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.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV after the win in Brive that the game could have been a tough one to get up for, but that his Gloucester team mates did themselves proud on the night and got a big result.
Reflecting on the 31-20 victory in Brive on Thursday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys said that clinching a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final was the overall aim and duly achieved.
Gloucester may have already clinched a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys wants his side to finish the pool stages on a winning note in Brive on Thursday evening.
Speaking after Saturday's win, James Hudson was happy to record a bonus-point win against a hugely physical Oyonnax side as Gloucester secured their passage into the European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter Finals
Billy Burns was a try scorer on his first European start for Gloucester and, speaking after the game, admitted that it was good to get the five points although there are still things to work on before the trip to Brive.
Gloucester Rugby have added to their front row strength in depth for next season with the signings of Paul Doran-Jones, Paddy McAllister and Nicky Thomas from Harlequins, Aurillac and the Ospreys respectively.
Connacht's 30-20 win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening means that they are the third best placed runners up and will come to Kingsholm for the quarter-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup in early April.