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Skipper Hamilton: Saracens are one of the best sides to watch

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 28, 2012

  • Jim Hamilton

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SYSTEMATIC Saracens are one of Jim Hamilton's favourite Premiership sides to watch – and now he wants Gloucester to take a leaf out of their regimented book.

Saracens' grinding style is often labelled boring – but while the Watford men are bottom of the Premiership try-scoring charts, they are second in the league.

Gloucester skipper Hamilton hailed the big-spending 2011 champions' effective gameplan, and admitted the Cherry and Whites are trying to build similar elements into their own.

Nigel Davies' men take on Saracens at Vicarage Road on Sunday (kick-off 3pm), gunning for their first Watford win since 2008.

Saracens might only boast eight tries in nine matches – opposed to Gloucester's 17 – but Mark McCall's side's water-tight defence has only leaked 123 points, the lowest in the division.

Keen to end Gloucester's four-game winless streak against Saracens this weekend, Hamilton said the men in black have an enviable blueprint for success.

The totemic 30-year-old Scotland lock explained: "I think Saracens are one of the best teams to watch – a lot of people say they're boring but I don't think so at all.

"I think they are extremely efficient and anything that wins Premierships has to be worthwhile in my book.

"If people want to call them boring then so be it – if that's the case, I'd love to play a boring game and lift that Premiership trophy.

"This week will be a great test, because they are a team that's hard to score against.

"And they're a team that we talk about how they play a boring brand of rugby, but they play such an efficient brand of rugby, and that's something that we want to bring into our game.

"That's something that we are doing.

"And to go down there and take them on will be a good test for us, and we've got to go down there with belief and confidence that we can put in a performance and off the back of that some kind of result will follow.

"To be up there with the best in the league we've got to go to places like Saracens, put in performances and also pull off results.

"We've made a lot of progress in a very short time frame, and that's very pleasing.

"But the most pleasing aspect for me is that we're nowhere near our best yet.

"That's brilliant: we've got so much more to work on but we're still winning games.

"The boys went well against Quins the other week, so that gives us encouragement.

"This is a new chapter for Gloucester, and the fact that going forward this set-up can be like this for a while, that's fantastic.

"All the top teams are settled, they have had the same core for a while now, and that's what hopefully we can bring in here too."

Hailing Gloucester's increasing scrum and tight-game acumen, Hamilton admitted he could not be part of a team that did not promote the more uncompromising elements of the sport.

Calling on the Cherry and Whites to follow in the unforgiving stud marks of the likes of Leicester and Saracens, he continued: "We hope we've got one of the best scrums in the league now, and that's not happened overnight, that's by hard work.

"That's through the stuff that John Brain did last year, and what Tony Windo's coming in to move that forward.

"We've got a great mindset for that – we love scrummaging.

"I couldn't be part of a pack that didn't have that mindset to scrum and maul, there's a massive place for that in the game.

"The easiest way to play a game is on your terms, of course.

"And a good way to get that from the off is to dominate at the scrum.

"Leicester have ground teams down like that for years, and it's always worked for them.

"You win a penalty, kick to the corner or kick for goal, and if you gain points, you win matches.

"And at Leicester, that led to winning championships.

"We're still a young pack at Gloucester here, but we definitely want to follow in those types of footsteps."

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  • alex_bound  |  November 28 2012, 8:41AM

    The main players will need to be really up for it, especially the on field leaders like Hamilton, Rupert Harden, Tindall, Cowan. The front row will be all important, so hopefully Edmonds will be fit. We will also need our keep props available. i.e. Harden and Wood/Murphy

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  • BillBM  |  November 28 2012, 6:39AM

    This will be another tough game when you want your best players available, e.g. Tindall, Qera Harden. Thankfully we have Wood and Hamilton back also. According to what ND said at the fans forum last night, we won't have May back, so we will have to put up with wayward kicking from hand and poor positional play at the back. Thankfully, we will have Billy Twelvetrees to take those all important shots at goal.

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