Gloucester Rugby: Complacency could be our downfall - Wood
TWO painful and avoidable defeats in the last two seasons must prove Gloucester's cautionary tale as they face the Premiership's new boys this weekend, believes Nick Wood.
Powerful loosehead prop Wood has called on the Cherry and Whites to heed the lessons of last term's pre-season defeat to Sunday's opponents London Welsh – and the September 2010 Premiership humbling at the hands of Exeter Chiefs.
Then-Championship outfit Welsh bruised past Gloucester 24-23 at Kingsholm on August 20, 2011, in last term's warm-up programme.
Rewind one more campaign, and the Kingsholm men botched a hatful of half-chances at Sandy Park on September 4, 2010, losing out 22-10 as the Chiefs ran out victorious in their Premiership debut.
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Cirencester-raised Wood said any kind of complacency will destroy any victory march – in any top-flight league clash.
Gloucester take on promoted side Welsh at Oxford's Kassam Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3pm), and Wood anticipates only a regimented performance will be enough for a win.
The 29-year-old explained: "We slipped up against Welsh in a pre-season game last year, so we're not about to underestimate them.
"And then two years ago at Exeter we went down there and expected we could get the job done and came up comfortably short.
"So if ever there's a reminder of what needs to be done, those two games should serve for it."
Losing their opening games to Leicester and Harlequins had Welsh on an immediate uphill struggle in their Premiership start.
But two-straight wins against Exeter and Sale have kicked Lyn Jones' men into gear.
Wood said plenty of teams will suffer at the hands of table-toppers Tigers and Quins.
On Sunday though, the peerless scrummager wants Gloucester to exhibit the kind of qualities that helped those two Premiership powers to early-season victories in Oxford.
He continued: "Leicester and Quins will produce comprehensive wins against a host of people, so there's no shame in London Welsh losing to both of them.
"Neither of those sides had it easy, but both of them went there, knew they would have to fight to impose their game on Welsh and managed it.
"If we can battle to do that, not just assume we will get a result, then hopefully we can take a leaf out of Leicester and Harlequins' book and get the victory we are after."