It’s the West Country derby on Friday night. Gloucester Rugby host Bristol Bears in Round 9 of the Gallagher Premiership. Ahead of the fixture, Head Coach George Skivington faced the press to preview the fixture.
On London Irish result
“I thought our attitude was great. We were disappointed with a few bits against Saints the week before where we’d put ourselves in a position to win and we had a pretty honest meeting on the Monday just about a few certain things. Attitude was probably the big one. There was a drop off in that game which were seven-point drop offs which happened a few times and the game ran away.
“I thought the attitude against Irish was spot on. The guys worked really hard but we didn’t get what we wanted from the game. The boys were disappointed. There were a couple of areas that we’ve talked about this week but in the end when you throw yourselves in like the boys did on Saturday and give everything that they’ve got and you don’t quite get the result, it’s frustrating. The beauty is that games creep up extremely quickly.
“If we’d done a couple of things slightly better I think we could have easily won the game. There were a couple of opportunities that we had where we didn’t quite get across the line and if those things come off it would have been a very different story. I thought it was a very composed game, particularly from Billy (Twelvetrees).”
On Bristol Bears
"It doesn’t get much tougher than Bristol who are top of the league and they play great rugby. They are a tough team to analyse because they have scored a lot of maul tries, they have scored a lot of wonder tries out the back, there is a lot of variation in what they do.
"They are coached very, very well. It is exciting because it is a local derby and they are currently the best team in the country and it is going to be another level to test ourselves.”
"I am expecting they will be disappointed with the result last week and I am expecting a sharp Bristol team, a team who are not used to losing to have probably not had an enjoyable week. I am certain they will come here sharp and looking to make amends.
“They’ve got stardust all over the place in the squad and there’s plenty of threats even without Semi Radradra on the field.”
On Bristol’s progress
“I think Bristol were smart. When they were coming back into the Premiership, they built some really strong foundations in the Championship with the right sort of hardworking players and over the past three or four years they’ve slowly added quality. Pat Lam has built his game plan and he’s been smart with how he’s built the club up. Now it’s all coming to fruition and they’ve slowly crept up the table year after year. Here they are now, top of the table and they’re looking good.”
Learning from Bristol
“I’d have loved to have come in and turned the fortunes around in a couple of months but I’ve said before, we’ve got a very strong plan, we’re happy with that plan.
“It doesn’t make it any less painful when you’re trying to build things and you’re going through the process but there are a lot of good blueprints. Bristol have done it, Exeter and London Irish have gone through that process as well. When you get it right and you set those foundations and then put layers on top, the rewards are there at the end. You’ve got to be patient and you’ve got to do it the right way. There’s no point in trying to cut corners as I think it would just come crumbling down.”
“I haven’t been able to pick Ben Morgan since I have been here. He is very close now which is good news for the club and we are all very excited for when we can get him out there. He is out there running and he is close so we are all looking forward to seeing him back in a Gloucester shirt.”
“There are a few other lads who we will know for certain tomorrow who are training with us. They are at the end of our return to play protocols and we have got to make a few decisions if we are going to roll lads out straight away or whether you give them a game straight away.
“We have had a long list of lads out and they are slowly starting to trickle back in which is great for the coaches.”