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Keith Richardson column: Cherry and Whites warming to the South Pacific theme

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 15, 2013

Comments (12)

THE Pacific influence is starting to have a very positive effect on Gloucester.

The trio of Akapusi Qera, Sione Kalamafoni and Lua Lokotui strike fear because they know only one way to go – and they will not, I suggest, get shot in the back.

Gloucester's victory at Northampton took a special kind of attitude, summed up by their bludgeoning Islanders.

Too often we have been left wanting when it came to the hard yards of Soane Tonga'uiha.

He has enjoyed some sort of influence over the Kingsholm men in quite a few encounters, but he was smashed backwards along with their other talismanic forward, Samu Manoa.

But this time the South Seas were awash with Cherry and White.

Even the best teams can catch a cold when the opposition keep coming at them.

In smashing the ball-carrier backwards, Qera inflicts initial pain and frustration on one man – but also problems for the opposition team-mates.

Supporting runners then struggle to enter the forming tackle area legally, as they have to track backwards to come through the gate.

That slows their arrival to the contact area, and allows Qera's scavenging pals a chance of a turnover.

Laud the man who latches on to the ball over the tackle then, but never forget the thundering hit that bought that vital split-second opening.

Gloucester made Saints look poor – there is no greater compliment.

And when the South West's answer to Usain Bolt, Jonny May, is on hand, any situation can become a try-scoring chance.

What price Gloucester, Sale, England and Scotland all to win at the weekend – and France to lose – on the same weekend Saracens came up short to boot?

Oh for the gift of hindsight, or at least the guts to register a hugely speculative wager.

It was an odd weekend's rugby in many respects, but one to reaffirm the maxim that attitude and aggression can sometimes win the day.

No wonder modern squads use their resources to the full – Dublin resembled a battlefield, not a rugby pitch.

Lord knows what damage Ireland and England's troops would have inflicted on a dry day over a hard track.

Unflinching England were hugely impressive.

Ireland often ensure the sum trumps their parts, but Stuart Lancaster's side turned that method against them.

As for Gloucester, there is still a long way to go, but the Northampton performance had even this cynic thinking that a top-four place may just be possible.

Nigel Davies said he had something up his sleeve for the Northampton match – and I can exclusively reveal his secret weapon.

Forget a new chapter in the play book, it was the coachload of former players that trucked up to Franklin's Gardens that did the trick.

Teams across the land be warned. Don't ever mess with former Glaws players – even if they are brandishing a free bus pass!

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  • StanFromGlaws  |  February 15 2013, 5:40PM

    Rupert Harden is officially the first choice tight head at Gloucester Rugby. The sad lonely old multi-identity troll Django_G (aka glawsteruk1/peh45/Gordon_P/Kap721/WitneyFoxy/RuckandRoller/GlosRugbyMan/graybaggs/flanker_6 and many many more) hates that. He seriously thought he knew better than the professional coaches at Gloucester and he rubbished Harden right at the beginning of the season (remember that the troll Django_G never goes to any Gloucester Rugby games, yet he think himself to be an expert on the players). Harden has gone on to prove the troll Django_G to be wrong, and therefore clueless, in game after game this season.

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  • Brasher  |  February 15 2013, 5:34PM

    Rupert harden; Gloucester's best tight head.

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  • Wilson640  |  February 15 2013, 5:31PM

    RUPERT HARDEN... Nigel Davies' selection as his first choice tight head. Not second or third but FIRST CHOICE.

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  • Deadeye_Glaws  |  February 15 2013, 5:27PM

    Harden.... 10 out of 14 starts in the Premiership. That is a fact attributable to him alone and to our knowledgeable DoR - Nigel Davies - who selects him to start.

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  • alex_bound  |  February 15 2013, 5:23PM

    The DoR, Nigel Davies, knows that Harden is his top tight head; everyone else knows that Rupert is the best tight head at Glaws. The only one who thinks otherwise and thinks he knows more about rugby and the Gloucester Rugby players than Nigel Davies is the troll Django_G.

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  • CurtDowne  |  February 15 2013, 5:18PM

    Rupert harden... Our first choice tight head every time when it matters.

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  • Drusus  |  February 15 2013, 5:08PM

    We've played 14 Premiership games, so far this season, Harden has started 10. Nigel Davies, the chap who earns his money from knowing what is what when it comes to rugby union, certainly knows which of his tight-head props is his first choice even if the clueless troll Django_G is incapable of understanding that.

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  • LucaTowers  |  February 15 2013, 5:05PM

    Django_G, the Gloucester Rugby and Rupert Harden hating multi identity troll is clueless about every aspect of the game of rugby.

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  • Steve_George  |  February 15 2013, 5:02PM

    Rupert Harden rules in the tight head position and dominates in the scrum. That's why he has been selected for the weekend against Wasps.

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  • Archie_Brew  |  February 15 2013, 4:49PM

    The clueless and Gloucester Rugby hating multi-ID troll Django_G really needs to get his facts straight. He hates the fact that Gloucester WON the game with Rupert Harden putting in a full 80 minutes as Gloucester Rugby's first choice tight head. He hates the fact that Harden saw off Tonga'uiha. He hates the fact that Harden wasn't beaten by Tonga'uiha. In fact, Gloucester had already shoved Saints back and should have had a penalty try. Harden was penalised for binding on the arm; not because he was made to stand up in the scrum or because he was shoved backwards. And he certainly didn't have to spend 10 minutes in a sin-bin because he wasn't able to scrummage.

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