The official website rounds up all of the news from Gloucester's 61-0 win over Calvisano at Kingsholm at Kingsholm, including the reaction of head coach Dean Ryan.
WITH NINE tries - including a hat-trick for Mark Foster - Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan declared himself 'very pleased' with the opening afternoon of pre-season action at Kingsholm on Saturday.
When they combined the bone-crunching power of their forward pack with the electric handling and finishing of Foster, James Simpson-Daniel and Jack Adams, Gloucester took some major steps forward ahead of their opening clash at Worcester in the Guinness Premiership.
"I was very pleased with the progress we made after our week in France and we have carried that on," said Ryan. "We had a good drive and a good scrum and we created some really good movement off the back of that.
"At this stage of the season it's about eradicating our vulnerability and we can build on that in the next couple of games. We look on good shape up front and in our kicking. There were also some lovely individual moments and that is good to see."
Calvisano struggled to live with the extreme power of Gloucester's scrum that included Phil Vickery for his first game of the season and were also subjected to a late going over from Patrice Collazo and Olivier Azam.
Gloucester found the line four times in the first half that varied in quality. When they played with pace and precision, Calvisano struggled to stay with them and once they went behind in the seventh minute, there was never a suggestion the home side would be unduly troubled.
After a yellow card for lock Lorenzo Cittadini, Gloucester produced a huge shove on a defensive scrum, won the ball against the head and cut the Calvisano defence apart. Haydn Thomas, who showed glimpses of real talent as the game progressed from scrum-half, linked with Duncan McRae and he managed to get his pass away to Henry Paul who sent Jack Adams to the line.
The young centre was impressive in everything he did during the first half. He cut threatening lines, looked to break and off-load with equal quality and defended well when required. But the second try, after eight minutes, was all to do with Simpson-Daniel's soft-shoe shuffle.
He fielded a clearance kick that was designed for touch and sliced his way through a thicket of defenders and in for the score.
McRae converted both and Gloucester found themselves 14-0 ahead. Gloucester's best work occurred in the first quarter and their third try came after 17 minutes. McRae's pass sent Adams hurtling through midfield and instead of going for the line, he put James Merriman in with an overhead pass.
For the remainder of the half, Gloucester boxed away without extracting the fluency or dynamism they would have hoped for and Calvisano produced a period of pressure for themselves without getting over the line.
They had trouble contending with Gloucester's greater power when they cranked it up at close quarters and it was another powerful scrum that created the fourth try. Adam Eustace picked up possession when a scrum wheeled round and Alex Brown made the last few metres for the score.
It took Simpson-Daniel only six minutes to weave his magic in the second half with a slashing break from McRae's pass. He looked to have taken possession on too far, but got his pass away to Foster who crossed for the first of his treble.
Foster's second arrived after 54 minutes when he took a pass from Adams following a neat ball from Paul and rushed home in the corner to leave Gloucester 40-0 ahead.
Paul was then instrumental in a brilliant team score after an hour. After selling a wonderful dummy deep in his own half, Paul strode forward up the touchline and found Foster in support. Foster's inside ball was taken on by McRae, Alex Brown and then Andy Hazell before Ludovic Mercier - returning to a hero's welcome - dived in for the try to complete a sensational move.
After Simpson-Daniel limped off with an ankle injury, Rob Thirlby put Jon Goodridge in for the eighth try before Thomas's break from a scrum, allowed Foster to seal his hat-trick and complete a fine afternoon's work for Ryan's side.
GLOUCESTER: Rob Thirlby, Mark Foster, Jack Adams (Ludovic Mercier 57), James Simpson-Daniel (Jon Goodridge 52), Duncan McRae, Haydn Thomas, Nick Wood, Mefin Davies (Olivier Azam 61), Phil Vickery (Gary Powell 61), Adam Eustace, Adam Brown (Mark Cornwell 61), Pete Buxton, James Merriman (Andy Hazell 50), Adam Balding (capt). Scorers: Tries: Foster (3), Adams, Simpson-Daniel, Brown, Merriman, Goodridge, Mercier. Cons: McRae (6), Mercier (2).
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.
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.
Gloucester Rugby today confirmed that supporters who have renewed their Club Membership for next season by March 27th 2015 will receive a free ticket for this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final at Kingsholm in April.
It was a bit of an arm wrestle at times, but two tries in each half did the trick for Gloucester as they defeated CA Brive by 31 points to 20 at the Stade Amedee-Domench on Thursday evening to secure top seeding for the quarter-finals.
As the Cherry and Whites aim to make it six from six in the European Rugby Challenge Cup against Brive (19:45 ko) this evening, Dan Robson is fully focused on continuing the fine momentum of recent weeks.