A BEATING in the scrum from bitter rivals Bath can spark a ferocious set-piece surge from Gloucester, believes hooker Darren Dawidiuk.
The Cherry and Whites front-rower revealed the humiliated Gloucester pack held clear-the-air meetings after taking a scrummage mauling in 32-5 LV=Cup defeat to Bath on February 2.
The Kingsholm forwards hashed out a solution to their scrum problem – to revert to the tried and tested.
After improved showings against Northampton and Wasps, Dawidiuk now reckons Gloucester are quickly finding their scrum footing again.
And the 25-year-old front-rower is confident the Kingsholm scrum can handle double-derby pressure, first against Worcester Warriors tonight (kick-off 7.45pm), and then against Bath at The Rec a week later.
Dawidiuk anticipates an unforgiving test against seasoned scrummagers like former policeman Aleki Lutui and Scotland cornerstone Euan Murray at Kingsholm tonight.
But the Cornishman believes scrum coach Tony Windo has the Cherry and Whites back on the right track.
He said: "After the Bath game we sat down and were quite honest with each other about the situation.
"We aired out all our negatives of what was going on in our scrummage.
"We have gone back to what works for us, and in the last two weeks our scrum has been much more like what we'd expect.
"We know Worcester have an excellent scrum and they will put us under a lot of pressure.
"The likes of Lutui and I think Murray who's playing too, we know they will pose a huge threat to us.
"But we enjoy that battle and that confrontation up front, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
"It's going to be a real tough contest up front, and it's one area we're going to thrive on.
"Tony has been fantastic with us this season, he has really been able to help us take things forward, with his attention to detail and technical knowledge.
"John Brain was fantastic with us and for the club, and it doesn't need to be said how much of a loss he is, in so many ways.
"I'd really like to think we at the point where we can push on though, and hopefully build our scrum back to the heights we're after."
Buoyed by victory at Northampton and a late two-try flurry at Wasps that secured two bonus points in defeat, Dawidiuk said Gloucester must capitalise on the fervent Kingsholm backing tonight.
Rugby director Nigel Davies switched training to Kingsholm on Tuesday, in a bid to help his Gloucester squad get reacquainted with their home ground.
After two home defeats in three matches, Dawidiuk agrees with Davies that Gloucester need to relax more in front of the partisan crowd, and let that support edge them over the line.
He said: "Our focus of the last fortnight has been to push back into the top four.
"I am confident we're good enough to pull that off.
"And now we need to step our game up to make that happen.
"Over the last two weeks we've put in two really good performances.
"And at Wasps we had most of the territory and possession, and we didn't convert it.
"But that's rugby sometimes, and now we've got to make that kind of pressure count against Worcester.
"Our crowd is our extra player on the pitch, we love playing in front of them and we certainly feed off the back of their support and grow as a result.
"Especially in a big local derby game it always comes through."