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).
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-29 Aviva A League win over Wasps Rugby, Academy Coach Rich Whiffin explained his pride in the squad to overcome a strong opponent and book their spot in next week's Aviva A League final.
Willi Heinz returned from injury to skipper Gloucester to a famous 16-14 win over Stade Rochelais on Saturday evening. Speaking after the game in France, Heinz admitted the win wasn't pretty but was full of courage and a great result for the club.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.
Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw is targeting a 'unique' finish to his Gloucester tenure in the European Rugby Challenge Cup final at the venue where his professional playing career began, BT Murrayfield Stadium (Friday 12 May).