|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
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
Disappointment and underachievement could well replace 'The Pride and The Passion' as part of the Gloucester Rugby motto.
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.