Gloucester’s current run of form is proving a major worry for head coach Brian Redpath. Wining just once in their last seven Premiership games has led to the Scot calling an emergency meeting to plot a way for the Cherry and Whites to get back to winning ways.
The most recent defeat, perhaps the most worrying so far saw Gloucester throw away a lead for the fourth time this season, leading 20-10 until the sin binning of Alasdair Strokosch, the Cherry and Whites looked comfortable. But basement boys Newcastle struck back to pick up only their second win of the season 26-25.
Redpath admitted that Strokosch’s sin binning(for a trip on Jimmy Gopperth) proved to be the turning point in the match declaring that “without a doubt the trip was key” he also rued several missed tackles and a general lack of discipline shown by his side in their dismal collapse.
Leaking try and several penalties from a seemingly strong position proved to be Gloucester’s downfall and Redpath is worried that unless his team do something fast they could soon find themselves being picked off by many more sides, and could find themselves looking over their shoulder at the likes of Newcastle and Worcester rather than up towards a Heineken Cup position.
Redpath has told his team to “knuckle down” and “to be up for the fight”. Their next few games Connacht home and away and visits to Worcester and Saracens will not prove easy games. Defeat to Connacht could end their European adventure for another year, and the way the league is shaping up this year defeats to both Saracens and Worcester could see Gloucester heading towards a relegation scrap after such a promising start.
The Gloucester management are targeting improving the teams ability to finish off games from winning positions and are understandably keen to avoid any repeats of the collapse against Newcastle. The challenge starts this weekend against Connacht and the Gloucester fight back has to start soon.