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Keith Richardson Column: Finally Gloucester tick the box

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 21, 2012


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AT last a box-kick that does not contravene the trades description act.

The Premiership has virtually destroyed this useful kick as most teams simply slam the ball down the blindside with a long blast that can never be contested. It looks like a cop-out to buy a few seconds.

The true form of the kick has a purpose when performed correctly.

The clue is in the name – the kick must be put into the 'box' – the area where the blindside winger can contest the high ball.

The wideman must go all-out for the ball, because a second safety-net chaser, either centre or openside flanker, ought to lurk for any deflection – what the roundball exponents would call the 'second ball'.

Should the defender field the Garryowen he ought to be easy meat for the chasers.

Of course, the deep blast may be useful if the defence fails to cover the space, but that is not so common.

Too often we see a mammoth hoof that falls between the two options, and simply allows the opposition to break.

Last week against London Irish, Gloucester finally exploited this area that is so often ripe for the taking.

Several astute kicks from Jimmy Cowan paid dividend and at least announcing it as having it in your locker keeps defenders guessing.

Irish for their part were woeful, and will need all the luck in the world in battling out of the mire come the new year.

The Exiles lurked offside at almost every breakdown, but even that advantage failed to help.

Gloucester's superior fitness and aggression worked wonders – and will be required again when Exeter arrive at Kingsholm tomorrow.

Such concentration, discipline and poise will all be required against the Chiefs, who will compete from first to last.

They have a tough pack that gets in opponents' faces and making headway against them is not a quick job.

It will require patience, graft and a sensibly pragmatic kicking strategy to turn them and get them trundling backwards.

This is one of those games that does not have to be pretty.

Anyway, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and any win for Gloucester will receive all the accolades from a bunch of supporters who understand the dark world of tough rugby.

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  • Archie_Brew  |  December 27 2012, 9:33AM

    Let's hope Rupert Harden, our best and first choice tight head is available for the Tigers game. We need to be starting that game with a full strength scrum.

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  • RoryGlaws  |  December 24 2012, 5:17PM

    There is no doubting that Rupert Harden is a brilliant tight head. His 9 starts in the Premiership so far this season proves it. He owns the number 3 shirt and no one is taking it away from him any time soon.

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  • Buggsie  |  December 23 2012, 9:22AM

    I just want to add my support to the brilliant Rupert Harden and also to say what a magnificent season he was having until his injury. He had been totally dominant in the games he has played, and he can not come back soon enough as our first choice tight head.

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  • RoccoAgain  |  December 23 2012, 9:14AM

    Rupert Harden = the top rated tight head at Gloucester bar none!

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  • SidGlawsder  |  December 23 2012, 9:05AM

    Let's get Rupert Harden our first choice and starting tight head, back as soon as possible.

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  • SimonGray  |  December 23 2012, 8:59AM

    Rupert Harden.... Still Gloucester Rugby's number 1 tight head.

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  • werew  |  December 23 2012, 8:36AM

    I love the fact that Rupert harden has been putting egg on the face of the multi-troll akadau/Glawsteruk1/peh45/Gordon_P/WitneyFoxy/etc. with his stunning performances for Gloucester Rugby this season. Remember how the troll rubbished Rupert harden at the start of the season but Rupert has proved him to be absolutely clueless when it comes to rugby.

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  • fuddlebagley  |  December 23 2012, 8:27AM

    Our DoR, Nigel Davies and the coaching staff at Gloucester Rugby all know who their best tight head is at Gloucester and that is why they select Rupert Harden to start 9 out of 11 Premiership games this season. Now the self-proclaimed expert and ridiculous multi-troll akadau/peh45/glasteruk1/Kp721/autotroll/etc. may like to THINK they know better than the professionals at Gloucester Rugby, but they don't... FACT!

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  • chuycastillos  |  December 23 2012, 8:19AM

    Rupert Harden is the number 1 and the best tight head at Gloucester Rugby. That is why Nigel Davies selects him for the crucial games and also why he will select him to start against Leicester if he is fit.

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  • LarryOfLevens  |  December 23 2012, 8:11AM

    Rupert Harden is the first choice tight head at Gloucester Rugby and the Harden hating multi-troll akadau/glawsteruk1/Kap721/etc. can not get over that fact. The mere mention of Harden's name sends the troll into piques of fit.

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