DEAN RYAN admitted his Gloucester side had 'panicked' as they slipped to a disappointing pre-season defeat against Bayonne tonight.
Despite three Willie Walker penalties, Gloucester went down 30-9 in France and now have only one pre-season game remaining against Glasgow before the start of the Guinness Premiership.
"For 50 minutes we were organised and played within the structure we had talked about," Ryan said. "Our 9-0 lead could have been grown out even further but we then made two or three silly errors, missed a tackle here and there and our reaction to that was panicky.
"We had to try and create things we had not worked on and when you do that in France you get picked off. For 50 minutes it was pleasing but there can be no excuses for mistakes, whether you are a youngster in this environment for the first time or an experienced international.
"When you play for Gloucester it is about operating at a high level consistently and in that respect we should have been more competitive.
"But Bayonne are considerably further down the line than us in terms of preparation and we have never moved away from the fact that pre-season is about trying new players and new combinations.
"I would never offer that as an excuse because there are things to work on but we can move on from this and prepare for our next game."
Gloucester lost hooker Ross McMillan, while Ryan Lamb missed the game through illness.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
Supporters who are still to purchase tickets for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm) are reminded that Early Bird prices are only valid until 6:30pm on Thursday evening.
The Gloucester Wheelchair Rugby team travelled to Fenton Manor Complex, Stoke on Trent last Saturday to take part in the final round of the GBWR Super Series of the season, knowing just one win would be enough to crown them Division 3 Champions.