GLOUCESTER director of rugby Nigel Davies insisted his side had set their benchmark for the rest of the season despite seeing them narrowly defeated 11-8 by Leicester Tigers, writes Charlie Talbot-Smith.
The Tigers were second best for large parts of the clash at Welford Road and it looked like the Cherry and Whites were going to grab their first win on Leicester’s patch in seven years after Charlie Sharples’ try gave them the lead.
But it was not to be as a Mathew Tait try brought the scores level and then Toby Flood held his nerve from the kicking tee to give them the win.
Gloucester have now only won two of their last ten league games and have slipped to tenth in the table but Davies refused to be downbeat.
“The work in the contact area was exceptional, the way they committed,” he said.
“The set-piece was a concern, we came under a lot of pressure there, but the way we played around was great.
“What can you say when the guys have given everything? We have just got to use this as the benchmark moving forwards.
“We have got to look at ourselves, we had Leicester in good positions and should have had more points on the board at half time.
“Leicester are the best scrummaging team in the league, I thought our scrum got better throughout the game.
“We are not where we need to be. This has been a long old season but we have put in some good performances this season.
“We have got to be like this week in week out now.”
Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill found few positives to take from his side’s performance despite Flood’s late penalty.
The defending Aviva Premiership champions are fighting tooth and nail for a play-off place and the victory keeps them fifth, level on points with Harlequins on fourth.
But after a listless performance for large parts, Cockerill has demanded improvements and fast.
“We did not play well at all, our basics were poor, catching, passing, organising, all those things, it was a poor performance from us,” he said.
“But we’ve got the win, it’s probably one of the only positives to come from the game.
“We had opportunities in that second half, we turned the ball over too easily and that is not acceptable at this level.
“It’s been a bit of a story of our season, we create opportunities, we don’t take them and Gloucester played well, scored a good try and looked dangerous when they had the ball.
“And we struggled with the ball, we couldn’t string a pass together.
“You play like that and you will not be in the top four. With respect to Gloucester, you play a better side that takes those opportunities that we presented to them and we will get beaten.
“We have got to play better than that or next week we will get beaten, simple as that.”
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