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There's more to this game than just LV= Cup qualification, says Robson

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 23, 2013

Comments (28)

GLOUCESTER'S fight to keep their LV=Cup hopes alive only scratches the surface of Cherry and Whites motivation for Saturday's Northampton trip, believes Dan Robson.

The Kingsholm scrum-half admits the odds are already against Gloucester progressing to the semi-finals of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

But the increasingly-accomplished 20-year-old said no uphill struggle will deter Nigel Davies' men from heading to Franklin's Gardens with victory in mind.

Gloucester's 33-27 defeat by Ospreys in November leaves the Cherry and Whites hard-pressed to make the LV=Cup's knockout stages.

The Kingsholm men complete their group-stage fixtures by travelling to Northampton on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) and hosting Bath a week later.

Robson admits Gloucester must build up a head of speed for their return to Premiership action – once again at Northampton, on Saturday, February 9.

The half-back said: "There's so much more riding on this game than the qualification odds for the LV=Cup semi-finals.

"We need to build momentum, we need to bring our game together because we are still making too many mistakes – because we need to go back into the league in far better form.

"And there's a lot of players desperate to take their chance, show what they can do and put a marker down for the games ahead.

"This game will no doubt be a chance for several players to state their selection case.

"Whenever you get an opportunity you've just got to grab it with both hands.

"It's no different for me, competing with Jimmy Cowan and Dave Lewis all the time.

"I've just got to keep playing and keep taking my opportunities.

"Every time I get a chance I've just got to put a marker down."

Gloucester's 36-16 Kingsholm victory over Mont de Marsan on Saturday secured a home Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against Basque Country giants Biarritz.

Admitting everyone at Gloucester has been craving top-level European opponents, Robson also conceded the Cherry and Whites must raise their game and fast to have any chance of seeing off Biarritz in April.

He continued: "If we want to make a serious dent on the league's top four and if we want a real chance of winning that Amlin quarter-final, we're going to have to be a lot better than we were on Saturday.

"You want as much exposure to the top sides as possible.

"We wanted as big a side as we could get at Kingsholm for the quarter-final, and we're pretty pleased with Biarritz.

"It will be a massive game in front of a passionate and noisy crowd, and we'd love nothing more than to go and win it, for the supporters as much as ourselves.

"We were disappointed not to be in the Heineken this season, so we've got to

"We'll have to be a lot better to win that quarter-final than we were against Mont de Marsan.

"At times we played some really good rugby, but our discipline let us down.

"We've got to keep hold of the ball better.

"We've got a few weeks to get things together now, and I'm confident we'll manage that.

"We've got a good squad and people fit again and available.

"Hopefully we can get a couple of good results, and that will help us move everything forward."

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28 comments

  • Steve_George  |  January 25 2013, 7:37PM

    Rupert Harden is Gloucester Rugby's best and most skilful tight head.... FACT!

    Rate   5
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  • TuffleyRaider  |  January 23 2013, 9:18PM

    Without an once of a doubt, Rupert Harden, our first choice tight head, is the best number 3 at Gloucester Rugby.

    Rate   6
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  • CamCampbell  |  January 23 2013, 9:16PM

    Harden owns the number 3 shirt. He has no real competition for it.

    Rate   5
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  • Brasher  |  January 23 2013, 9:15PM

    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.

    Rate   5
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  • Steve_George  |  January 23 2013, 9:13PM

    Harden has been having a storming season. It is no wonder he has been selected to start the most games of all the front row forwards. And not just any old games. It has been the key games where you need your best players.

    Rate   6
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  • corsa_corsa  |  January 23 2013, 9:11PM

    Rupert Harden is an utterly brilliant tight head and Nigel Davies knows it, hence 9 Premiership starts in the first half of the season.

    Rate   5
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  • Drusus  |  January 23 2013, 9:04PM

    What I want to know is will our scrum be understrength this weekend because our first choice and top-rated tight-head, Rupert Harden, is still unfit to play.

    Rate   6
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  • SimonGray  |  January 23 2013, 9:02PM

    Saints in the Premiership is going to be a tough game, that is why Harden is needed to start. I don't want to see another Saracens game where we lose the last scrum because the front row is stood up.

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  • walker1105  |  January 23 2013, 9:01PM

    I'd like to see ND go for Rupert Harden because he is our best tight head and he can be relied upon to deliver against Saints. I guess that is why ND normally goes for Harden in these tough games.

    Rate   5
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  • dougiebailey  |  January 23 2013, 8:59PM

    We seriously need Harden for the game against Saints. He is our top rated tight-head and the key player in the scrum.

    Rate   5
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