1:15pm Tuesday 25th February 2014
GLOUCESTER Rugby director of rugby Nigel Davies admitted his side's 25-20 Aviva Premiership victory over Harlequins was a performance befitting the occasion, writes Pippa Field.
The Cherry and Whites were led out by Andy Hazell, who was forced to retire earlier this season, while another long-serving player, Mike Tindall, captained the side on his 200th Premiership appearance.
And after three successive defeats in the competition Gloucester got back to winning ways in front of their home crowd thanks to tries from Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Kvesic and Dan Murphy.
The win eroded any lingering relegation fears and bumped the Cherry and Whites up to ninth in the table to the delight of Davies.
"It was vitally important that we capped the occasion with a win for the guys. Both have been fantastic characters and the type of people you want in your rugby team. They are hard men and uncompromising," he said.
"Andy is a local boy, Gloucester born and bred, lives a stone's throw from Kingsholm and all his family are here. He wears his heart on his sleeve and epitomises this club.
"We still have a long way to go. There were a couple of chances that we missed which is hugely disappointing but the intent and the way we are trying to play is admirable considering the situation we're in.
"I told the team to go after Harlequins, to pressurise them with and without the ball.
"Overall I couldn't fault my players. There were some accuracy issues but other than that we're playing a good brand of rugby."
Harlequins were undone by a couple of yellow cards but still managed to threaten a comeback in the final ten minutes.
Dave Ward rumbled over to secure a losing bonus point and while Quins couldn't overhaul their hosts, director of rugby Conor O'Shea was proud of his players.
"Given the adversity we were dealt for a multitude of reasons, I thought our reaction and pride they showed in fighting tooth and nail at a difficult place to come, was incredible," he said.
"The fact that we finished fighting and looking for something from the game leaves me incredibly frustrated but proud of our players and that will be a valuable point come the end of the season.
"Well done to Gloucester but you cannot control some of those things that were happening out there."
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Gloucester: Cook; Sharples, Trinder, Tindall (Burns, 64), Monahan; Mills (Reynolds, 78), Robson (Cowan, 64); Wood (Murphy, 47), Dawidiuk (Edmonds, 58), Harden (Thomas, 64); Stooke, Hudson (James, 68); Kalamafoni, Kvesic, Evans (Cox, 58).
Harlequins: Lindsay-Hague; Smith, Monye (Stuart, 75), Molenaar (Grimoldby, 15) Sackey; Botica, Dickson; Lambert, Gray (Ward, 58), Sinckler (Doran-Jones, 58); Kennedy, Robson (Robson, 44); Fa'asavalu (Guest, 58), Wallace, Easter.
Replacements: Marfo, Burns.
Tries: Kalamafoni, Kvesic, Murphy
Penalties: Cook 2
Conversion: Cook 2
Tries: Lindsay-Hague, Ward
Penalties: Botica 2
Conversion: Botica 2
Referee: Greg Garner
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