7:05pm Monday 21st April 2014
DIRECTOR of rugby Nigel Davies admits effort can only take Gloucester so far after their European Rugby Champions Cup ambitions took a heavy blow in defeat in The Stinger to London Wasps, writes Chris Bailey.
A seventh-place finish in the Aviva Premiership is good enough for a play-off spot in next season’s inaugural European competition, but Davies’ men are rank outsiders after going down 38-30 at Twickenham.
The Cherry and Whites now trail Wasps by seven points in ninth – having let two bonus points slip after Jonny May, Freddie Burns and Huia Edmonds all crossed to keep the deficit down.
And though Davies could have no complaints with his side’s attacking intent, he believes passion is no substitute for getting the basics right.
"I think the effort and endeavour was there from all the players, but at this level that is the bare minimum,” he said.
"I'm hugely disappointed that we've lost the game and I'm disappointed with the players and their performance but I can't fault their effort and endeavour and they played some good rugby at times.
"Two big areas cost us the game, they were our first time tackles and our lineout, which did not function at all and didn't give us a platform to move on from," he said.
"I thought we played with good intent when he had the ball, so that makes it even more frustrating that first time tackles weren't always being made.”
Two James Haskell tries and one each for Elliot Daly, Ashley Johnson and the returning Tom Varndell proved enough to take the game away from Gloucester.
And Davies admits his side had no answer to the physicality on offer from Wasps, as a back-row of Haskell, Johnson and man-of-the-match Nathan Hughes proved dominant.
"We know we have problems that need to be resolved and that inability to at least secure the ball from your own set piece has to improve,” he added.
"They had some big boys coming up against them today and it causes sides difficulties and that is what they are on the field for. I think it is fair to say that on the day we were probably out-muscled."
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