Remember the old nursery rhyme ‘London Bridge is falling down, London Bridge is falling down’?
The same could be said of Fortress Kingsholm. Those were the days when teams dreaded their visit to Kingsholm.
Not so again this season with a fourth home defeat from just six matches clearly things are not what they used to be. At the moment the gates of Kingsholm are stuck wide open with a welcome mat on display to greet the guests.
With the Cherry and Whites firmly in ninth place at the foot of the Premiership table perhaps Nigel Davies can be excused a wry smile at the sad plight of this present Gloucester team.
Despite Jonny May’s opening try within a minute of the start the home side contrived to finish the half trailing Wasps by ten points with another display of inaccuracies backed up by some pitiful tackling, woeful defence and poor decision making which allowed the visitors 14 points virtually uncontested as they established a 24-14 half-time lead without too much trouble.
It is the season of goodwill but Gloucester’s defensive cover and timid tackling really gifted the early advantage to Wasps and although the hosts scored a second try late in the first half thanks to a driving maul from a line-out that was almost immediately cancelled out by a similar effort from the visitors in a dire first half .
After the break Gloucester did establish something close to a period of momentum but despite the trusty boot of Greig Laidlaw adding nine points, failed to create a single try, let down again by simple mistakes and the inevitable wrong options.
Wasps pack struggled in the set-piece and this allowed Gloucester to narrow the gap to a single point going into the final quarter and it was the turn of the visitors to take the wrong options as they spurned kicking for goal only to lose key decisions.
With the raft of late replacements Billy Burns took over at fly half as James Hook moved to full back to replace the hapless Steve McColl whist the Gloucester front row was replaced and that in particular heralded an improvement from the Wasps’ pack as the hosts suffered.
Andy Goode then added another penalty with 15 minutes remaining before Elliot Daly chipped in with a long-range effort which completed the scoring and Gloucester were left to rue another Kingsholm defeat - their fourth loss from six league matches this season and Wasps only away win of this season to date.
At this stage of the current season Gloucester are in exactly the same league position as last season so the current crop of players and the new coaching line up have no improvement to show for all the changes that have been put into place.
With a pack that no matter how it is shuffled, is quite unable to dominate and stamp its authority during any match, some are simply not good enough. Gloucester seem destined to another winter of discontent. The lack of genuine strength in depth up front is quite worrying, whereas the leading Premiership sides such Saracens, Northampton and Leicester have internationals to bring on, we only have lesser squad members to make up the numbers.
It is doubtful if the next Premiership fixtures against stronger opposition such as Exeter and Saracens will provide any league points so the Cherry and Whites seem destined to another season buried at the foot of the table.
Ignoring the visit of London Welsh it is difficult to see where the next Premiership victory is coming from this season.
Recruitment for next season is of paramount importance for the Cherry and Whites or else...
Sadly the generosity seen today was entirely one way with Wasps playing the role of Scrooge. Gifting one try as a result of a couple of missed tackles is bad enough but gifting a second from a hopeless defensive clearance is criminal. Add all that to the usual stupid penalties and the result was an inevitable loss as the game entered the final 10 minutes. Lots of endeavour but too many inaccuracies and mistakes from Gloucester which is the only real consistency they have shown thus this season. I remember an American TV programme called Petrocelli, where the Mr P was a detective who was also building his own house. All the materials had been delivered but the house never got above four courses of bricks……..
More from Mike
If you were a neutral rugby
fan or a BT Sport Executive you would have thoroughly enjoyed yesterdays
game at Kingsholm: 5 tries, exciting rugby with all elements of the game included. However if you are a Gloucester fan this was another defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, yes Gloucester should have won this game or in years gone by would have won this game.
Wasps had not won away from whichever home they have, and Glos took the lead in the 49th second of the game only to relinquish it and trail by 10 points at the half way stage. Two very soft tries, and a man called Goode meant Wasps controlled the game for long periods, oh how badly Glos need a player to take control, perhaps James Hook needs to play at fullback, so that he gets a better view of the game. Goode pulled all the strings, finding touch regularly and keeping the scoreboard ticking over with regular penalties.
OK the second half was better, a much needed improvement in the scrum and the injection of some pace from Billy Burns, but Glos still finished a poor second. Thankfully Irish, Newcastle and Welsh are below us and still have to visit Kingsholm, as these appear to be the only opposition we are likely to beat. The only other bright spot on the horizon is the European adventures, though on present form a home quarter-final is all we supporters, can expect.
But as the song says "Always look on the bright side of life...", who knows 4 points away to Exeter and another 4 at home to Sarries could turn the season around. OOPS I'm wearing those Rose Coloured Spectacles I got for Christmas.
Charlie Sharples, Mark Atkinson, Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Jonny May;
James Hook, Greig Laidlaw;
Nick Wood, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa;
Tom Savage, Tom Palmer;
Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Kvesic, Gareth Evans
Darren Dawidiuk, Yann Thomas, Shaun Knight, James Hudson, Ross Moriarty,
Dan Robson, Billy Burns, Henry Purdy
Tries: May, Kvesic
Con: Laidlaw (2)
Pen: Laidlaw (3)
Referee - Dean Richards
Attendance - 16,000
Gloucester Matches - Reports - Seasons 2001- 2014
Gloucester Matches - Match Reports v Wasps -2002-2014
Gloucester Matches - Premership Record v Wasps
Gloucester Matches - Premiership Kingsholm Record
Gloucester Matches - Kingsholm Attendances