Gloucester Rugby: Davies demands greater defensive understanding
DEFENSIVE disorientation has to stop, admits Nigel Davies.
The Gloucester boss might be heartened by his side's last-ditch cover-tackling, but he fully concedes that the Cherry and Whites are yet to find first-up control.
Calling for far greater defensive alignment and first-phase acumen, rugby director Davies said Gloucester have plenty of training ground work ahead of them this week.
Davies' men host Wasps at Kingsholm on Saturday (3.15pm), and the former Wales centre said his side are still getting to grips with new defensive systems.
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Defence coach Paul Moriarty is clearly still putting his stamp on the set-up, and Davies thinks stronger and clearer communication on-field will help solve some of the early-season issues.
Reflecting on Saturday's 16-16 Worcester draw, Davies explained: "To come away and get a draw at this stage is not bad.
"We're unbeaten away which is not bad, but we've still got to get better.
"At least we have that, but it's not enough and we need to keep pushing on.
"We've got to get greater defensive understanding in there to be honest.
"We need to step up, and the players know that.
"But from every performance we have the opportunity to move forward, and that's what we'll try to do again this week."
Hailing Freddie Burns' improved goal-kicking ratios after his last-gasp penalty that salvaged Saturday's draw, Davies also praised wing Shane Monahan for an industrious and productive full Premiership debut.
Davies continued: "Freddie was great, and that was a really decent kick at the end on Saturday.
"He showed a lot of composure to nail that.
"His stats last year were in the 60 per cent area which is too low.
"But now he's turned that round and he's drawing and winning us games.
"Shane's gone very well for us, and he just brings a different dimension to us.
"It's all very well having a lot of players who are quick, but you've got to have someone who gels it together, and people like Shane can do that."