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Gloucester Rugby: Nigel Davies blasts "unacceptable" first-half

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 06, 2014

A dejected Nigel Davies has blasted Gloucester's first-half performance

NIGEL Davies has blasted Gloucester’s first-half performance after they went down fighting against London Wasps.

The Cherry and Whites found themselves trailing 20-3 just minutes into the second period following tries from Matt Mullan and Carlo Festuccia at Adams Park.

They fought back and to set up a tense finale but the damage had been done in a lifeless 40-minutes in which Wasps dominated territory and possession.

Festuccia’s try, which was awarded by the television match official Alan Falzone on 44 minutes, was not short of controversy with replays appearing to show a clear a knock on.

It was one of several dubious decisions by Marius Mitrea and his assistants but Davies insists the Cherry and Whites only had themselves to blame as they bowed out of Europe.

He said: “It’s very frustrating but we have to take the referee out of the equation. It’s easy to get frustrated at decisions, but how did we get there?

“You need a bit of luck on those 50-50 calls sometimes and we didn’t get any of them. The try might have made a difference but it was about out lack of a performance in the first-half.

“It was pretty obvious that the first-half performance was absolutely unacceptable. I don’t know where it came from, but we went completely into our shells and allowed Wasps to come at us.”

Gloucester were outmuscled and outthought in a dismal first-half display that lacked any composure.

Wasps took full advantage and did enough to survive a Cherry and White comeback, which saw tries from Jonny May, Gareth Evans and Martyn Thomas in the second-half.

Davies reckons the game was still winnable but again bemoaned a lack composure when it mattered most.

He added: “It’s very frustrating that we didn’t fire any shots at them in the first-half and that was the message at half-time. We had to play and back ourselves, in the main the players got themselves back into it but it was too late, the damage was done.

“The momentum swung significantly in the second-half but we needed to be a bit more patient, we gave a penalty away at a key moment having scored two tries when their heads were going down and we needed to take advantage of it.”

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