NICK Wood admits it has been a major respite to finally reflect on a dominant scrum as Gloucester look ahead to their Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final.
Traditionally the Cherry and Whites are renowned for a formidable forward pack but their under-powered set-piece has come under fire this season.
However they appear to have finally turned the corner in the scrum and Wood is relishing his return to European action.
The loose-head prop was not registered for the Heineken Cup after picking up an eight week ban at the beginning of the season but he has now been added to the European squad, along with Billy Burns and Thomas Young.
He said: “As a collective unit it’s nice to be talking about how well it went rather than what’s the problem with the scrum.
“Over the years we have based our game around that.
“It was frustrating that the work we had done with Trevor (Woodman) didn’t really pay off overall against Newcastle but that wasn’t the case against Exeter.”
Gloucester are sweating on the fitness of fellow front-row forwards Darren Dawidiuk and Shaun Knight ahead of the trip to Adams Park.
But Wood reckons Gloucester are in good shape looking ahead to the clash and the remainder of the season as they target seventh spot in the Aviva Premiership.
He added: “The win against Exeter was testament to our fitness. That first-half was brutal, there was a lot of running, Exeter play really well with the ball in hand and as forwards we were going side to side in defence
and packing down for a lot of scrums as well.
“To grind it out in the second-half was really good.
“You can talk of turning points in a season and with five Premiership games left, and the Amlin Cup, and that Exeter win could be it.
“We were written off, it was the worst season in years but we are now eighth and looking up the table with the Amlin to play for as well.”