What the Butler Saw: Kick-start from Twelvetrees and Gloucester Rugby are finally on the up
SO GLOUCESTER'S inconsistent season continues.
Like a hotel lift that hit the basement last week against Exeter, the Cherry and Whites are back on the way up with an excellent European win over Perpignan.
Nigel Davies discovered he has an able fly-half back up for Freddie Burns in the shape of Billy Twelvetrees, who impressed me most with his kicking at goal after a last-minute call to arms in the 10 jersey.
Given the kicking statistics of both men this season, there is a case for Twelvetrees to be given the duties ahead of Burns after such an assured display at Kingsholm.
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Welshman James Hook must wonder what he has to do to be on the winning side after scoring a full house and all his team's points, but that was down to Gloucester's resolve in the face of adversity.
Despite having two tries disallowed by the video referee they were still able to muster one final attack from which Jonny May went over after a huge hole opened up in the French defence.
The forwards still creaked at scrum-time, where they were pushed back more than once by a Perpignan pack including old boys Luke Narraway and Alasdair Strokosch, but the lineout functioned very smoothly for which credit must go to the returning Huia Edmonds at hooker and new boy James Hudson in the second row.
Once again Jimmy Cowan was a force of nature at scrum-half. If the disallowed try from the quick tap wasn't enough warning to Perpignan, the New Zealander did exactly the same to score in the second half.
What impressed me most about that try was Cowan's hunger to get his hands on the ball. It was a fine example of tenacious scrum-half play and kept Gloucester in the game at that point.
For the trip to Munster this weekend Davies has promised a completely change squad, although I wonder if he regrets saying that after the Irish lost to Edinburgh, a result which blows the pool wide open.
Either way it was a crucial win. Had Gloucester lost they would have been stuck in the basement, and the only option then is to press the emergency button.