Billy Twelvetrees: It is now time for Gloucester to go up a gear
NEW-LOOK Gloucester have been together long enough to start taking teams apart, believes Billy Twelvetrees.
The 23-year-old centre reckons the Nigel Davies revolution has gathered enough momentum for the Cherry and Whites to progress their game to the next level.
And Twelvetrees thinks that means producing more free-running incisive strike moves behind the scrum.
Gloucester's pace-laden backline initially took some time to hit full speed this term – but the Kingsholm club showed flashes of brilliance in Saturday's 27-21 Leicester victory.
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Buoyed by Gloucester's win against his former club, Twelvetrees backed the Cherry and Whites to continue their steady improvement at Harlequins on Saturday.
Davies' men take on reigning champions Quins at The Stoop (kick-off 5.15pm), keen to extend their eight-game unbeaten streak.
Versatile fulcrum Twelvetrees is confident Gloucester can pull off victory in west London – provided they cut out needless errors.
He explained: "We've just got to the point where we now feel we can really have a go at teams.
"We've been together long enough now to know what we can do – we've got exciting pace in the backline and it's time to use it.
"We just need to press on and keep believing in ourselves.
"Setting a winning mentality and a positive mentality is still the challenge.
"There's no reason why we can't go there and get another result.
"They play a great style of rugby, they threaten teams in a number of ways.
"But we'll take it to them – they're Premiership champions and the ones with something to lose in some respects.
"We've got nothing to lose in contrast, we're fit and raring to go, and it's going to be a great contest.
"We've beaten a top-two side from last year and played some good rugby.
"Now it's time to cut out the silly errors and stop bringing pressure onto ourselves.
"We won that game and we deserved to, but we also did certain things that allowed Leicester territory and possession at potentially crucial times.
"It's very pleasing we were able to hold out, but you don't always get that little bit of luck.
"So if we can stamp out those little problems then we will be in a good place.
"Small things aren't working at the moment, but we're winning and that's still what counts.
"It's a huge test at Quins though, and we'll certainly come under a lot of pressure.
"Just the same as last week it will be how we handle all of that will count."
Peerless James Simpson-Daniel produced a vintage scything break to set up Akapusi Qera's impressive try against Leicester.
Twelvetrees said Gloucester's players always relish that moment of unpredictability when Simpson-Daniel picks up possession with the chance to counter.
And now he believes Gloucester can pull all their threats together to produce one of the most potent backlines around.
He continued: "We love it when Sinbad gets the ball, we just can't wait to see what he will do.
"I always enjoy it, especially when teams kick to him – he's always going to break the first half-tackle as a minimum.
"And the challenge then is just to try to get as close to him as possible, to get in support as quickly as you can.
"He's an asset to have in any team, and we're very lucky to have him.
"He's just one part of what can be a very threatening backline if we get everything together, and I think we're not too far away from making that happen."
Relishing the victory over former club Leicester, Twelvetrees hailed the Kingsholm crowd – then targeted extending Gloucester's unbeaten away record.
He added: "The atmosphere was amazing, it was the loudest I've ever heard it at Kingsholm.
"It's always great to be on the right side of that, and it definitely gives us a boost when we're under pressure and digging in.
"Harlequins will be an incredibly tough challenge, but we've got a decent away record so far and we're excited to test ourselves there."