to move things forward and to progress what we're doing as a team.

"And that means every competition and every situation, not just the so-called big games against teams like Saracens.

"So every time we take the field we've got an opportunity to move our game to that next level, and we've got to take these chances.

"Obviously we want to move as far forward in each competition as possible, so there's plenty of motivation for victory in the next fortnight.

"But also these games are great chances to progress our gameplan, sharpen up a host of things and ensure we can go back into league action on top of our game."

Outscoring Saracens two tries to one still proved futile given Charlie Hodgson's haul of seven penalties.

And now Kalamafoni admits Gloucester still have plenty to work on, in their bid to muscle in on the league's top four.

He added: "There are plenty of areas where we could have done better as a team and individuals.

"But the boys stuck at it and stuck in there right until the end.

"It was a good fight for a result, but we didn't quite manage it in the end.

"If we turned it around and had come with the win it would have been a fair call.

"Everyone worked extremely hard for that.

"There are things to improve for the upcoming game, and hopefully we'll get those things sorted.

"You have to sit back and look at it, and we have to look forward to the next game, and sharpen up in a few areas.

"It's frustrating to have lost these two games against top teams, but we'll have a chance to take it to the next level in the next few games."

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  • CrunchMan  |  December 05 2012, 12:14AM

    If Nigel Davies thinks it is important for the club to win against Irish in these AC Cup games, he will undoubtedly start Harden, his go to man. Otherwise he will rest Harden for the bigger games in the Premiership.

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  • Karbonn  |  December 05 2012, 12:04AM

    Rupert Harden.... Top player.... Best tight-head.

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  • seanbulling  |  December 05 2012, 12:01AM

    Well done to Rupert Harden and Mike Tindall for their excellent performances once again, on Sunday. Also, I thought another stand out player was Q. What a player! And to think that the troll, the amateur selector and self-anointed talentless-spotter (i.e. akadau/copelandman/RuckandRoller/etc) thinks he is not a number 7. Clueless! Absolutely clueless!

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  • Newilldon  |  December 04 2012, 11:46PM

    I wonder what ND's strategy will be for these ACC games. Will he go with his first choice and best players where they are available, i.e. will the key players like Tindall and Harden, etc. be included in the starting line-up yet again? And who was it that said Tindall would be a bit part player this season? Oh yeah! That was the troll copelandman/akadau/peh45, etc. etc.

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  • walker1105  |  December 04 2012, 11:34PM

    ...And on the subject of class players and contracts, I hope Harden is fully signed up for next season. If not, I have no doubt that he is at the top of the list of those to be re-signed.

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  • walker1105  |  December 04 2012, 11:31PM

    Tindall is a class player. It goes without saying that there would have been a number of high profile clubs chasing his signature when his contract was up with Gloucester. There is bound to be a few more waiting for the 1st January so that they can make approaches to him; that is if Gloucester Rugby have been daft enough not to have re-signed him already.

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  • BillBM  |  December 04 2012, 11:29PM

    Yes, akadau/copelandman/peh45/RuckandRoller made a fool of himself with his disproved claims that Tindall had not received contract offers from other clubs. But then he makes a fool of himself every time he comments.

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  • sam_silent  |  December 04 2012, 11:26PM

    The troll copelandman also hates Tindall and the reason he hates Tindall is because he tried to rubbish him by claiming that Tinds did not receive any contract offers from other clubs. Copelandman/Peh45/graybaggs/Gordon_P was proved wrong time and time again over that. Worse still for Copelandman/Peh45/graybaggs/Gordon_P, Tindall has remained a regular starter in the centre for Gloucester rugby this season.

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  • Steve_Bronko  |  December 04 2012, 11:20PM

    I see that the troll with the multiple identities admits that he comes on here to bait other contributors, i.e. he likes trolling. And yet he will deny being a troll. You couldn't make it up, unless you are the troll copelandman aka graybaggs aka akadau aka peh45 aka GlosRugbyMan, etc.

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  • Deadeye_Glaws  |  December 04 2012, 11:14PM

    Quote: "It is no wonder that Nigel Davies considers him to be his first choice tight-head prop." I also consider him to be our best and first choice tight-head. He has has been absolutely marvellous this season, which appears to be annoying the heck out of the troll copelandman/etc.

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