GLOUCESTER director of rugby Nigel Davies admitted some of his side failed to show up after they were beaten 24-19 by Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership, writes Tom Belger.
Sale recovered from Martyn Thomas’ early try for Gloucester to lead 17-10 at half-time and once their opponents were reduced temporarily to 13 men they stretched that lead out to 14 points.
The Cherry and Whites responded well once they were restored to 15 men but three penalties could not deny Sale the bonus-point win.
And after seeing ill discipline cost his side so dearly, Davies refused to pull any punches.
“I'm very disappointed because I don’t think we played anywhere near our potential,” he said.
“There was a period towards the end of the first half where we just slacked off and that carried onto the early moments of the second half.
“I think first and foremost we need to work on the basic things which we have to get right, like catching it from the kick off.
“I have no complaints over the yellow cards, the ridiculous thing was that the second yellow card was a replay of the first.
“We had a very good start but we started to lose some physical battles and that cost us.
“My first impressions are that only 50 per cent of the team played well today and there were a few who didn’t show up.
“I just thought we lacked a bit of physicality and you can’t come here and expect to win a game when you don’t have that as it puts pressure on the team and makes you second best.
“Next week is a tough game (away to Leicester) for us but they're all tough. We need to sort our performance level out first, that’s what I am most concerned about.”
After moving to within touching distance of a play-off place, Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond admitted his side were just where he wanted them to be.
“I am delighted with the win, it was hard thought and I felt we played some really good rugby,” he said.
“We got the result and I am happy to get the four points and we’ve even managed to get five which keeps us around the top six where we want to be.
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