Pricey's Pitch-side Piece -
We go to matches these days with the excuses for defeat already in place and well rehearsed. The long injury list was the palliative offered this week which is always a good one to fall back, on although according to the post-match comments of Gareth Delve, Gloucester had Biarritz worried until thirty seconds before the half-time whistle blew. Biarritz must have been heartily relieved to scrape into the half time interval only 21-3 up!! Obviously the pitch-side view is totally different to that obtained from the stands.
What utter poppycock and drivel; Gloucester came no nearer to threatening the Biarritz line in the first half than I had finding a pint of beer under 5. There was more passion shown than in previous weeks but the same old problems persisted.
The restarts were again sloppy and poor, the scrum was under pressure and I counted at least 5 turnovers in the first half, alone. Add that to the yellow card and mindless penalties that enabled Biarritz to settle those so say nerves.
Whereas Biarritz ran the ball from deep to exploit width with pace Gloucester used it's front five to deputise for the threequarters and slow down even the slowest ball obtained from ruck and maul. The Gloucester alignment was flat and, in the absence of pace and good balls skills, vulnerable and frail. Decision making was naive and execution inept.
The introduction of Boer and Burns led to improvement, although that is in itself a further indictment of Gloucester's performance when it is pointed out that the former had not played a competitive game in 13 months and was flying kites in South Africa on Tuesday morning whilst the latter is only 19 and has not yet been infected with Gloucester's distinct lack of ambition.
It is that lack of ambition that hurts the most. 12 months ago we went to matches expecting to win. At the start of last season there was an actual belief that Gloucester could win the league and win the Heineken Cup. The supporters could have been accused of being over-optimistic but that optimism was being fed by the pronouncements from the coaching team and it seemed from the club owners. This season the ambition has shrunk proportionately with the size and quality of the playing squad, which is perhaps also proportionate to the amount of financial support forthcoming from the ownership.
Mr Walkinshaw told us all that he conducted an in depth review in the close season. We, the supporters will conduct our review at the end of this season. Our review will be based on 22 league games and 6 Heineken Cup games and signs thus far are not encouraging.

John Price 19/10/2009
Last January Gloucester were blown away by the gale force winds, this time it was the pace and power of the Biarritz team that did the damage.

The visitors were in contention for only the first thirty minutes of the match, thereafter Dimitri Yachvilli and Damien Traille ran the Biarritz show enabling Zimbabwean-born winger Ngwenya to out-pace the Gloucester defence with an outstanding hat-trick of tries which left the visitors defence clutching at thin air. His two tries in the final minutes of the first period quickly followed by a lightning strike at the start of the second were enough to set the French side on their way to a thoroughly convincing victory.
Twenty one points in each half underlines the overall superiority of the home side and there were no crumbs of comfort for Gloucester, although tries from Tom Voyce and Jake Boer added a semblance of respectability but Biarritz had already made the visitors pay for kicking too much ball away, too many turn-overs and even more poor tackling.
This mis-match of a Gloucester team has been hard hit by injuries but it cannot disguise the fact that they struggle to even get the basics right. Inexcusable. It is hard to believe professional players and coaches can repeatedly make so many mistakes and poor decisions.
Last seasons' key players would have probably have struggled but whatever the reasons for their leaving, they have long since departed, replaced in the main by cheaper less able squad players, it shows and it hurts.
Another desperately poor European trip for the Cherry and Whites, probably the worst showing by a Premiership team this week-end!
We keep thinking it can only get better but at the moment there is nothing to support that point of view, just wondering when and where the next win is coming from?
Challenge Cup Rugby looms for next season - at least it would mean a change of scenery.
T.H. 18/10/2009

GLOUCESTER
Tom Voyce
Charlie Sharples
James Simpson-Daniel
E.Fuimaoni-Sapolu
Lesley Vainikolo
Nicky Robinson
Dave Lewis
Gareth Delve
Andy Hazell 
Akapusi Qera
Will James
Dave Attwood
Alastair Dickinson
Scott Lawson
Greg Somerville
Replacements
Rory Lawson  
Pierre Capdevielle
Darren Dawiduik
Jake Boer
Freddie Burns
Paul Doran-Jones
Glos Scorers
Try: Voyce, Boer
Con. Burns
Pen: Robinson
Ref: A.Lewis

Cherry and Whites' biggest ever Euro Defeat
Blown away again
Biarritz 42 Gloucester 15
Parc des Sports Aguilera - Saturday October 17, 2009
 

Attendance - 11,846