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 have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Having named an unchanged starting XV for the past three Aviva Premiership games, Gloucester Rugby ring the changes and retain only five players for Thursday's visit of Stade Rochelais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 7:45pm).