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Nigel Davies: Gloucester Rugby can be source of city pride

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 21, 2013

Charlie Sharples celebrates his try

Charlie Sharples celebrates his try

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ADD accuracy and discipline to raw finishing power and the Cherry and Whites will produce a team the city of Gloucester can cherish, believes Nigel Davies.

The Kingsholm boss admits his Gloucester side remain too error strewn to be the source of civic pride just yet.

But he is confident Gloucester will grow into the robust, accurate and clinical outfit that the city and county can believe in.

Hailing the spirit of supporters for helping clear snow from the Kingsholm pitch on Friday, Davies admitted Saturday's 36-16 Mont de Marsan victory was still below expected par.

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Gloucester's five-try victory rounded off their flawless Amlin Challenge Cup pool one record in something approaching style.

The Cherry and Whites will now face Basque titans Biarritz in their Kingsholm quarter-final, to be played on a date between April 4 to 7.

Should Gloucester see off the 2012 Amlin Challenge Cup winners they would then face a semi-final away trip to the winners of Wasps versus Leinster.

The Biarritz clash means a return for former Kingsholm flier Iain Balshaw (inset) – and rugby director Davies is excited by the challenge the potent Biarritz men will pose.

Davies explained: "The whole community deserve a huge amount of credit for their part in making sure Saturday's game went ahead.

"People from the city and the county turned out in droves to help us get the pitch ready, and that just sums up again what this club means to them.

"We're working hard to provide a team on the field they can be proud of – we're not there yet, there's holes and inaccuracies in our game – but we're moving forward, we're building this team and we're building a bit of confidence in this team.

"We're showing glimpses but not for sufficiently long enough periods.

"And a big part of the motivation for doing all of this, striving so hard to get it right, is to repay our wonderful support."

Fit-again pair Jonny May and Henry Trinder claimed a try brace apiece, with wing Charlie Sharples crossing too.

The season effectively starts here for May and Trinder and Davies said their return will boost attacking options as Gloucester seek full cohesion.

He continued: "Our accuracy has got to improve if we want to win that quarter-final.

"We've got the finishing power, as we saw on a couple of occasions out there, but our accuracy has to improve, and discipline in terms of the penalties that we give away, that has to improve too.

"But I think the mere fact that you play a better team, one of the best around, tends to bring out the best in sides as well.

"We've played almost all season without Jonny and Henry, but both of them showed exactly what they're capable of at the weekend.

"Charlie's starting to move his game forward as well, and he's been playing fantastically well anyway.

"So all of a sudden we've got some good selection options behind the scrum.

"It's very important that as a group we get experience of what play-off and knockout matches are like.

"From that we'll grow and become better, and more experienced in that environment.

"We have to be reasonably pleased to have made the knockout stages of a competition in our first season together.

"But that's only the first part of the job.

"The fact we've got a home quarter-final is huge for us now.

"And we'll look forward to welcoming one of the big powerhouses of Europe.

"We showed glimpses of what we could do on Saturday, but now we've got to push that forward.

"We've said all along we're a work in progress as a side, and there's some elements that always shine through and we're trying to add more to that now."

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13 comments

  • freshhglaws  |  January 21 2013, 7:41PM

    Rupert Harden is the number 1 & first choice tight head at Gloucester Rugby. If the troll scooterpete/glawsteruk1/Kap721/akadau/peh45/Gordon_P/flanker_6/etc. ever gets to a Gloucester Rugby game he could see that for himself but he never goes to any games. And he doesn't go to any games because he is a Gloucester Rugby hater and not a supporter.

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  • richardpenton  |  January 21 2013, 7:36PM

    The troll Scooterpete is clueless. He hates Harden and Gloucester Rugby so much that he refuses to accept the obvious that Rupert Harden has come out on top in every single game he has played this season. It wasn't him that let let the the Sarries' game get away from our grasp and it wasn't him who folded time after time on the weekend against Tigers. In fact, those two games would have been won if Harden had played.

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  • Newilldon  |  January 21 2013, 7:30PM

    Nigel Davies picks the team. He has a choice of tight heads, yet, when it comes to the key games, he always goes for Harden when he is fit.

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  • LucaTowers  |  January 21 2013, 7:27PM

    Rupert Harden is Gloucester Rugby's first choice and best tight head. Our professional coaches and the DoR all know this which is why, when he is fit, Harden is invariably selected to start in all the key games. There is no swapping and changing like there is on the loose head side of the scrum, because Harden is peerless on the tight head side. He is the number one tight head by a country mile, despite what the clueless multi-troll scooterpete/akadau/dave_rh claims from his "vantage point" of never going to any Gloucester Rugby games.

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  • SidGlawsder  |  January 21 2013, 7:23PM

    We all know that the Harden and Gloucester hating multi-troll scooterpete/akadau/dave-rh wasn't at Kingsholm on Saturday. Why should he have been? He doesn't support Gloucester Rugby. It was always going to be a tough game with an underpowered scrum, that is why Harden, our best and first choice tight head, would have started had he been fit.

    Rate   6
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  • sam_silent  |  January 21 2013, 7:18PM

    The scrum really struggled without our first choice and best tight head, RUPERT HARDEN, on Saturday and it was only the great efforts from Dan Murphy and then Nick Wood that prevented the scrum from being demolished.

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  • Don_Deakin  |  January 21 2013, 7:16PM

    Rupert Harden = The best tight head at Gloucester

    Rate   6
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  • seanbulling  |  January 21 2013, 7:13PM

    I hope Harden is back soon. The scrum has seriously struggled without him.

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  • corsa_corsa  |  January 21 2013, 7:11PM

    Rupert Harden IS the best tight head at Gloucester. We need him back for next weekend.

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  • stewglos  |  January 21 2013, 7:01PM

    Scooterpete is just another of the user names of the Gloucester Rugby and Rupert Harden hating troll. He hates the fact that Harden is the classiest and first choice tight head at Gloucester Rugby.

    Rate   5
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