Cherry and Whites not good enough

Gloucester slip up again

Gloucester 18 La Rochelle 24
Kingsholm, Sunday 19 December, 2010

John Price comments from a frozen Kingsholm
That was just not good enough and once again Gloucester managed to live up to a growing reputation of never failing to disappoint. The Groundstaff did an amazing job in getting the stadium ready for the game; perhaps they should have been used to prepare the team, too?

Gloucester started the game as if they were looking for the try bonus point before they had secured the match but there was a lack of precision in the passing for this style of rugby to become a threat to the La Rochelle blitz defence. Defence was sloppy and tackles were either missed completely or not strong enough to halt the ball carrier. Ball retention was abysmal with at least 10 turnovers but that’s what you get when you do not have a true openside and carthorses for the blind side. Whilst the line-out functioned well, the scrum was a mess at times and when it did function failed to capitalise on the edge it had won.

For me the biggest weakness was the lack of leadership. Mike Tindall was definitely on the pitch in body but his mind was more focused on Norfolk turkey at Sandringham. Point building penalties were spurned as Gloucester persisted with the bonus-point chasing style. They toiled against a full pack in the La Rochelle 22 but when on the two occasions the visitors were reduced to 13 they chose to take tap penalties rather than the scrum allowing the La Rochelle defence to spread across the pitch.

Next up is Northampton – God help us
J.G.P - 19/12/2010

Disappointment and underachievement could well replace 'The Pride and The Passion' as part of the Gloucester Rugby motto.
Regular spectators are now getting all too accustomed to the failures as sadly, once again the Cherry and Whites were never in control, poor decision-making got it all wrong on the pitch, consequently, but not surprisingly, Gloucester were just not good enough.

Despite a lion's share of possession we were always behind and never looked like winning. The defence leaked like a sieve and conceded two soft tries, not helped by poor ball retention and an unacceptable amount of turnovers. Kicking was poor and realistically the backs never looked like breaching the opposition's agressive organised defence.
Sadly we've seen it all before
and I guess we shall see it all again.
At least Dave Balmer & co. got it right but that's no consolation.

T.H. 20/12/2010

Freddie Burns
Lesley Vainikolo, Mike Tindall, Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu,Charlie Sharples ;
Nicky Robinson, Rory Lawson;
Nick Wood, Olivier Azam, Paul Doran-Jones,
Dave Attwood, Alex Brown;
Akapusi Qera, Luke Narraway, Brett Deacon

Scott Lawson, Yann Thomas, Pierre Capdevielle, Will James, Peter Buxton,
Dave Lewis, Jonny May, Tom Voyce

Try: Vainikolo (2),
Pen: Robinson

Referee - Leighton Hodges
Attendance - 9,392

GLOUCESTER Matches - Glossary