Gloucester Rugby: Dawidiuk's delight at the new gameplan
WRECKING-BALL marauders from one to eight can pack a real punch at Worcester tomorrow, believes hooker Darren Dawidiuk.
Bullish front-rower Dawidiuk reckons the Cherry and Whites' new gameplan has turned the Kingsholm forward ranks into a dangerous ball-carrying machine.
And now the 24-year-old expects Gloucester to carry that new-found power-based incision into tomorrow's Worcester Warriors clash at Sixways (kick-off 1.30pm).
Tom Savage and Ben Morgan epitomised Gloucester's front-eight resurgence under Nigel Davies, blasting craters through London Irish time and again in last Saturday's 40-31 victory.
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Cavalry-call replacements like loose forward Sione Kalamafoni and all-action hooker Huia Edmonds capitalised on ragged last-quarter defending to help carry Gloucester to their first win of the campaign.
And excited Dawidiuk said everyone in and around the Gloucester pack now feels confident they can do damage with the ball in hand.
Admitting derby-day fever will crank up the heat tomorrow, the Truro-born front-rower explained: "We've got a new way of playing, where our forwards get more involved and get more ball in hand, and it's great.
"We've got some great ball-carriers in our squad, from one to eight.
"So it's great that part of the game is really working for us.
"We've got great strength and depth in all positions, but in the front-row it's great that the lads who are starting can put in a great 60-minute effort knowing that the lads who will come on will make an impact.
"And the replacements have made a big difference when they've come on, and long may that continue.
"We know all the lads on the bench can do a job, so when they come on everyone expects there to be an impact, and we've seen that in the two games so far."
Revelling in the adrenaline-fuelled local derby build-up, Dawidiuk said banishing the memory of last year's London Irish humiliation has allowed Gloucester to move forward with confidence this week.
Shaking off the shadow of the 52-18 defeat that closed out last term, he continued: "It was great to get the monkey off our backs, having gone a while without a win.
"It was a great result and important to get a victory quickly,
"There's still a lot of us involved who played down there last season, so we were very focused on getting the result and moving past what happened at the end of last term.
"We were determined to get a victory to move on, get into our new game and get going with this season, and that's exactly what we did, so it was very pleasing.
"It's a big local derby game, everybody ups their game by about ten per cent for derbies, pretty much without realising it too.
"There's a lot of pride at stake, and a lot of bragging rights, so we're looking to get up there and impose our game on them right from the off.
"I really enjoy being a part of games like this, there's a great feeling around the build-up, things feel extra special and there's always a bit of extra buzz around the training ground in the week."
Hailing scrum coach Tony Windo's coal-face impact, Dawidiuk said another big set-piece challenge awaits tomorrow.
He added: "Tony's been great, it's hard filling in for someone like John Brain, but Tony's been brilliant with us right from the word go.
"He's very technical, and he doesn't just work with the props, he's working with the hookers, the second rows and the back-row too.
"What he's doing in training is paying off in games.
"He puts a lot of confidence into each and every one of us, and it's definitely showing.
"We pride ourselves on our set-piece and we definitely had the upper hand in the scrum and the lineout at Irish.
"If we can get an edge in the set-piece then that will be the first battle.
"We managed it at London Irish and in parts against Saints, so we've got to do that again."