Pitchside Piece -
Gloucester won but their performance was dire and that is casting a positive light on the event.
The list of defects and faults is enormous and covers the whole gambit of tactics, coaching, basic drills, individual skill levels, discipline, leadership, energy, awareness.
I have not seen a team (if you can stretch the definition of that word to encompass the current Gloucester outfit) so out of touch, so much off the beam for many years - you would have to go back to those pre Richard Hill days when Viv Woolley was coach to find matters so woeful.
The game plan, team shape and style is not fit for purpose. Gloucester do not appear to contest an opposition controlled ruck allowing them to retain the ball untroubled and unfettered. Gloucester do not secure their own ruck preferring to spread their forwards (I cannot bring myself to use the word "pack") across the pitch, resulting in desperately slow ball to be invariably fed to tight forwards standing at inside centre who make absolutely no impact on the gain line.
The seemingly inability to make a decent pass, let alone catch one,compounds the mess. I lost count at the number of times the ball was kicked away as a result of lack of other options. If the ball is not lost in the contact area or kicked away it is butchered at the drop out; a basic drill that Gloucester are unable to execute.
The line-out was better in terms of finding the jumper but there was no drive if the ball was caught and sadly it was tapped all too often rather than decent off -the-top ball delivered.
Mindless penalties are still being conceded with aplomb.
When all those features a put into the mix Gloucester demonstrate an ability to cede both possession and territory that is second to none.
A complete overhaul in coaching (personnel, method and tactics) and basic skills is urgently required.
I cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel for the present set up.
John Price 10/10/2009
A win is a win no matter how scrappy, at the moment for a Gloucester side that lacks confidence and are making basic schoolboy errors.
The Gloucester sides of old would have put this game to bed by half time, instead the current side were chasing a 7 point deficit.
Yet again too many needless penalties were given away, ball was not going to hand, and when it did the ball was dropped, drop-outs straight into touch, all simple schoolboy errors.
That having been said the second half performance was better than the first, and Glos ran out relieved winners.
If Glos are to move forward this season they must keep the ball in hand and try to advance the game 2 or 3 phases before kicking, Newport went 3/4/5 phases before kicking.
Newport were always first to the loose ball, an area again Glos must commit men to. Ball in hand and going forward is the answer.
On the positive side Big Les had another good game breaking tackles and making crunching tackles when needed, Nicky Robinson kicked vital points, but he is falling into the trap of kicking away possession too early.
A win is a win though and this is 4 points gladly accepted.
Oh how badly we need a flair player to inject some pace and inspiration, an Anthony Allen or Jack Adams. Hopefully this win will give the players some confidence for next week in Biarritz.
Try: Akupusi Qera
Pen: Robinson 4
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Gloucester 19 Newport Gwent Dragons 17
Kingsholm - Friday 9 October. 2009
Attendance - 11,846