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Gloucester Rugby: Davies adamant his plans won't be derailed

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

Nigel Davies

Comments (32)

JUDGE us on our next four games – that is Nigel Davies' plea to Gloucester supporters.

The Cherry and Whites boss is confident Saturday's heaviest home defeat to Bath in the professional era will prove an aberration.

Challenging his players to turn the 32-5 derby humiliation on its head, rugby director Davies believes Gloucester can still battle for a Premiership play-off place.

The Kingsholm men face four pivotal Premiership games in the next month, starting at Northampton Saints on Saturday (kick-off 12.30pm).

A poor run of results in these four league games – against Northampton, Wasps, Worcester and Bath – and Gloucester can kiss goodbye to their top-four ambitions.

Gloucester lost 26-7 at Franklin's Gardens in LV=Cup action just two weeks ago, but Davies revealed the Cherry and Whites will return to the East Midlands with a host of new attacking intentions.

He explained: "The manner of the Bath loss wasn't great in the end, but overall this group of players has performed well this year.

"So we've got to put the result into some context as well.

"And we'll want to be judged at the end of these four games.

"Everyone was a little sore after the weekend, you just don't want to lose those games.

"That was a battle we lost – but we haven't lost the war.

"In the context of our season so far it's not the end of the world, and we've just got to move forward."

Gloucester refused to show their hand at Northampton two weeks ago, mixing up selection and handing players opportunities to prove themselves – but also to protect their Premiership intentions.

Former Wales centre Davies admitted the tactic in part was designed to keep several new tactics up their sleeve.

Saturday's game will reveal whether Davies has produced a perfect poker face, or Gloucester really do have a royal flush of new attacking ploys.

He continued: "I believe we can use that Bath defeat to our advantage over the course of the next period.

"The two LV=Cup games, we've used that to sit on what we've had, realising that there was something more to come.

"This week is a big week for us, to take us to the next level.

"It's a massive focus for us to compete for a top-four spot – and the next four weeks will really tell us where we are.

"We kept our powder dry going into that game, and we've got a few things that we want to take into this weekend that we've held back I suppose. But we'll see.

"There were elements of that game that I was reasonably happy with, but then again it wasn't the complete performance by any stretch of the imagination.

"We were in the contest for much of the game, but then we dropped off.

"We've had a complete reorganisation this week and that's been planned.

"It's a huge period for us in the league, very important for us.

"It's quite difficult to know where we are because we've made a lot of changes in the last two weeks, so it's not too distressing to me at the moment.

"No one likes losing and we should have played better in parts but we've given opportunities and now we refocus on the league, which is really our primary focus along with the Amlin.

"This is a crucial period for us.

"In some ways the last two weeks has given us a clear focus going into this run.

"You would obviously want to be at your best and winning well, but that can't always be the case when you switch your team around.

"We've taken a lot from the last two games.

"It's a different approach from us this week: you can't keep the same level of intensity in terms of your preparation week-in week-out, you just can't.

"So this week is all about ramping it back up again.

"We've looked at some new combinations and a different balance.

"But now we have to refocus for a key part of the season that will dictate whether or not we compete for a top-four spot."

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  • RoccoAgain  |  February 07 2013, 7:06PM

    Nigel Davies is a rugby professional and experienced coach. If he says that Rupert Harden is his first choice and therefore best tight head, then you know that that is right.

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  • CrunchMan  |  February 07 2013, 7:04PM

    Nigel Davies says that Rupert Harden is his first choice starting tight head. He knows what he is talking about. On the other hand, the troll Rob_quedgeley/Autotroll/Kap721/akadu believes he is more of an expert than Nigel Davies. He ain't!

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  • Wilson640  |  February 07 2013, 7:02PM

    Rupert harden; Gloucester's best tight head.

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  • Roon77  |  February 07 2013, 6:59PM

    We need Rupert Harden playing so that we avoid having to see the embarrassing situation of a Gloucester front front row made to look like mugs as in the Tigers' game at Welford Road. A great opportunity to beat Tigers on their home turf thrown away because of an underpowered scrum.

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  • TuffleyRaider  |  February 07 2013, 6:56PM

    The troll, Rob_quedgeley/Glawsteruk1/autotroll/akadau/Kap721 with all his other user names, can claim all he likes that he knows better than the coaching staff about who is the first choice tight head at Gloucester.... he doesn't!

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  • RoryGlaws  |  February 07 2013, 6:53PM

    Rupert Harden = The best tight head at Gloucester

    |   6
  • ostronskygreg  |  February 07 2013, 6:51PM

    Gloucester Rugby's starting tight head + Gloucester Rugby's best tight head = RUPERT HARDEN.

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  • richardpenton  |  February 07 2013, 6:46PM

    We seriously need Harden for the game against Saints. He is our top rated tight-head and the key player in the scrum.

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  • werew  |  February 07 2013, 6:45PM

    Laugh at Rob_quedgeley. The sad old irrelevant troll thinks that by using one ID in this thread (he forgets about his peh45 ID) people will think he isn't the multi user name troll. He is fooling no one.

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  • Newilldon  |  February 07 2013, 6:42PM

    Rupert Harden is a top man as well as being Gloucester Rugby's top rated tight head. He is the top rated quite simply because he is the best tight head at Gloucester Rugby by a country mile. He is light years of anyone else at Gloucester in that position.

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