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Home quarter final is inspiring - Gloucester RFC's Shaun Knight

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 09, 2013

Shaun Knight

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A EUROPEAN quarter-final at Kingsholm is the greatest incentive for Gloucester to strike inconsistency from their scrum and hit back to top form, believes Shaun Knight.

Two healthy wins in their final two Pool One matches should secure the Cherry and Whites a Kingsholm draw in the Amlin Challenge Cup last eight.

Nigel Davies' men take on Bordeaux at Stade Andre Moga on Friday night (kick-off 7pm GMT), desperate to shrug off the frustrations of Saturday's listless 18-12 London Irish defeat.

Should they win well in France and then dispatch Mont de Marsan at Kingsholm on Saturday week then they can reasonably expect a home draw in the competition's next round.

And tighthead prop Knight admits Gloucester could not ask for better motivation to atone for Saturday's lacklustre Premiership defeat to Irish.

The 22-year-old explained: "We've got the chance to top our group and claim a home quarter-final, so I don't know what more incentive we need to turn things round.

"The home quarter-final is on the line. We've done really well in Europe so far, we're unbeaten in this competition – and we need to make sure it stays that way in the next fortnight."

Knight still believes Gloucester can boast one of the best scrums in England – but only if they find that elusive quality of consistency.

New scrum coach Tony Windo has cemented last season's good work by the late John Brain, but now Matson-born Knight concedes Gloucester must step up another couple of levels.

He continued: "Irish did have a couple of good scrums on us. We won a few penalties as well but there was too much inconsistency from us.

"It's got to creep out of our game.

"At Leicester we were against one of the best scrummagers in Europe.

"It might be one thing to have issues there, but we've based a lot on our scrum and it's got to better.

"I think hard work can bring that back.

"The scrum has been strong overall, and I think it was outstanding against Exeter.

"So at times it's very good, but there's still some inconsistency there and we've got to stamp it out.

"I feel at times I'm too inconsistent myself, but at the weekend I think that affected everyone in the scrum.

"We know we've got to show something in the next two games because that against Irish wasn't good enough."

Frustrated Knight admitted expectation got the better of Gloucester against London Irish.

The Cherry and Whites expected to claim their fourth win of the season over the Exiles – and Knight reckons that was the chief reason for their defeat.

Knight added: "That's the fourth time we've played them and I think we took it a bit for granted, even though we said the right things before the game.

"The performance shows we did take it for granted, and we can't hide from that.

"That's not good enough and we know we can be 100 times better than that.

"That's the worst performance of the season so far, we know that, and we've got to put it right.

"We just didn't turn up, they were winning the collisions straight away and it just kept going in that way.

"And now we've got to react and hit back at the first opportunity."

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  • SidGlawsder  |  January 10 2013, 11:07PM

    The multiple-identity sad old irrelevant troll autotroll/akadau, with his Gloucester Rugby and Rupert Harden hating comments, really doesn't like the fact that Harden has proved him wrong time after time with his first rate performances for Gloucester Rugby. Rupert Harden = THE first choice tight head.

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  • Conrad_Selby  |  January 10 2013, 11:03PM

    Rupert Harden has been selected by the experts at Gloucester Rugby to start 9 Premiership games so far this season. The experts know it and I know it; Rupert Harden is the top rated tight head at Gloucester Rugby.

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  • mattw74  |  January 10 2013, 11:01PM

    Next weekend is against Mont de Marsan. We need our first choice team out on the field for that game and, in the tight-head role, that means Rupert Harden.

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  • CamCampbell  |  January 10 2013, 10:59PM

    Yes! I am looking forward to Harden's return too. Hopefully that is next weekend. It will great to see what a really good tight head like Harden does in the scrum and in the loose once again.

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  • CrunchMan  |  January 10 2013, 10:58PM

    Talking of Rupert Harden, Gloucester's first choice and top rated tight head, I am really looking forward to when he is fit and available again to restore our scrum to its full strength.

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  • Karbonn  |  January 10 2013, 9:53PM

    I'm looking forward to seeing our best and top rated tight head, Harden, Back in the number 3 shirt as soon as possible.

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  • RoccoAgain  |  January 10 2013, 9:49PM

    Rupert Harden can not come back soon enough, as far as I am concerned. He is, after all, our top rated, first choice and best tight head by a mile. There is no real competition for HIS number 3 shirt.

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  • walker1105  |  January 10 2013, 9:47PM

    Rupert Harden may be out injured but he remains Gloucester's best tight head, of that, there is no shadow of a doubt.

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  • Straw90  |  January 10 2013, 9:43PM

    Hopefully Rupert Harden, our first choice and best tight head, is only out for only one more game and he can return to his rightful position to help keep Glaws' season on track.

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  • Buggsie  |  January 10 2013, 9:41PM

    Gloucester Rugby supporters know who the best tight head at Gloucester Rugby is; the coaches know who the best tight head is; Nigel Davies, the DoR, knows who his best tight head is.... It is Rupert Harden without a doubt. The only person (in the singular) that can't see that, or more likely refuses to see it because he is a hater, is the multi-named troll BalconyBob/akadau/glawsteruk1/graybaggs/Gordon_P/peh45/absolam/autotroll/RuckandRoller/GlosRugbyMan/Kap721/etc.

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