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We won but discipline let us down again says Gloucester Rugby boss Nigel Davies

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: March 23, 2014

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Nigel Davies admitted Gloucester’s bonus-point victory over Newcastle Falcons was a bittersweet one as the visitors swooped for four second-half tries.

The Cherry and Whites returned to action for the first time since they were crushed by league leaders Northampton Saints on March 1.

On that occasion, at Franklin’s Gardens, Gloucester conceded 26 points in the final 25 minutes and the Falcons winged their way to the same amount in another dismal final quarter from the hosts.

And Davies concedes the disintegration of all shape, composure, discipline and defence was unacceptable and took the shine off their successful outing.

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He said: “It was a microcosm of our season, where we have played some great rugby but some average stuff as well.

“The game was on for 80 minutes and whatever team you play against, you’ve got to maintain a level of discipline and your standards and we didn’t do that in the last 15 minutes.

“You have to give some credit to Newcastle, we knew they would play, they had nothing to lose and we just didn’t deal with their offloading game. Our discipline let us down again, we gave a lot of penalties away and the momentum of the game changed completely.

“Newcastle haven’t scored many tries this year but they scored most of them on Saturday, which is hugely disappointing.

“It takes the shine off what in that first 65 minutes was a very good performance. You can be very positive about that but that last 15 certainly taints the performance.

“It was a very quiet changing room, it was a must-win performance, we were targeting a bonus-point which we got but it certainly doesn’t feel like we have achieved what we were aiming for.”

Davies hailed the performance of Rob Cook, who racked up 20-points with a try, three conversions and three penalties.

But he has warned his side that they will need to produce an 80-minute team performance to have any chance against Saturday’s opponents, Exeter Chiefs.

He said: “There were some great performances, you can’t take that away from them and that’s the frustration – it’s a real bittersweet feeling.

“Rob Cook went exceptionally well. He’s been great since we got him in, it’s really helped him being in a full-time environment, being conditioned properly and he’s showing what he’s capable of.

“He adds a bit of balance to that back-line and brings experience. Initially we brought him for goal-kicking but his all-round game has been exceptional.

“Exeter will want to hold onto the ball and go through phases and we will have to step up to them.

“Sometimes when you perform that poorly in an element of your game it’s a focal point going into the next. Our management, execution and discipline without the ball has to be our number one focus ahead of Exeter.”

Gloucester are likely to be without Dan Robson for the trip south down the M5 after the scrum-half pulled a hamstring in the victory.

He will be assessed at the beginning of this week but Davies fears he could be out of action for as long as five weeks.

Davies added: “He’s pulled a hamstring so we will have to wait for a few days to see how serious it is. It could be anything from between two to five weeks depending on how severe.”

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  • alex_bound64  |  March 25 2014, 4:08PM

    This is all well and good but what a club like Gloucester Rugby really should be doing is to ensure that Rupҽrt Hardҽn, our first choice and most talented tight head prop, starts as many games for Gloucester as is possible.

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